Hi everyone. I’ve never written a blog before but I used to write film reviews for my college paper, so instead of “blogging” per se, I thought I’d share my review of Bernardo Bertolucci’s classic “Last Tango in Paris,” starring Marlon Brando before he went all nutty and agoraphobic and rotund.
I was visiting my Dad and brother in Florida a few weeks ago and my Dad gifted me a portable DVD player that he doesn’t use anymore. It comes in a black leather case that looks like it might carry Gheorghe Muresan’s daily planner. It’s the size of an adult pug and has a zipper paired with a completely unnecessary button clasp (since, at least in my experience, zippers have been pretty reliable). You (and by “you” I mean “me”) look like a complete yuppie tool walking through an airport with it underneath your arm.
So I accepted this gift from my father along with a pair of really snazzy headphones that look like those maroon hard plastic earmuffs people wear when they shoot skeet and brought the whole package with me on a recent trip to Las Vegas.
I was all studious and brainy on the outgoing Thursday morning flight there and attempted to read a copy of “The Economist” on the plane. But instead I had 4 Heineken Lights and a nap. Thank you, USAir Platinum status.
The trip back was different. I got to the airport at 5am to catch an early return flight home and decided it was too early to read. So, I sat at the gate, put on my oversized headphones, plugged them into the player and started the DVD. The sound was eh, but that was OK. I attributed it to the age of the player and turned it up as loud as it could go.
Anyhoo, as I sat there in the wee hours at McCarren I realized my sleep deprived gate neighbors seemed to be looking at me. Perhaps they were wondering how I had gotten my hands on Gheorghe Muresan’s daily planner. Regardless, “Tango” was living up to its billing. In fact, it was living up beyond it’s billing. That film is DIRTY. DIRTY like a junior high boy’s locker room. Like a Penthouse Forum brainstorming session. Like the sink in my Manhattan sub-let.
And it continued to be DIRTY as the gate filled up with people looking to escape sin city.
Eventually I boarded and took my seat in first class. Thank you again, USAir Platinum status. The man next to me had a stack of 4 Economists he ostensibly planned to read on the 5 hour flight. He looked uptight and all clenched up in his ascot – probably a lawyer. I whipped out the DVD player and returned to my viewing – I was at the famous butter scene where Brando uses said condiment as a, ahem, “personal lubricant.”
About 5 minutes later the man next to me got visibly irritated and said “Can you turn that down?” APPARENTLY THE ENTIRE TIME I HAD BEEN WATCHING MY ARTISTIC PSEUDO PORN IN THE AIRPORT AND ON THE PLANE I HAD THE HEADPHONES PLUGGED INTO THE WRONG JACK AND I WAS BLARING THE SOUND FROM THE MOVIE OUT OF THE PLAYER. I couldn’t tell since I had the headphones on. I probably could have been arrested for this since there had been children waiting for flights in my gate.
So yeah. “Last Tango in Paris.” Not so great.