“For [Aleister] Crowley, who was a painter himself, the artist ranked above the magician on the totem pole of illuminism, and he considered poetry and art as precious tools for transmutimg one’s innermost psychic visions…” Pg. 92 Wormwood Star, Spencer Kansa
Magic is fleeting as is a synchronicity. In contrast to this is the focus upon something that is fleeting. Art and poetry often catch the essence of a fleeting beauty, feeling or moment. The continuity of fleeting moments seem like a continuous projection of a single life. As a kid I use to draw little images in the corner of a large pad of paper. Flipping through the fleeting images we have animation. For me, life is animation for our growing soul.
John Baggs Jr.: Would you call yourself a “Champagne cocktail-sippin’, cock-teasin’, downtown barroom whore?
Maggie Paul: [bursting into tears] Second generation!
At that time in my life I never looked at the possibility of poverty and prostitution as a way for a woman to be independent
We saw this film in 1973. We applied the usual antics of youth getting into films when we were all under age for an “R” rated film. It was the same year that the Exorcist came out. Most likely we viewed this film at the Fallbrook Theater that still had a large Cinemascope screen. I know it is the same theater where we saw the Exorcist. This is before greed stepped in, before they started butchering the theaters up into multi-viewing-rooms, at least this one.
John Baggs Jr.: We love each other.
Maggie Paul: Love is shit with sugar on it.
Basically, the film is about a sailor, John Baggs Jr., on “Cinderella liberty” due to a boil on his behind. He gets time off and in the process the Navy loses his files. He then goes on patrol street duty. He also does what sailors do he finds a prostitute, Maggie Paul. The film is very entertaining and made a big impression of me at 15. It has a good feel to it.
At that time in my life I never looked at the possibility of poverty and prostitution as a way for a woman to be independent. Also, I learned that the world of a sailor is a tough life. Somehow these two characters find each other and fall in love. There is more to the film though, it is also about Maggie’s child Doug. Imagine a punk kid, who drinks beer to ease his toothache, winning John’s heart over. It is true and then the three of them forming a family especially in such an unpredictable environment. Who would know such a sweet family would develop?
The sleazy bar scenes, playing pool, and the colorful and cleaver dialogues; are brilliantly married with this film’s soundtrack. It has that ‘70s thing going on…the real deal!!
James Caan and Marsha Mason in Cinderella Liberty (1973)
The first X rated film I viewed was during the early 1970s at the Movies of Tarzana in Tarzana California. The first theater in our area to have multiple viewing rooms. As youngsters we would buy one ticket and watch as many films as we could. This meant being smart and sneaking into films that we were not allowed to see. Midnight Cowboy is the first X rated film that we viewed. The Midnight Cowboy’s soundtrack made a big impression on my young mind and heart.
The entire film influenced us as teenagers growing up with a mixture of the most decadent of 70s and 60s mentality. Music and sexuality influenced our actions. The musical score in this film embellished a beautiful thematic guide and is arousing and true to each scene of this film.
Even today when I hear a song somewhere from the soundtrack of Midnight Cowboy, I know which scene it complements. I just do not get the same experience from films these days. It is an intense film and at the time ‘way-over’ my head. It opened my eyes to love, despair and hopelessness, where our naïve dreams of youth don’t always manifest as we hope they will.
Next in this film review series from the
1970s are Looking For Mr. Goodbar and Cinderella Liberty
The smoke filled her brown VW bug from her little pipe. It was something I never tried before. We then entered the theater to go see the 1977 horror thriller Suspira. “Come on Holly you will love it. It is the scariest movie you will ever see.” “Lynn where am I?”
Lynn’s house is between the 6th and 7th hole of the local Golf course. It is a private golf course, but this did not stop the kids from playing on it. We lived in the San Fernando Valley where we played football, baseball, and golf every day. Saturday and Sundays, we sold Lemonade. I experienced many years as a child growing up with my friend Lynn. I lived a mile up the hill from her. I think the best times together were when we were adolescents. We did not see each other much as teenagers but Lynn did drive us to school in her brown VW Bug. We would often listen to the band Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young on the car radio.
As we grew older Lynn became competitive for men, friends, and drugs. She came between many of my new friends. She would hang out with the bullies at school sometimes as well. She had an exotic look about her. The long dark hair and dark skin made guys like her. This was extremely irritating to other girls. Yet, we were very close as kids and we played with the flowers and walked home from school together on rainy days. Then there were the foggy mornings when we could not see two feet in front of us. The smell of eucalyptus trees scented our stories as we searched through the morning. Life was so easy then. All we had to do was to get to school on time. I wonder how we did this while telling scary stories on the way to fourth grade.
One scary thing we liked to do had our fortunes told by the Ouija board. We asked it everything. We knew when we were to be married, how many children we would have, and when we would die. The Ouija board even materialized a dog. My family once had a dog name Peepers. She died a few years earlier. She was a red collie. One day while playing with the Ouija board our hands held tight on top of the planchette, the indicator below slowly spelled out Peepers on the Ouija Board. Lynn and I were spooked about this. We never contacted a person or animal that died. Later, I walked home from Lynn’s house to mine. It was just getting dark, so I ran most of the way. To play it safe I sometimes would jump from the street and roll-down the hill if I heard a car coming. No cars passed as I walked home. Instead, I saw a red collie. She looked very much like Peepers. She licked my hand and followed me home. I felt safe with her. She was sweet. When I arrived at the back door of my house my mother let me in.
“Holly, whose dog?”
“I don’t know Mom; doesn’t she look like Peepers?”
My mom tried to shoo her away. I went and got a bowl of water and put it outside. I looked at that dog from the window all night. The red collie was gone by morning never to be seen again.
The funniest dog adventure Lynn and I had been when a pet bulldog escaped form a neighbor’s home. We were eight or ten years old. The hills around our neighborhood were open and there were lots of trees to climb and dirt hills to dig in. We happened to be digging in the dirt when a pet bulldog came at us. Lynn and I ran away from it. I fell to the ground on a big dirt hill. Lynn pulled me up and went underneath me. I pulled her up and went underneath her. We did this as we were screaming and grabbing at each other and hitting each other. The dog was racing towards us and barking. I guess it would have been something to see at a distance. Years after this event, even when times get rough between us, this story always made us laugh. I can still see Lynn screaming and running away from the bulldog. She passed away a few years ago before her 50th birthday but this story still brings good cheer to me.
Lynn and I irritated our older brothers. They build go-carts that were so cool. We followed our brothers everywhere with their go-carts. One day they took the go-carts up to the hill we kids called big bruiser, which is the biggest hill that all the boys dared each other on. Lynn’s brother Mark and my brother Gus would not even acknowledge we were there because they knew we wanted to drive their go-carts down the hill. They kept saying no.
“Come on Mark…just one ride down big bruiser” Lynn said. “Yes, Gus you both got to let us ride them!!” I said.
We must have watched our brothers go down big bruiser fifty times. Then I guess they got tired and let us ride the go-carts. We were only half-way up the hill when we started out. They yelled,
“Ready set Go!”
Bang and roll and it was over. Lynn and I wiped out. It only took a few minutes, but our blood was everywhere. Lynn and I went home crying. We totaled their go-carts. That was the end of it. Gus and Mark did not talk to us for weeks.
The magic and mystery I felt growing up with Lynn is still with me. Autumn is her favorite time of year. I think Lynn lived her life exactly the way she wanted to. She always was joking with me even at eight years old.
“Here Holly try this. Put your nose up to it and smell it.”