Out Tangoing TangoMonday, May 05, 2014
Dirk Bogarde 'The Look'
I remember being surprised, and showing it rather obviously, when Luchino Visconti, reading through the cast of a film which I had just agreed to make with him, said’…and finally I will use the English girl Charlotte Rampling for the young wife who is sent to the concentration camp…’
‘Rampling! But why?’ I remember saying tactlessly. Visconti placed the forefinger and thumb of each hand around his eyes, framing them. ‘For this,’he said. ‘For the Look.’
…Rampling keeps her own sensuality well banked down, but one is constantly aware of the fire below in the lithe walk, the measured tread, the slender length of leg, the curve of the neck and throat and perhaps, most of all, in the meaning and the suggestions which lie behind the Look. Those alone can still a breath. It seems all that is necessary.
Dirk Bogarde, Paris 23.2.87
The above is in the introduction to Charlotte Rampling’s book With Compliments – Charlotte Rampling.
Some who may read this blog every once in a while might know that I have been married since 1968 to the same woman, my Rosemary. But I have often told her that should I get any offer from Rampling I would leave her on the spot. Perhaps I only say this in jest.
The fact is that sometime in 1988 I traveled to Toronto to show my portfolio to magazine art directors. In a remainder bookstore on Yonge Street I found the Rampling book for which I paid something less than $10. It is in my list of my most valuable books with a first edition of The Old Man and the Sea and a British first of Neuromancer. Most serious book collectors would certainly not approve of Rampling being in that list. To hell with them!
For three years now I have vowed not to buy any more books and I order my reading material on my on-line Vancouver Public Library. I direct the VPL to send the books to my local Oakridge branch. My Oakridge branch has one of the most remarkable book/withdrawal/rejects shelf (on wheels). My latest purchase is the Bogarde book for which I paid $1.50. It is in excellent shape and it may have been read once. Novels go for $1.00.
As soon as I got home with my purchase I went to the index and looked up Rampling, Charlotte. Here is what I found:
In a letter to Bee Gilbert (Photographer, screenwriter and producer. She met Dirk for The Fixer (1969) when she was living with Ian Holm.):
…Honestly…during my fifth simulated orgasm on the film with Cavani [she directed The Night Porter] in Rome…I suddenly wondered what the hell I was doing at 53 with my back on the floor, my flies undone, being straddled by beloved Miss Rampling..with an entire Italian Crew watching and eating pizza. Nothing I had ever done in Rank prepared me for that …and it also hurt my elbows most damnably. So I have decided not to do anything else until I REALLY feel so dotty about it i cant resist. But the shit of it all…the hotel rooms, early calls, hanging about, arguing about continuity, avoiding Press…faking Fucks…BASTA! We have apparently out Tangoed ‘Tango’…I cant say that makes me happy…but it might make some lolly. I ADORED Miss Cavani…I used to hit her so that she would cry..so thatI could cuddle her. Kinky? Betcha…Love end of page. D.
OOOO(Hugs for Ian.) For you XXXXXXXXXXXXXX and two OO’s