Anna Karina in Pierre le Fou


Maria Schneider Last Tango in Paris. Bertolucci finally gets around to listening to what she has said for years.

Is everyone FINALLY getting around to understanding what Maria Schneider has said OVER AND OVER for years. That Bertolucci and Brando were violators and predators for the sake of "art" . Art house it was not. Not for her. It was a real blow to Maria and caused her to spin out for years until she met her soulmate from Italy. Watch her in The Passenger to get a sense of the real Maria at that age, not this artifice written for a boy.

A Stone of truth and rarity,
Given freely with sincerity,
Few believe or understand,
For evidence they do demand;
So here it is, as you ask,
Truth for you I do unmask;
Nature's simple, certain way,
Gives life and Hope out of decay;
For those who hear Nature's call,
Stand up strong and stand up tall;

From "Senses of Cinema", March 2011.

For most, the focus for Maria Schneider is on a film that is forty years old, on a role that was written by Bernardo Bertolucci for a young boy but was acted by a nineteen-year-old French woman. Can you imagine that film? Maria discovered the original story in Italy. A film that in auteur conceit could have been the second leg of a trilogy on fascism: The Conformist (1970), Last Tango in Paris(1972), 1900 (1975).
In Last Tango Jeanne (Maria Schneider) confronts her sadistic attacker Paul (Marlon Brando) and shoots him. Schneider sums it up: “I must say that the murder in the end of the film did me much good”.
Few journalists having a field day with the film’s excesses knew of her work, her life, or her thoughts. David Thomson, in a recent piece in The New Republic entitled “Remembering Maria Schneider: Did film ruin the controversial actress’s life?”, (1) decided to impose his very own personal reading of a photograph of Schneider at age fifty and anticipate the reaction of male gazers (“gulping”) in pimply faced geek immaturity at their goddess. Even though in the end, Thomson tips his hat to Maria, the patronizing gesture is as fresh as fermented Roquefort.
How can Thomson read so much into a picture or a life of someone he never met, having seen a few (mostly English language) films out of the fifty Schneider made? This is par for the majority of Anglophile publications with catchy tabloid titles and short, shallow obituaries.
Maria Schneider worked almost every year of her nearly-40 year career. Thomson and many other journalists would have us believe that “film killed her”; that after her debut in Last Tango, which made her become a drug addict, she never reached the same pinnacle of acclaim. That pinnacle for Thomson’s “male gazers” is the voyeuristic love of explicit sex. The film with a graphic rape for the “gulpers”. Was it film or paparazzi that “killed” Maria, if the metaphor is to be used? According to the actress, she was terrified of the instant success the film brought her and used drugs to escape. But by the 1980’s that was over. She met and stayed with the same woman to her death.
On reflection she would say, “I felt very sad because I was treated like a sex symbol, I wanted to be recognized as an actress, and the whole scandal and aftermath of the film turned me a little crazy and I had a breakdown”.
Maria continually worked as a fine actress with a solid and productive career. Even if you don’t read French, it is not hard to appreciate Schneider’s impressive lineage of work.
I interviewed Maria Schneider two years before her fiftieth birthday in Paris. She was beautiful and radiant, and the guest of honour of the Festival International de Films de Femmes de Créteil et du Val de Marne (Créteil Film de Femmes). We saw her films, and heard her words. They drown out the cacophony of the ignorant. They need to be remembered: how film is a tracing of memory, how women must be recognized as actors and directors. How senior actors must be supported when they are unemployed and impoverished. She was vice-president of “La Roue Tourne” (2) for this purpose.
In my interview of the time, I asked her how she felt about the response of the French press to her being honoured at Créteil? She replied:
Very interesting. Because finally after I’ve been doing this now for thirty years, finally I find some cheerful articles, and you know people kind of understand me better now today than they used to. Because the media threw stones at me. (3) When you read the articles back in the 70s they were terrible back then. And now seeing the kind of choices I made, they kind of understand me better. And respect me better, maybe it’s the age, I don’t know. [laughter] (4)
In the USA there is still stone throwing. But we know better with every stone unturned. Richard Corliss wrote about Schneider in Time, comparing her life work with two other actors Tura Satana and Lena Nyman. Compressing their life work into a singular film and shallow obituary. The article is entitled “Dead Sex Kittens: Farewell to Three Icons of Movie Eroticism”. (5)
Contrast sensationalized articles with interviews of Schneider and you will discover the truth that “male gazers” and “gulpers” ignore. Directors, writers, artists and actors knew her real work, knew her capability, in France and abroad. The yellow journalism of Corliss, Thomson and several mainstream film critics speaks for itself. Some journalists were kinder but almost everyone singles out Last Tango as the tour de force of Schneider’s career, a film Maria did not enjoy making, even less with director Bernardo Bertolucci, for the unrealistic dialogue and scenes. He fired her for 1900, which in hindsight was fortuitous for Schneider who said that after Last Tango the “sweaty palmed” Italian director never made anything of substance. In a twist, his conceits in the film – costume, makeup, mis en scéne, are his failures: all unfairly accredited to Schneider. A fully clothed Brando emerges unscathed for the wear and tear.
It has been a sad time since the news of Maria Schneider’s death was announced on February 3rd. Few realized she was so ill with terminal cancer. The comments about how her looks had changed from the young woman of the film that gave her international attention were unkind. It was as if she was supposed to stay forever young in real life as in cinema. Like most young women when she matured, she was not interesting.
