Movie of the Year: 1973
Last Tango in Paris
This week we discuss The Last Tango in Paris! Can a movie this uncomfortable to talk about be our Movie of the Year?
Last Tango in Paris is the story of Paul, an extremely recently widowed man whose relationship with his wife was complicated, and Jeanne, a 19 year old who comes to find herself completely dominated and enthralled by him. Meeting by chance one day, they enter into a sexual relationship in which their first encounters are totally anonymous and pretty upsetting to at least one viewer.
Jeanne is both parts repulsed and drawn to Paul, and she is also seeing Tom, a young, boring film maker, who seems to think you can do whatever you want if you’re making a movie at the same time. Jeanna becomes increasingly desperate to flee from Paul as he becomes increasingly sure that he is in love with her until she shoots and kills him. But all this has been largely lost in the cultural memory of this movie, replaced by one scene where Paul rapes Jean using butter as lubricant.
Speaking of the infamous scene, actress Maria Schneider later said “They only told me about it before we had to film the scene and I was so angry. I should have called my agent or had my lawyer come to the set because you can’t force someone to do something that isn’t in the script, but at the time, I didn’t know that.” She has also said that this scene traumatized her and stole her youth.
Is it possible to reckon with this scene and the damage it caused and then move past that to also say anything meaningful about the movie?
Would this scene kinda ruin the movie even without it hurting Schneider as it did?
We get into it.
Abortion is healthcare
While Americans overwhelmingly support the right of an individual to make their own decisions about abortion, unfortunately, that right is no longer protected everywhere in the U.S.
The Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade on June 24th.
Abortion is a basic healthcare need for the millions of people who can become pregnant. Everyone should have the freedom to decide what’s best for themselves and their families, including when it comes to ending a pregnancy. This decision has dire consequences for individual health and safety, and could have harsh repercussions for other landmark decisions.
Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health and independence of all Americans. Even if you live in a state where abortion rights are upheld, access to safe medical procedures shouldn’t be determined by location, and it shouldn’t be the privilege of a small few.
You can help by donating to local abortion funds. To find out where to donate for each state, visit donations4abortion.com.
If you or someone you know needs help, or if you want to get more involved, here are 5 resources:
1. Shout Your Abortion is a campaign to normalize abortion.
2. Don’t Ban Equality is a campaign for companies to take a stand against abortion restrictions.
3. Abortion.cafe has information about where to find clinics.
4. PlanCPills.org provides early at-home abortion pills that you can keep in your medicine cabinet. And five.
5. Choice.crd.co has a collection of these resources and more.
You can also find links to all of these resources and more info at podvoices.help