Monday, January 12, 2009

The boob tube

A corporate lawyer and his daughter arrive at the safari guesthouse. The girl is an aspiring actress who has landed a supporting role in a BBC costume drama. I am tending bar when she approaches me for a refill.

“I’m soooo worried about being typecast, GB,” she says. “If people get used to me being a virgin in a petticoat I’ll never get a part where I show off my tits.”

I know better than to suggest that she work in a strip club in her spare time. A serious actress wants to flash her tits in an artistically appropriate context, where the emotional nuances of her character complement the perkiness of her boobies.

“I wouldn’t worry about it,” I reply. “Do you remember Lisa Bonet who played Old Pop Cosby’s daughter? She got a part in a film called
Angel Heart where her nipples were memorably erect. I’m sure you’ll get similar opportunities in due course. In the meantime, there’s no need to show your tits to anyone but the producer. And then only if he asks.”

“What about the leading man?” she inquires.

“He can show his tits to whomever he wants,” I reply.

“You big hairy fool!” she says chuckling, twisting her finger into my torso before sauntering off with drink in hand.

Thespians can be pretty forward, but beneath the bravado they are riddled with anxieties. I hope I succeeded in soothing this particular young lady, who is an exciting prospect in many respects. Of course there is nothing wrong with an actress showing off her titties provided it’s done in the right way. They must always be a side-order to the main dish, which is the acting and the story, and never be cast in a starring role. If possible, their exposure should take the viewer by surprise.

Here’s an example of that I mean. Imagine a tense psychological thriller in which Jamie Lee Curtis witnesses a murder. She enters her flat in a state of disquiet and runs a bath before returning to her bedroom. She looks at herself in the mirror before pulling off her sweater to reveal a phenomenal pair of puppies. Who needs a bra with breasts that pliant? She walks around the room so you can appreciate their buoyancy before the scene changes abruptly to James Woods in a police station. You leave the cinema having watched a gripping drama with fine acting and an intelligent plot. The display of Jamie Lee’s tatas were merely an extra squirt of cream in the chocolate éclair.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have Mr Ali G at the
Cannes film festival, asking a budding porn star to show him her breasts. Without hesitation, she unfastens the straps of her frock and gaily flourishes her hooters at the camera. Mr G says that girls in Staines make you buy them dinner before doing that, and comments un-profoundly on diverse cultural practices across the globe. All in all, an unedifying spectacle which cheapens and sullies the female bosom.

A vacuous person once said “It’s not what you do but the way that you do it”. Even vacuous people occasionally stumble upon the truth. I worry about talented young actresses being in such a hurry to give audiences a sight of their boobs. The wrong sort of exposure could ruin a promising career and force them into coarser genres of screen entertainment. It’s at times like this that we miss the wise counsel of the late Oliver Reed. I bet he would have had something insightful to say about it.

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We should take a leaf from your compadres and not worry about covering the boobies at all - demystify them and all that.
Do you recommend they wait until they're talented elderly actresses, Mr Bananas?
Mr B, I spent decades believing my body was ugly and have only recently discovered the liberation of exposure. Provided they are not silicon-enhanced and it is not gratuitous nakedness, why shouldnt ladies flash their boobs in sex scenes? We want realism in our films as well as in life itself. Lovers dont tend to sleep in their bras or wander off to the bathroom with the duvet tucked around them. If we demystify nakedness, perhaps there will be less body dysmorphia.

Im sure the lovely Ollie (who was my hero for his performance as Athos in The Three Musketeers) would have been actively encouraging about such a prospect.

PS If I ask nicely, please can I tangle my fingers in your torso hair.
The problem may simply be that Ali G was interviewing at Cannes. I'm sure Borat Sagdiyev would have handled the situation more tactfully.
Reed would probably have said "Awe and respect are two different things, GB". And then request the pornstar clip be played between two halves of a sterling fully-clothed cinematic performance by Ms. Lee Kurtis, to help his brain recoup from the intensity overdrive.