The pictures that contrasted the young Maria with the mature Maria in fact were taken when she was inducted into the Ordre de Arts et Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) in July 2010, a mere six months before her death. Some of them featured Fréderic Mitterand, her co-star in Jacques Rivette’s Merry Go Round (1977), who is now the Minister of Culture in France. Maria was impeccably dressed in a smart blue coat, knee length, with blue slacks and crisp white blouse. On her jacket, the medal of knighthood was pinned.
Maria looked tired and must have mustered the strength to be present and honoured, which she did with bravery. She was hailed by Fréderic Mitterand, in a letter read at the ceremony at the Ministry of Culture in Paris. Few journalists outside France covered the story. The photographs from the event received worldwide currency only with her death.
This was the French order that Brigitte Bardot refused to be inducted into in 1985. Brigitte Bardot was Maria Schneider’s confidante and took the vagabond actress, the daughter of actor and colleague Daniel Gélin, under her wing at age fifteen. She introduced her to people in the cinema and modelling world. The young Maria was impressed that already at only age thirty-three Bardot was planning on quitting pictures, which she did six years later.
Mitterand’s letter reads:
Dear Maria Schneider
You embody, you too, a facet of the modern woman and her freedom. You’re an audacious actress, able to play all roles, even including your own: thus we believe that you uncover who you are, or rather as the film makes you become in the subtle abyss of implementation –realized by Bertrand Blier ten years ago in Les acteurs [Actors, 2000] where you hang out with many other “stars” of “the French seventh art”. However, it is primarily through international productions that you have risen in the cinematic landscape and in the heart of each. At just twenty years, Last Tango in Paris was for you your first waltz in this brilliant world, too brilliant, perhaps, because of mysteries and appearances. Alongside the great Marlon Brando, you have “dared” to violate the proprieties of the time, and you deserved an Oscar nomination, along with all the insults and all the successes still attached to the scandal and the advances that art and artists know so often which take on the public of their time …
Exponential artist, you hug the greatest legends of cinema.
Directors like Bertolucci, or in Antonioni’s Profession: reporter [The Passanger, 1975], like Bulle Ogier, Rivette, Garrel, Schroeter or Fassbinder. You share the stage with Jack Nicholson and many other giants. Altogether, no fewer than fifty films in just forty years. It is remarkable that this sustainability has earned you the honour, in 2001, of being showcased in Creteil’s Festival International du Film de Femmes. Many are your appearances, both film and television, which marked the spirits and touched a wide audience, as in Les nuits fauves[Savage Nights, Cyril Collard] in 1992. Your success has been truly extraordinary. Always free, you do not hesitate to reject proposals when they lock you into the category of “Lolita”, or when you do not feel comfortable with auteurs, as prestigious as they are, such as Luis Bunuel and Joseph Losey. Thus, you knew that it goes beyond the interests of your career to convey an authentic artistic personality. Always bold, you have roles that have marked a radiant spontaneity, an explosive vitality as in the Last Tango, or in the role of the prostitute in Daniel Duval’s La dérobade [1979].
You too have been an artist that I am pleased today to honour as singular icon of today’s woman. Your presence, your voice hoarse and sensual, which seems to express wonderful powers of revolt, you were a model of emancipation for more than a generation. That too, I think, is the meaning of film, the image of our potential set before our eyes which reaches out to help us become ourselves. And you have succeeded, more than others, and embody our freedom, with a tangible vitality and especially as of women at a time of exploration and conquest.
To this very imperfect sketch of your personality, I would add, in fact, finally, “commitment”, not only because you give yourself on the screen, the rebellious woman, as I suggested in a few instances, but also because you’re in solidarity with your profession, as evidenced by your investment in the association “La Roue Tourne”, created a little over half a century, in 1957, for older artists whom fortune has overshadowed … It is also, as you know, a cause particularly dear to me and to which I wished to give my full support by participating in the Gala d’Union of Artists recently held in Paris at the Cirque d’Hiver.
For all of your background and your fighting, for your charm and emotion that you inspire in the heart of each spectator, it gives me great pleasure, dear Maria Schneider, on behalf of the French Republic, to make you a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.
-Frédéric Mitterand, July 1, 2010.
At the quiet funeral held at Èglise Saint-Roch, Brigitte Bardot was present through her moving letter, the woman who called Schneider every Sunday during her life. Among Maria’s friends in attendance was the director Bertrand Blier, actress Claudia Cardinale, the writer Jean-Henri Servat, artistic director Dominique Besnehard, actress Farida Rahouadj, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Culture, Christophe Girard, and actress Andrea Ferreol.
Maria’s partner (compagne) since the 1980s, Pia, spoke at the memorial. “Ciao Bella, Ciao Maria” and saluted her for her bravery in the long illness that took her life.
Maria’s ashes were to be taken from Père Lachaise to later be scattered at La Roche de Vierge in Biarritz. It may seem pointless to react to the media as if there is any conscience involved in paparazzi and yellow journalists who make a living by exploiting celebrities with a click of a camera or a quickly written paragraph dripping with sensationalism.
Maria Schneider was in the limelight from the beginning to the end. How she was remembered in France was very moving, where she received the genuine appreciation and affirmation she was seeking her entire career.
Salut Maria!


