Friday, December 27, 2013

Timothy Dalton as Heathcliff

Timothy Dalton's one of those darkly handsome and sensitive actors that never really got his due, despite having played the despicable James Bond a couple of times.  Here he's in a little known film adaptation of one of the greatest of all novels, Wuthering Heights, from 1970, directed by Robert Fuest (who also directed the better known The Abominable Dr. Phibes.)  It's far from the worst adaptation of this masterpiece.   In fact, I'd say it's a good deal better than Wyler's, and most of those recent Masterpiece Theatre versions, despite the beauty of Mathew McFadden's performance as Hareton Earnshaw in one of them.

Even knowing that Oliver Reed was passed over for the part of Heathcliff, my main objection to Fuest's film version is that it ends much too soon, omitting two thirds of the story that Emily Brontë wrote.  Andrea Arnold's very admirable adaptation also stops there, but she had the good sense to leave it open: in hers the lovers are not reunited in death, Heathcliff continues on alone.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The (sometimes disguised) Spirit of Saturnalia


Thanks in large part to the Hypocrisy of the right wing News Media and the Evangelical Christians in this Country, and the popular Refutations of their various Lies regarding the Origins of this so-called Christian Holiday that is upon us and the History of its Celebration, many People are fortunately becoming more aware of the greatest of the Classical Roman Holidays, Saturnalia, and the importance within it of the suspension of customary Laws of Propriety and the general Order of Society.  There were Reasons aplenty for the Puritans wanting to ban Christmas and its attendant Festivities; primarily because they rightly recognized within it the Spirit of License that survived from its Pagan Origins.  It is this Spirit that we should now savor.

One of the most interesting and troubling aspects of this festive Tradition is the reversal of Social Order that takes place (or should,) as it points to the essential Changes that need to take place regarding this Structure, and yet can only be acknowledged by a merely palliative Act.  The Servant is made King for the Day, no more.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bruce Bellas, no longer in Nebraska


Once Bruce left Nebraska far behind and for good, it seems to me that he was able to construct a coherent fantasy Realm where the young Men with perfect Bodies, whom he worshipped, were able to enact his playful Scenarios and act as Projections of the Self he would have preferred to embody.  Judging by his name and the few images of him that he left behind, I assume that as a Queer of Latino or Hispanic Ancestry he found Los Angeles was an Environment better suited to his needs for Community than Alliance, Nebraska, and so took it as an essential part of the Name by which he would be remembered.  As the Dream Factory for the rest of the Country, if not the World, Los Angeles was the perfect place for one of his Ability and Sensibility to set a new standard of photographic excellence in Homoerotic Kitsch and Physique Culture Camp.  This was much more than Child's Play, this was serious Business.  It was more than his teaching of high school Students, this was Chemistry.

As promised, these are those Photographs of Joe Dallesandro that were made fairly late in Bruce's career and fairly early in Joe's.  The versions I've so far found of the Prints from this Series are not of the highest quality, but I feel that Joe's particular and peculiar Beauty in them more than makes up for their inferior Resolution.