Friday, November 30, 2012
Our final Russ Meyer girl was the former Miss Muscle Beach, Alaina Capri. Capri starred in two Russ vehicles, Common Law Cabin and Good Morning...and Goodbye!, whose plots are best described as the kind of lurid partner swapping amidst the hardboiled dialogue with an occasional killing. Capri excels at playing the bosomy vamp, using her sharp tongue like a flick knife. Sadly, these would be her only two outings, but then again, she came up a little too late to have been trading these kind of barbs in a Howard Hawks movie.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Yesterday, I posted my review of Russ Meyer's Common Law Cabin, which kicked this week's series off.
Today's quickie sketch is of one of Russ's most iconic creations, Varla, played by the fantastic Tura Satana in the uproariously titled Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965). The movie spins the far out yarn about a trio of homicidal go-go dancers who end up chasing a disabled old man's fortune in the southwest desert. In many ways it was a retelling with a gender swap of Russ's Motorpsycho, but Tura scene-stealing turn as the conniving Varla far outshone the previous film. Though Tura had a number of roles in movies and several TV shows, she's probably most identified with this film...and well, her high-ranking status as one of the best burlesque acts of all time.
Monday, November 26, 2012
For my other blog, I've written a review of a Russ Meyer film I hadn't seen in years...and thanks to the wholesomeness of the season, I thought I'd post a few quickies of some of Russ's buxotics.
We kick off with a sketch of Dolly Read, English pin-up model and actress, who starred as head of the Kelly Affair in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. It was one of Russ's two bids at studio backing, as Hollywood was looking to try and lure in the counter-culture audience. Dolls was not a sequel the Jacqueline Susann work, but it's own special bizarre creation. And why not? After all, it was co-written with Roger Ebert.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Plant life and architecture are still stumbling blocks for me when it comes to drawing. And the answer, as with most things, is practice and more practice. I came across a series of old photographs of old gardens, and decided to reproduce a few as best I could.
Friday, November 16, 2012
My final entry into British Comedians of the past is perhaps the most fascinating to me, Peter Cook.
Cook represents the sort of comedian's comedian in England, and so very many of the best in British comedy have at one point cited him as an influence. John Cleese once said something to the effect that it would take he and Graham Chapman several hours to churn out three minutes of material, whereas it took Peter only three minutes to come up with three minutes of material. But sadly, to most people, if he's remembered at all, it's for his hilarious portrayal of the wedding officiator in The Princess Bride. I would certainly recommend tracking down his early ensemble state show, Beyond the Fringe, what remains of his television show with longtime co-conspirator Dudley More, Not Only...But Also, and the fabulous original version of the movie Bedazzled.
Perhaps it's unnecessary to include this, but I just came across this quote before posting this from Clive James on Peter Cook: "He wasn't just a genius, he had the genius's impatience with the whole idea of doing something again. He reinvented an art form, exhausted its possibilities, and just left it. There is always something frightening about that degree of inventiveness... He didn't lose his powers. He just lost interest in proving that he possessed them."
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
It's British comedy week for a sketch series. But were dialing it back in time to the people you should know but perhaps don't.
We're kicking things off with the Irish comedian, poet and playwright, Spike Milligan. He's perhaps best known as a creator and cast member of the long-running radio comedy The Goon Show, along with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe. Spike wrote several hilarious books including his interpretation of The Bible, and many plays, one of which, The Bed Sitting Room, was made into a fantastically bizarre film. I first encountered him as a kid on a particularly bizarre episode of The Muppet Show. Famously, when Spike died, he wanted his headstone to read "I told you I was ill...", but the cemetery wouldn't allow it. They compromised, and the epitaph was restored...in Irish Gaelic.