I trust the new year is treating you well, Mr. Bananas?
I would say that I wish all actresses would show their boobs onscreen, but then that would mean I'd have to like the Kathy Bates hot tub scene in About Schmidt.
Sharon Stone's famous interrogation room scene in Basic Instinct was truly unique.
But alas ... a "trend-setter" she was not.
Mmmm. I imagine Lisa Bonet must have been gagging to do anything rather than another series of the Cosby Show.
Lulu: I believe there's a feminist pressure group called The Campaign for Top-free Equality. However there may be a lot of ogling before the mystification beings to clear!

Scarlet: Didn't Diane Keaton do it a film with Jack Nicholson? But she must have done it before at a younger age.

Mrs Cake: I remember a scene where a Japanese man insisted that a western hooker keep her bra on while he got his money's worth. And yes, you may play with my chest hairs as long as you don't tug them too hard.

XL: Borat would have probably rushed to his room for a "hand party".

Rimi: Yes thank you, Miss Sauce, and a Happy New Year to you. I never realised Ollie was capable of such profundity.

Native Minnow: I knew I should have seen that movie. We like our females to have a bit of meat on them.

Joe: And she later said it was done without her consent. Did you know I was the one that put her up to it?

Gadjo: Yes indeed, she had the same fears as the actress in the costume drama.
i had someone tell me (in trying to defend his own indiscretion) that boobs were just fat and no one should have interest in them i sat there with my DD's and turned them in a new direction...a girl does want to be appreciated after all...
Oliver Reed would have made a film in which his leading lady was in a state of undress throughout. He would have called his film Castaway and his leading lady would have been Amanda Donohoe...
Thanks for the background info about Miss Stone.
I had no idea.
You have the gift of suggestion.
Far more controversial than the breast baring is the underarm hair. If you want to get noticed, parade an untrimmed pudenda, or hairy pits like la Bonet. It used to be a big deal to "Ug up" like Charlize Theron in Monster, for example, but audiences are wise to that now.

Here is my suggestion to young actresses wanting to make an impact: go further, reveal skiddy pants, a spotty back or rampant dandruff on screen. This will surely show an audience that you are willing to do anything for your art.
accidental display of tits indeed adds spice and punch to a good story :D

Loved the cream in the eclairs line!

Imagine my surprise, Mr B, when showing your blog to colleagues at work. My, did I blush at the sight of a pair of bosoms on public display. And nipples. I can't remember the last time I saw them. I shall avoid showing M. Defarge this post in case he gets ideas above his station
Daisy: You boobs are greatly appreciated here, Daisy, even though we can only imagine their voluptuous splendour.

Scarlet: Ah yes, Miss Scarlet, Miss Donohoe took the art of prick-teasing to new heights in that movie. Even you might struggle to match her!

Joe: For some reason humans are very trusting of advice from a gorilla.

Misssy: I think it's the element of surprise that makes the difference, whichever area of the body is exposed. It won't create a sensation if people are expecting it.

Nothingman: I would say "incidental" rather than "accidental" but let's not quibble - we agree about the cream in the eclair.

Madame Defarge: I am so sorry, Madame Defarge, I should have warned you that I publish anatomical pictures from time to time. They are always contextually justified and tasteful, I should hope. Might I suggest that Monsieur Defarge be offered a little something on his birthday to keep his pulse healthy?
A particularly rich and stimulating post, GB.

Oliver Reed is memorable, of course, but was he ever capable of an insightful remark? Or any remark?
I do think a carpenter needs a good hammer to bang in the nail.
Oliver Reed. Fairly insightful Mr Inkspot!
Fay Wray and Louise Brooks in fine satin frocks.

I shall say no more for the nonce.
I often deal with tricky situations by thinking 'What would Oliver Reed do?'. It's never done me any harm.*

*Apart from my first visit to Texas, or the incident in Milan involving the waitress..
GB Darling!
Having hair under my arms like that would really bother me, but to each his own.
I don't think I've ever met anyone who didn't like breasts...including women, even if they don't admit it.

All a matter of a little creative interpretation. Mr. B :-)
Did Oliver Reed show his moobs off with anything less than full artistic integrtiy?

On film I mean. In real life he never put 'em away.
Inkspot: Apparently there is a webpage of Oliver Reed quotations - see Miss Rimi's comment.