  1. David Thomson, “Remembering Maria Schneider: Did film ruin the controversial actress’s life?”, The New Republic(February 8, 2011). Available on line. 
  2. Organisation established in 1957 by French film industry colleagues to aid actors whose lives and careers had fallen on hard times. See “La Roue Tourne” 
  3. Such as a piece in Time, March 3, 1975. 
  4. For full interview see: Interview with Maria Schneider 2001 © Moira Sullivan, Movie Magazine International 
  5. Richard Corliss, “Dead Sex Kittens: Farewell to Three Icons of Movie Eroticism”, Time (February 10, 2011). 


Racial discrimination in election process rampant in 2016 election

Since Obama won in 2012 the conservative backlash against POC who are traditionally Democratic voters succeeded in changing voting rights established in 1965 in the courts. It allowed conservative states to peel back voter rights made law over 50 years ago.This is not a well known fact and maybe it doesn't matter to CNN America that racial discrimination was rampant in this election. POC voters who supported Hillary Clinton as they had Obama were blocked from voting. Polls closed - 400 in Texas- 60% of the counties in Louisiana and in Arizona all counties closed one. This was done to specifically target young people and minorities. The Voting Acts Right of 1965 prevented states and counties primarily in the south to seek approval before making changes to their polling locations. The Supreme Court eradicated the coverage formula to prevent certain jurisdictions from "egregious voting discrimination" in 2013. The George W Bush appointed Chief Justice John Roberts Jr proclaimed it was because "current conditions" did not warrant it. In North Carolina, 66,000 black voters were affected by changes in voting locations. It is clear that "conditions" still warrant the full protection of the law and will always warrant it in to prevent racist voting practices that are rampant in parts of the US.

New York Times: Voters Abandoned by the Court November 8, 2016

Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook to get even with ex girlfriend

Mark and dating women 
Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook went beyond dating services to hospital donations in San Francisco. Obama met with Zuckerberg in 2008 in a job investment plan that has brought about the tech revolution, gentrification, exodus of POC, exodus of queer women, low income , rent controlled renters. How can such a geek do so much to the world to create faux human connection?

