LAST TANGO IN PARIS – spoiler alert
Brando is lying on that mattress, with his face bathed in yellow light, and he talks about how his drunk of a mother taught him to love nature.
The scene lasts for a couple of minutes, and there’s so much peace on his face while talking…
Jeanne: ‘Why don’t you go back to America?’
Paul: ‘Too many bad memories… I guess.’
This is a very beautiful scene. I pause the movie a second time because I want to write about the shadows on his face that his hand makes, and the low tone of his voice, and just a few minutes before he was hitting that door and yelling at his mother in law.
The movie is still paused. This scene is probably the most beautiful one in the whole movie – I don’t know, I still have more than one hour to watch.
Jeanne is telling Paul about her cousin, Paul, the one who was playing the piano with both hands. And now she’s lying on her back, with her left hand raised above her head, and the whole of her left breast is just there, on my laptop screen, like a tomato. Strange comparison, I’m wondering where it’s coming from, I’ve had only cherry tomatoes lately.
She’s changed position now. Still telling stories about her cousin. Now her right breast is visible, totally different angle, definitely not a tomato.
Still, the way this whole scene is shot, the light, the low voices, the reminiscent past, the time stands still, like the image frozen on my laptop screen, let’s stay here forever, don’t play the rest of the movie (I cheated and read the IMDB review, the story doesn’t end well).
Now she’s telling him about the first time she came. And she’s speaking in French, and she’s so sweet with only a black scarf around her neck, and her sexy jeans, and…
Jeanne: ‘Your solitude weighs on me, you know?’
Marlon Brando crying. Just for a moment, as intense as one inhaling after having hold one’s breath…
And then the controversial scene with the butter. I have to admit I didn’t picture it in any way. But I didn’t understand why she cried.
Oh, I forgot to mention the encounter with the lover. And the identical bathrobes.
I rewind back to the light scene (can I say ‘rewind’ if I’m watching a digital file on a computer? I just moved the cursor from 1:15:53 to 55:03). This is more powerful than the butter scene. And Brando is so concupiscent in his indifference.
It’s a movie of images. Her reflection in the bathroom mirror, with her pointy nipples. The music rises in a crescendo, while he takes the razor out of his jacket pocket. He’s gonna cut her throat, one might think. Who cares? Her nipples are the only thing one can think of… In spite of the music.
A thought. Maybe people shouldn’t really get to know each other. I mean, they can come together, tell each other stories, bathe in the light, make love – if there’s chemistry there, and part. Why do I need to know how old you are? Would this make me have another orgasm?
‘I think I’m happy with you’, he tells her. And her face is smiling, her pubic hair is smiling, she’s happy too. See? Without even knowing his name.
Togetherness – Paul and Marcel. They talk about the hair, head massage, exercises for the belly. With the same passion Jeanne was talking about her cousin. There can be passion even in a pointless and boring conversation between a cheated husband and his late wife lover. Bertolucci is good!
‘Go to the movies to see love!’
That’s the Last Tango – love is only for the movies!