Cockroaches and pubic hair
Baby's been a bad gurrl...
There was only a single movie theatre in town and for more than a year they showed but one film: Last Tango in Paris (1972). I suppose the quick turnaround of the tourist trade made such lax scheduling possible (back when kids were left at home and vacationing adults could indulge in "mature" whims), especially since Last Tango was a scandal in its day, the kind of picture chuckled over by the rich and decadent who secretly desired the hedonism it reveled in.
Too young to appreciate it on any level—Maria Schneider seemed too funky to get worked up over—I merely wondered how Brando fucked her with his trousers on, butter or no butter.
About sixteen years later, when I was thirty, I revisited Last Tango to find a completely different film from the one I’d seen before. My twenties were turbulent, filled with personal loss and craziness, so by the time The Big Three-O came around, it was as if Bertolucci and Brando had mined their work directly from my brain. Last Tango was nothing short of a revelation. I finally “got” what the critics had raved about.
Blame it on evolution: fifteen years after that, when I was forty-five, I went back to Last Tango again and found yet another different film. But this time the situation had somehow soured. As I sat there observing the brilliant camerawork, the careful orchestration of color and light, Brando’s measured intensity, and the heated screenplay simmering before me, it all seemed very…ridiculous. As if it were addressing issues men of Brando’s age should have squared away much earlier in their lives—personal issues beyond his character's wife's suicide. He was forty-eight when he made it, a year younger than I am now, fighting demons I’m so glad I don’t have to fight anymore. With the help of low-fat, cholesterol-friendly spreads, of course.