David Finch's "The Social Network" reveals what a socially awkward and immature jerk Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was, how FB started out to ridicule his ex girlfriend (who fortunately ditched him for good), and then became a dating service for upper class heterosexual co-eds at Ivy League US colleges. Now FB is still pretty much used the same way to announce who is single and who is into dating women and men. Any other ambition was never the plan, but of course how well we use it to network beyond that is up to us. Consider yourself served!

Electoral college established to protect slaveholders of the US

Of course, and just to be sure, Section 5 of the Voter Rights Act of 1965 was repealed that was created to prevent discrimination against POC to insure white supremacy.
In the early morning hours after Election Day, in 2012, Donald Trump tweeted: At the time Trump falsely believed that Mitt Romney had won the popular vote and lost the…

Corporate exit polls mask Voter Rights Act of 1965 discrimination

We Still Do not Know Exactly which genders, which races, which classes voted for President. As of November 19, 2016 the same exit poll statistics are ONLY based on 25,537 voters! The data has been collected by CORPORATE MEDIA. Those taking the poll have followed the same protocol since 1984 in regard to race and gender.
According to corporate media it was WHITE WOMEN who cost Hillary the election. Let white women bare the burden of this election: not Voter Rights Act discrimination that prevented People of Color from voting in the south and jurisdictions where there has been historic discrimination at the polls. Nor corporate poll taking. Nor a 10% increase in white male Republicans who voted against Hillary. Exit polls are used for political agenda. It's better to blame white women for this election even if the same percentage of white women did not vote for Obama. Read the fine points to the current exit poll that is used to proclaim election results.
"Data for 2016 were collected by Edison Research for the National Election Pool, a consortium of ABC News, The Associated Press, CBSNews, CNN, Fox News and NBC News. The voter survey is based on questionnaires completed by 24,537 voters leaving 350 voting places throughout the United States on Election Day including 4,398 telephone interviews with early and absentee voters.
In 2012, 2008 and 2004, the exit poll was conducted by Edison/Mitofsky; in 1996 and 2000 by Voter News Services; in 1992 by Voter Research and Surveys; and in earlier years by The New York Times and CBS News.
Direct comparisons from year to year should factor in differences in how questions were asked. Race and sex were determined by interviewers in surveys before 1984. Independent or third-party candidates are not shown.
Population scaling is representative of the number of voters in each category.
*Change is shown in percentage points. When comparable data are available, this measure combines the change in Republican support and the change in Democratic support from the previous election." 


American Horror Story: Election Diary November 8, 2016

Sarah Palin and Donald Trump

Reaction to the election

November 8, 2016  The day begins great!

Donald Trump Gets Booed as He Arrives at His Polling Place

Before the polls open:
Wishful thinking --even Hillary knew the race was fragile.

Je suis confiant que Hillary Clinton va gagner l'élection aux Etats-Unis, le seul candidat possible avec 16 ans d'expérience à la Maison Blanche

We need an education in media literacy! 

Realize that only 20% of Americans targeted for 10th grade educations or less is NOT a mandate vote. When the incumbent demeans immigrants, women, religion, minorities because "the Democrats just want to give away money to people who don't work" they have not understood that corporate (white) power want Republicans in power getting corporate welfare. I have thought about this all day. To compare the incumbent to anyone other than a corporate politician on corporate welfare (no taxes) who went after a select group in the south and rust belt -- the people he claims he "got to know" during the campaign is to make him bigger than what he is . I predict those Republicans who distanced themselves from him will vote along with Democrats and defeat every bigoted idea that has come out of his demented brain. Don't give up the fight!

The incumbent received  $3 billion (or more) in free advertising. Who didn't see that. Of course we saw that. The running banner under Hillary's coverage about Trump. Every day in the news about Trump. That is how fascists are elected. He is referred to as a Nationalist.  Corporate media promoted a  leader that made money for them.

