Alexis Zorba: God has a very big heart but there is one sin he will not forgive. [slaps table] If a woman calls a man to her bed and he will not go.
I viewed two films last night. The films are Wicked Woman and Zorba the Greek. They are in general both particularly excellent films. One is a 1950s film noir and the other is a cultural film from the 1960s.
Each film captures a time in history. A snapshot of how things may have been. Characters in both films are believable, realistic while also having a diabolical and magical edge.
As a woman a motif came forward that bumped up against my conscious feminine. Both films are from a winning male psychology. The men can fuck up, screw up, cheat, lie and even kill. They get away with it and so a happy ending for them. The women on the other hand always get the short end of the stick. They get let down, lied to, abandoned, used, and killed.
In the film Wicked Woman Beverly Michaels as Billie Nash is an independent woman who is on the move to find a place to put her roots. Roots within a man and a place in the sun. Billie keeps playing One Night in Acapulco by Buddy Baker, on the jute box. She is tall, smart, and has a graceful walk. Men are after her the whole time. The one time she focuses in on a man he takes her, and they plan a sinister plot that falls through. Richard Egan as Matt Bannister gets off the cheating hook and Billie is blackmailed, seduced and must split on a bus. She must beat it.
She is the Wicked Woman that gets the blame. Billie is smart and helpful, yet the man traps are all around her. As a bar server she is wise with her words as every man tried to get her. She even helps her victim drink all the booze she wants even though her husband says no. This bar did not have mixed drinks only shots and beer. I like Billie’s character and understand her. As a woman I cannot tell you how many times I had to take the short end of the stick and leave on a train or bus for something I did not do. Even if she is guilty so is Matt and his drunk ass wife. Even Matt’s alcoholic wife sides with her husband over her friendship with Billie. I think that the two dames in this film should have been wise by telling Matt to go screw. They could have sold the joint and headed for Mexico. To lie in the sun a little bit, drink and have fun. As Billie said. “They like women with Blonde hair and light skin” in Mexico.
Anthony Quinn as Alexis Zorba is our male Zorba the Greek. The film is a cultural phenomenon. It is what it is in an absurd way with a very excellent soundtrack. The hard edge Greek patriarchy is saturated with tradition. A village that is self-sufficient with a thread of history and honor. Every man in this film is an asshole except the fool. Zorba is a creative natural genius that has a compassion that is appropriate at times. He teaches Sirtaki to Alan Bates as Basil. A wonderful Greek dance which shows how Zorba relieves his pain of living life while confronting death. Charming in a way.
Lola, Madame Hortense, and the Widow are parts of this film if only indirectly put among the friendship between Basil and Zorba. It is correct when Zorba tells Basil that the whole town of men are jealous, and all want the widow. A lovely young thing. Kind of like all the men wanting Billie in the Film Wicked Woman. In this case the lovely young woman is trapped, stoned and then has her throat cut. Premeditated murder by a whole community of men and their old crone women. They are jealous of her youth and beauty. Madame Hortense dies in this film thinking she is married to Zorba to cover up for his earthy affair with a younger woman named Lola. Regardless of this unbelievable cruelty the men dance away their pain.
These two films are part of the winner male psychology. As a young girl growing up, I had this crap dumped into my sensitive unconscious psyche. This kind of male world. I am glad I am wise to it now. I can enjoy these films for their place in history. Yet, I wanted to affirm they are playing against the feminine rules.
Man, at bar, “How about having a drink with me?”
Billie, “I can’t it’s against the rules.”