Thursday, July 18, 2019

Good Morning, World

I should probably save this for Antonio Banderas' 59th birthday in a just a couple of weeks, but what the hay, I'm thinking of him this morning so we'll celebrate early -- why am I thinking of him, you ask? Besides the fact that he's Antonio Banderas, you mean? Well because there's a very fine article on Film Comment this week about Brian De Palma's terrific trash noir Femme Fatale from 2002, talking about BDP's under-acknowledged queer gaze, that's why, and I recommend you read it.

It's just the latest part of a whole series that FC's been doing called "Queer and Now and Then" which I recommend the entirety of -- even if writer Michael Koresky has gotten a couple of digs in at Call Me By Your Name here and there, which wounds, he's still a marvelous writer doing a fine job widening the queer canon. Anyway I liked this passage about Banderas in Femme Fatale:

"Despite his leather-jacket cool and sensitive-guy confidence, Banderas wonderfully essays a favorite De Palma type, the cuckolded patsy (see also Craig Wasson in Body Double). In the film’s most lurid, and grungily gorgeous scene, Laure (Rebecca Romijn) humiliates Nicolas (Banderas) in a dingy, red-drenched bar via a pool-table striptease, using her scantily clad body to arouse a room full of men and possibly incite jealous violence amongst them... Yet Laure’s not the only one play-acting; in order to gain her confidence, Nicolas, thinking that he’s the one setting the rules of the game, initially poses as a gay man, which he tries to make legible via an unmistakable, effeminate swishiness. Recalling Banderas’s early-career roles for Almodóvar, actor and director are here having a little intertextual fun, though there’s something even more delightful and complicated about this brief passage, calling into question our perception of Laure’s own relationship to her sexuality; was she also posing as gay to get what she wanted?"

Anyway if you've never seen Femme Fatale I recommend it, it's one of De Palma's most fun films, total trash (what's new) but smart trash (what else is new) with a lot to say about our trashy ass culture. Speaking of trash I suppose I should add at this point that these pictures here of Banderas in and out of a shower aren't even from Femme Fatale, they're from that 1995 piece of absolute irredeemable garbage Never Talk To Strangers, which unlike FF is without redeeming quality... save Antonio's bum, of course.


Peggy Sue said...

He's got the hairiest armpits I have ever seen

Jordan said...

Wow - I clicked through to read the entire Michael Koresky article and got caught up all the other queer movies he's written about. Thanks!