Is every person who voted for Trump is a racist, sexist, homophobe, xenophobe all rolled into one? There is no other way to look at it than asking this question. Bigotry has been masked and disguised in other elections. In this one it is clear. 20% to 30% (generous) of the voters represent white male supremacy the folks that "made America great" in events such as the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the eradication and massacre of Native Americans. The equivalents can be found in fascism around the world in all the "Great Wars". You cannot escape the truth this time. You cannot be in so much pain that you perpetuate all the atrocities of the past. The bigot is the real monster. It is the real American Horror Story.

Trump elected by ca 20% -30% of voters. 40% voted in 2012 Everything Trump does has to have a senatorial and congressional vote. There must be resistance to his ideas, not defeatism. Otherwise those ideas ( as noted in the election) will flourish.

"Wall Street could see its biggest ever fall when trading opens on Wednesday with futures pointing to a 800-point drop – more than 5%. "
Oh crap - who cares?

It really can happen here: The novel that foreshadowed Donald Trump’s authoritarian appeal 

IT CAN?  Has one bigot that much real  power! .

"Hillary concedes to Donald". 
Four dismal words for an American electorate flying blind. Sad to see such ignorance in the US. A real sad day for the country. The dumbing down of America with the ignorant chanting "USA USA USA" . 
"Bye bye American pie drove our Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry."
The American people have HARDLY spoken and A MINORITY HAS elected a leader with such a flawed myopic vision that is so horribly unqualified to serve THE USA. Those who voted for him, you deserve him.
News of a Trump imminent victory is NOT going to make US or the World Economy great again!


Meanwhile in California we have good news.....unfortunately we aren't the entire US.
Kamala Harris breaks a color barrier with her U.S. Senate win


Samhain high priestess Soledad Miranda

Soledad Miranda (Spain), Samhain high priestess appearing in Vampyros Lesbos - (Las Vampiras) as Countess Nadine Carody. Directed by Jesús Franco (1971). Firstvampire film with a lesbian. Her role as a powerful vampire has such presence and evokes the charisma of male leads such as Béla Lugosi and Christopher Lee. Miranda was on her way to a big career and died in an auto accident at 27.


'Internet Archive' celebrates 20 years in San Francisco!

Millenials, Baby Boomers and X Generation congregate to celebrate INTERNET ARCHIVE 20th birthday! 
A day to be grateful for the technical advances of San Francisco. 
© Moira Jean Sullivan — at Internet Archive.

CinéFemme is an archive of writing about women and film on the Internet. Time to celebrate a San Francisco organization with two women on its executive staff (could be more, must be more) celebrating 20 years of outstanding information in Internet preservation.

Internet Archive 20 years! This huge church for the Christian Scientists were taken over by Internet Archives 20 years ago on Clement and Funston. The place was packed with volunteers, engineers and webcrawlers - Millennials, Generation X and a few Baby Boomers who were out there before any of them. A day to be proud of the creative achievements of visionaries in San Francisco. 
The New Memory Palace
Speaker Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky
“Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine.”
– Alan Turing’s biopic, The Imitation Game, 2014
© Moira Jean Sullivan
 — at Internet Archive.
A meme --an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation. The Internet Archives can find MEMES!
© Moira Jean Sullivan
 — at Internet Archive.
KILROY was there on M.A.S.H. new to Millenials
© Moira Jean Sullivan
 — at Internet Archive.

An old MEME! A meme --an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation. The Internet Archive can find MEMES! HA HA HA It must be So! © Moira Jean Sullivan — at Internet Archive.
Brewster Kahle, Founder & Digital Librarian, Internet Archive. One of the Baby Boomers next to a Millenial.
© Moira Jean Sullivan
 — at Internet Archive.

Websites found by Internet Archive --each cluster is petabytes of users.
© Moira Jean Sullivan
 — at Internet Archive.

The Internet Archive find clusters of websites --here is Facebook and all those on the site on a given day --the outgrowth is Instagram! Most popular sites in world.
© Moira Jean Sullivan
 — at Internet Archive.
Internet Archive builds a small figure for every one who works there for three years. The Chinese knew what they were doing with their Terracotta Warriors to protect themselves in the afterlife. The Wayback Machine is just that!
Amazing to see them all in the pews of the former Church of Christian Science.
© Moira Jean Sullivan
 — at Internet Archive.
Jason Scott Free-Range Archivist and Software Curator © Moira Jean Sullivan — at Internet Archive.