Foreign Affairs

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts.

Dodes’ka-den and Dersu Uzala
at Film Forum April 14-22

The Films of Alain Tanner

at Anthology Film Archives April 15-22

Fassbinder’s World on a Wire
at MoMA April 14-19

Master Akira Kurosawa’s Dodes’ka-den and Dersu Uzala return to Film Forum for nine days. These late films expand Kurosawa’s vision of the human condition—considering, respectively, childhood loneliness and multi-cultural Russian-Asian empathy. Among AK’s first color films, each is as visually striking as expected. These are the best examples of AK’s late career studies of private identity and national character.

Near-master Swiss filmmaker Alain Tanner’s films are unimaginable without the inspiration of the French New Wave, a fact proven by his Anthology Film Archives career retrospective (April 15-22); Godard’s influence is everywhere in The Middle of the World. This 1975 film so astringently examines an extramarital affair (Philippe Leotard and Olimpia Carlisi) through shifting politics and seasons that it ironically seems to anticipate Godard’s own late-career studies of passion/nature/cosmos. It is one of the most heterosexiest movies ever made—the peak example of Tanner’s analytical romanticism.

Pre-master Rainer Werner Fassbinder made a four-hour TV series early in his career, World on a Wire, based on the American sci-fi novel Simulacron-3, and it plays this week at MoMA (April 14-19). Here’s the beginning of Fassbinder’s high-strung characterizations and formal genre tweaking (combining a detective plot and psychological commentary). Fassbinder’s genius is apparent throughout the film’s eccentric humor, social acuity and stylistic quirk. Conceived to be popular, World on a Wire is an often-exhilarating career surprise.

Foreign Affairs

Written by Taki on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts.

Twenty years
ago I wrote an article in The American Spectator titled "American
Women Make Lousy Lovers." It was all about femininity, or the lack of it,
in militant feminists, and had nothing to do with the sexual act whatsoever.
Needless to say, the title was noticed by various television producers–who
of course did not bother to read the article, but became very eager to have
me come over to America and face the music. I was in Greece at the time, busy
preparing for my swan song as captain of the Greek national karate team and
about to compete in the world championships in Cairo. The last thing I needed
to do was to fly all the way across the ocean to face some hysterical American
females. But you know how it is. The hucksters get to you through flattery and
whatever else they do, so presto, there I was flying to Chicago to appear on
the Phil Donahue show, followed by the then local Oprah Winfrey in Baltimore,
and on to Indiana for an appearance at the university, defending my views.

Mind you,
it was first class all the way, plus a suite and a limo, all paid for by the
network. The only thing I remember about the trip was how dumb Donahue was,
the toe-curling corniness of Oprah and that little old lady who came up to me
and told me how much she agreed with me as I was leaving the Donahue set. (It
was Lana Turner, a real victim of men, with various hubbies taking liberties
with her hard-earned moolah.) Basically my argument was that we in Europe treat
our women better than the Americans treat theirs; we cheat like hell, but do
not trade them in when they’re past a certain age, but put them on pedestals
instead. Oh yes, I almost forgot. We also pay for them and do not expect them
to work, but to look good. I mentioned Jackie Onassis as a perfect geisha-wife.

I enjoyed myself, especially when I got Donahue–a real bleeding-heart liberal–spluttering
with rage. Just before the commercial, I asked him how it felt to leave a wife
and kids to marry some young actress, as he had done. During the commercial
he told me it was a cheap shot, but I pointed out to him that what he had done
was cheap, and what I had said was the truth. All this while shouting in front
of an audience made up mostly of old women who turned against the Irishman and
applauded me.

The reason
I bring all this up is the recent landmark ruling by the High Court in depressing
old Blighty on press freedom. A very famous footballer who twice cheated on
his wife faces being named and shamed by the ruling after he took legal action
to stop a newspaper from identifying him or his two blonde lovers. The footballer,
or soccer star as they’re called over here, has been given three weeks
to convince the House of Lords, the highest court in the land, that neither
he nor the blondes–a lap dancer and a nursery school teacher–should
be named. When the Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf delivered his pro-press ruling,
I thought he was doing it to boost English morale, which has been very low recently.
In other words, to make it public that some Englishmen enjoy doing it with women,
because as everyone knows, 97.3 percent of all Englishmen prefer doing it with
their own sex or their own hand.

No sooner
had the scandal sheet been forbidden to name our hero that the yellowest press
this side of Islamabad tore into the judge who originally ruled for the footballer.
"This is not about someone’s sexual conduct, it is about the public’s
right to know what is going on," thundered Woolf. How was that again? Since
when does the public have any right to know what someone does underneath the
sheets? Now that buffoon Woolf says that how a footballer chooses to spend his
time off the field must have "a modicum of public interest."

I think the judge is trying to kiss the media’s ass, no ifs or buts about
it. If a married man chooses to seduce other women, it only concerns his wife
and the sweet young things, no one else. The footballer, or love rat, as the
press has dubbed him, met the teacher in a pub and told her he was unmarried.
Again, so what else is new? Since when are men not supposed to speak with forked
tongue while pursuing a bird? To the lap dancer he said he was unhappily married.
The silly young thing fell for it. Now the feminists are after him. Poor guy.
The one time an Englishman gets laid with the opposite sex and all hell breaks
loose. In France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece, the "love rat"
would have been accorded a parade and given a raise. In England he is being
blackmailed by the women and rubbished by the press.

Having mistresses
and girlfriends is natural for a European, even an American. The reason I loathed
Clinton’s womanizing was because he treated women badly, and they also
looked so awful. If I owned a soccer team, I’d hire the love rat in a jiffy.

P.S. I want
to apologize to my great buddy Peter Brimelow, whose father fought in Gallipoli
and who has pointed out to me that 120,000 Brits were killed in that disastrous
campaign, along with thousands of Australians and New Zealanders. Sorry, mate.