According to production designer Lawrence Paull, her punk outfits and make-up were inspired by a new wave calendar: “In late 1980, all of us threw a Christmas party in the art department,” Paull explains. “There were presents scattered everywhere. One was a wonderful calender of air-brushed, stylized portraits of new wave fashions – heavy rouge, different hair colors, features and clothes heavily accented. Sometime later Ridley stumbled across that calender and asked if he could borrow it for awhile. It wasn’t long before he had his head together with Charles Knode, who is one of the most resourceful costume designers I’ve ever met. The punk look then became the style for Pris and for some of the background extras on the street.”
Directed by Genet in 1950, based loosely on his novel The Miracle of the Rose and with the rumored assistance of Jean Cocteau, the film was impounded in France when it was first screened and it became circulated as gay porn for French intellectual homosexuals in the years following. The silent b&w film shows the encounters two men in a French prison have, their dreams and fantasies, and the voyeurism of a sadomasochistic guard who is titillated by their relationship, spies on them and abuses one of them because of jealousy.
How odd/weird/amusing (or alarming, depending on your viewpoint) is it to think that Un chant d’amour (and Vapors and Anger’s films and Jack Smith’s as well) can now be watched on YouTube?
“He’s a very talented director but I’d probably hit him if I met him now.
He was interviewing me for a documentary that was being made about me in New York. I was only 17, it was my first time in the US and I was very nervous.
When they told me this influential new comic wanted to interview me I thought, ‘It’ll be OK, he’ll just ask me stuff like where I got my name Twiggy and what I liked about America.’ But he didn’t.
I remember him smiling and coming out with, “So who’s your favourite philosopher?” I started to panic and my stomach turned over.
I replied that I didn’t know any philosophers and he came back with words to the effect of, “Oh come on, everyone has a favourite philosopher!”
I told him I’d read Great Expectations and David Copperfield at school, which, by the way, I’d just left. The interview then ended abruptly with him saying: “Oh I can’t interview her!”
It was a horrible experience. I can kind of laugh about it now but would never ever do that to anyone, especially someone younger than myself. I’ve never forgotten it.”
— Twiggy on Woody Allen