WTM #1123: Last Tango de Maria Schneider

wReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 88.3 
Amsterdam ~ Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies


When I read Last Tango In Paris, I didn`t see anything that worried me. I was 20. I didn`t want to be a star, much less a scandalous actress – simply to be in cinema.”
 • Maria Schneider


artwork: PIM Excess 1981

Last Freedom Tango > B/art vs Oliver Nelson
Last Tango In Paris > Gato Barbieri
Last Tango in Paris (Opening Scene) > Bertolucci
Last Tango in Paris – Happiness > Marlon Brando & Maria Schneider
Last Tango in Paris > Julio Gutierrez
Maria dood > NLTV
1 Fucking GAAAHD > Marlon Brando
Last Tango in Paris > Gotan Project
Last Tango in Paris > Marlena Shaw
Last Tango In Paris > Herb Alpert
Last Tango In Paris  > Mongo Santamaria
Our Dusty World / The Passenger > Maria Schneider & Jack Nicholson
Last Tango in Paris > Paul Mauriat
The Passenger Trailer  > Antonioni
What are you running away from? > Maria Schneider & Jack Nicholson
Last Tango in Paris-Karel Boehlee Trio > Karel Boehlee Trio
Jeanne > Gato Barbieri

photo from my wallet
Last Tango In Paris > Supertangox
Last Tango in Paris > Neil Larsen
Last Tango in Paris – Return Tango (La Vuelta)  > Gato Barbieri
Swing low, sweet chariot > Albert Ayler
Last Tango In Paris  > Misha Lenn
Last Tango in Paris – It’s Over – Goodbye  > Gato Barbieri
Last Tango In Paris > Tito Puente
Last Tango in Paris / Final Tango > Marlon Brando & Maria Schneider
1 Fucking GAAAHD > Marlon Brando
WTM echo end pal 05 > Paloma Plantenga

Another photo from that Playboy profile.

When I was going on 17, my friend Jeff asked me and a couple of other friends to go see Last Tango in Paris in the big[ger] city of Binghamton. He had a VW Beetle and he liked to drive like the more insane brother of Neal Cassady especially when in the company of hormonally provoked teenage guys.

We howled all the way there, speeding down Route 17 for a good hour. I remember that we felt like we were being let into some elite club the X-rated movie club or something. I think we all liked the movie although the amount of raw sex, eroticism, angst was awe-inspiring, if not intimidating. Were passion, lust and such so volatile and so interspliced with difficult emotions. I think Steve’s pale face pretty much answered the question. Sex and love and eroticism were not simply some kind of sport, hobby or fun. But on the way back we howled even louder with the windows open, long hair waving in the wind as the naked image of Maria Schneider became ingrained in my brain as a kind of ur-ideal woman – kinky, voluptuous and with a French accent! So ingrained that I actually shoplifted a copy of Playboy which featured a profile of Maria and numerous naked photos. I remember after having read the text numerous times I clipped the article, clandestinely ditched the rest of the mag in a neutral public garbage can and saved the article for a long time  – years. In that period, during my first year at college in a fit of loneliness I clipped a portrait of Maria from that article, naked and put it in the photo part of my wallet, I seem to remember the other side being another naked photo of her. And when I looked at it in my wallet, she and her perfect breasts, her intriguing smile became mine. She was my surrogate girl friend for years.

Two years later I met a girl, actually already a woman, several years older than me, who had the same kinky hair as Maria, the same voluptuous, full-busted body and a similar exotic face. We fell hopelessly in love, me and my Maria, although she was named Linda from Flushing, Michigan, owner of a Red Opel Kadett. It was not like I set out to find someone who looked like her using the photo as blueprint overlay. Not at all. She was there a lurking shy and unassuming beauty and we did everything together. She had been given a camera and she always had that camera with her. She liked to take pictures of anything and did but mostly she liked taking pictures of me in odd backdrops like abandoned barns, derelict factories, heaps of brick, and either fully clothed or less or even somewhat naked [I wonder whatever happened to all those negatives – luckily I’m not a politician or movie star]. When I wasn’t around she was in her mom’s basement developing the negatives and when I was there we were making love on a dusty, lumpy fold-out couch, having rigged the basement door so that it wouldn’t open to easily and thus hold back her mom who had premonitions and would sometimes barge in unsuspectingly…

So when I heard Maria had passed on I felt it was someone I had known, really known, someone I liked in 2 or 3 movies, someone I never found it fair for how she was pretty much relegated to forgotten minor roles in unforgivable and totally forgettable movies except for the fact that she was in them… From how she was treated I learned how creatively cruel Hollywood, the producers and everyone else can be to let someone like that dwindle into amnesia.

IMDB trivia: Trivia: She was originally cast to play the part of “Conchita” in Luis Buñuel‘s last film That Obscure Object of Desire. She did not get along with the Spanish director and rejected his stereotypical ideas of women for the role he had in mind. After a few days of shooting she was replaced by actresses Angela Molina and Carole Bouquet.

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