Scarlet: Are you sure it was an original remark, Miss Scarlet? He spent a lot of time drinking with workmen who renovated his mansion.

Kevin: Do you prefer the women of that era?

Louche: It never did Oliver much harm either. Nor could he remember much of what he did.

Mrs Cheeks: You're the second woman who has admitted liking breasts in these pages, Mrs Cheeks! I assume you prefer them without implants.

Rimi: Thank you, Miss Sauce, I admit the man had hidden depths.

The Jules: Oliver was proud of his moobs. He also exposed his johnson in a wrestling scene with Alan Bates.
How times have changed! I remember the gasp of disbelief when Raymond Baxter said :
'You just press the tit,' on one of his science progs.
It's probably just as well. Wasn't Oliver Reed lactose-intolerant?
Quite so GB! Natural breasts are better.
I'll bet you didn't suspect that about a kitty like me-eh?
Interesting post. I'm afraid I feel rather indifferent to the boobs issue and am having difficulty forming an opinion, but I definitely agree with the "it's not what you do but the way you do it" statement, not just when it comes to flashing one's breasts
Excellent article. I am a big fan of breasts being used to further artistic endeavors.

I also enjoyed Angel Heart, and truth be told, the reason I watched it was to see her breasts. It turns out the film was pretty decent, too. That's the power of breasts.
Its an age old dilemma Mr B , contemporary accounts of Helen of Troy piont to the fact that she had a penchant for whipping her top off and brandishing her hooters whenever she got into a tight spot....and look at all the trouble that caused.
Pi: He was old school though. The word was probably quite innocent when he was a boy.

Kyknoord: I think he was intolerant of any non-alcoholic beverage.

Mrs Cheeks: I am sure your husband is envied by many of both sexes, Mrs Cheeks!

Polly: Haha! I like the idea of someone having no opinion about breast exposure. You obviously reside on a higher spiritual plane, Polly.

Chris: Thank you. I think you would have enjoyed the film even more if you hadn't known about the titty beforehand.

Beast: Is that so? For some reason I always imagined Helen of Troy to have small boobs. They must have been nice, whatever the size.
Mr Bananas , it is said that her celebrated beauty was in fact referring to her remarkable orbs as lets face it , she is greek so will look like a pickled walnut with a moustache
I demand that young actresses not only bare their breasts, but also their buttocks and their glorious lady-parts.

It would surely put a new spin on the phrase 'curtain up'.
i couldn't agree more. i believe it was the tasteful use of breasts that won Gone With the Wind the Best Pic oscar back in '39. present day hollywood needs to step it up.
The thought of pleasuring oneself over that Jamie Lee Curtis film and mistiming so that James Woods is onscreen when the workers leave the tunnel is a deeply unsettling one.
Beast: Don't generalise, Beast, what about the air hostess that the former Greek PM married? She had the whole package.

Lord Likely: But they already do that for you off-stage, m'lud!

Kara: The phrase "gone with the wind" referred to Scarlett brassiere, so we knew what to expect. The element of surprise is crucial.

Mosha: The abrupt change of scene is to discourage that kind of activity, which can be pretty distracting in a cinema.
I'm not sure it is ever a good career move for a serious actress to flash her boobs on celluloid whatever idiotic 'artistic' pretext the director has thought up to let him ogle her baps.
Ha! What I meant was I've got two, look at them every day, it gets boring after some time
EmmaK: Perhaps not a good idea in a Hollywood film, but de riguer in a European movie.

Polly: Hmm. Maybe you should look at them every week rather than every day. And peek at other women's too with their permission!
Yeah man Lisa Bonnet nice buds..

and Jamie Lee- what a pair...
She is SO sexy in High Fidelity. Have you seen it?
Ooohhhh...i love her boobies! Gravity has already taken such a toll on my ladies...and i'm only 31!!!!! Oopps..i mean 35! Heh heh heh
Pure fucking class.
Dave: I see you like to focus on the key issues, Dave.

Ms Smack: She was, but I didn't realise it was her at the time!

Sabrina: You're more like Dolly Parton, Saby!

Jimmy: Lisa? Yeah I suppose she is.
Female tennis players seem to be showing off their assets with greater frequency than any of the actresses, nowadays.
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