Cleansing the lens of cinematic perception, for your aghast befuddlement

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ich liebe dich so, Anita Pallenberg

I love Anita Pallenberg, extra much today. I've always loved the Nordic blonde goddess types, not the bland automaton types but the ferociously alive yet cold-at-the-core Teutons. As I listen to Rolling Stones' "Angie," I think about what the Stones would have been without Anita and Marianne Faithful to guide them, the twin muses of the twins Glimmer. The allure of Faithfull lay in her archetypal depth, her timeless beauty, both dating back to Camelot and the Celts. Pallenberg's appeal was/is more elusive; you can't even really remember what she looks like because her face is so liquid, so alive from second to second with crazy emotions, artistic freestyle, Brian Jones, ferocious carnality, sensory exultation, long teeth, and innate fashion sense. She's a wolf and 18 djinn poured into a German model's body. All I can do is offer screen captures culled from PERFORMANCE to try and hang some random adjectives on her clotheshorse from Valhalla appeal:

With the arrival of James Fox's gangster into their psychedelic love den, Anita Pallenberg and Mick Jagger launch a series of wigs to conceal the hooliganism of Chaz (Fox) so he isn't found by his old gang. Anita initiates the red wig and against the red decor she seems like a whole new character, but it's just a mirror of Fox's original disguise, a hideous red shoe polish hairdo, and he will eventually wear the red wig himself... and lipstick.

Drugs play a huge part in this transformation. Though many contemporary shamen and Buddhists don't think drugs are needed, shaman Anita swears by them, and without those shrooms, Fox's transformation would be incomplete -- like trying to reach Nevada on foot instead of in an air-conditioned limo. To choose to walk instead may add 'authenticity' but smacks of puritanism and dogma. To paraphrase Ed Wood, if God had meant for us to walk, he wouldn't have given us wings... and to insist on always walking is just as dogmatic and dorky as never walking. Taking the van to go down the driveway for the paper, for example, smacks just as bad... but hurts so good.

Films of the late 1960s and early 1970s were full of political incorrectness and drug orgies but PERFORMANCE was directed and written by Donald Cammell, a man who lived and breathed drug orgies. The difference is like night and so much later that night that it's the breaka dawn.

Speaking of which, why am I letting yet another nice day go by writing blog entries? I'm  scared of all the tourists outside, and would rather be up in my own bescarved den of creativity, hiding from the world til it's dusk and the tourists are gone, the year of the Cat. I'll leave you with a link to my earlier PERFORMANCE piece and the beautiful ode to the song, "Wild Horses" by a writer with many of Pallenberg's alluring qualities, Sunset Gun's Kim Morgan.

And check her black wig in BARBARELLA (1968)!


  1. Good on you, then. Of course, anyone involved in Barberella is okay with me.


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