About the Blog..

My blog title, Ossessione, American Style, is taken from a movie by Count Luchino Visconti, who borrowed the plot of his astonishing debut film, Ossessione, from James M. Cain's novel, The Postman Always Rings Twice. Unfortunately, Visconti never paid for the rights and his film was not shown in the U.S. until many years after its release. The star of the movie, Massimo Girotti, would be People's "Sexiest Man Alive" many years running had the zine been around at the time. We first see him as a truck driver in a filthy sleeveless athletic undershirt, another of my obsessions: remember Paul Newman in an a-shirt (e.g. Hud or Cool Hand Luke)? Nowadays, they cheapen this garment who confuse it with something tank troops wore in World War I. The a-shirt is an undershirt, usually with thin bands over the shoulders; a tank top is a shirt without sleeves, akin to a "muscle shirt," only with wider bands over the shoulders. But, I digress....)

The purpose of this photo/comment column is to present a record of my obsessions. These are wide-ranging and diverse. This blog is not intended to be pornographic. The only pornography today is in politics.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Actor, Not the PAC Man

I now realize that I had my fixation on Tony Perkins about the same time that I fell in love with my friend Luke.  They had roughly the same body mass, boney chests, and widespread shoulders, in Tony's case probably the tipping point by casting when he starred opposite Jane Fonda in a routine comedy called Tall Story.  It was a college basketball romance in which the fetishistic filmmaker, Joshua Logan, indulged his image of Perkins lean and lanky in sleeveless jerseys, the silk borders luring into tops of pectoral muscles and underarm bush.  If one had, as did I, a hankering for Hank Fonda's daughter as well, their (clothed) shower scene in a cramped trailer was a 100% turn on.

Perkins came from an acting family and could do quirky geeky weirdos better than anyone alive.  I think my favorite of his many movies is Orson Welles's The Trial, which shows Tony, as Kafka's Joseph K., being given the third degree by the totalitarian government's KGB-like cops.  He stutters through the apartment until one discovers that a throw carpet hides a suspicious oval shape on the floor.  Perkins' voice almost breaks when he blurts: "Oh...THAT...that was where I kept my pornograph."  The reaction on Perkins's face when the KGB guys stare at him is priceless.  I recall at the time of international release, Welles was chided by French film writers. (Cahiers du Cinema? I read so many movie magazines in the past I cannot now recall, but it was a socialist rag.)  It seems he committed the unpardonable sin of going commercial and casting "that faggot Tony Perkins" in the leading role.

It is common to read online that Perkins was "gay" or that he was only into guys.  Some of the crabs had to have ignored the fact that Tony did not marry Berry for a cover.  These were not the Tab Hunter days.  Perkins had gone through considerable psychoanalysis, hopefully with someone who told him it was OK to be bisexual.  Some folks are made that way.  With Ms. Berenson, he had children.  He may have had acute homosexual tendencies (he died of HIV-AIDS if that is any indication), but he was married with children.  Only exclusively homosexual persons never have sex with the opposite sex.

No comments:

Post a Comment