Maria Schneider Portrait

One of my favorite films is the 1972 French drama “Last Tango In Paris.” First saw it during the early 90s on VHS. I currently own the DVD.

The plot grabbed my interest. Marlo Brando technically had the starring role of this movie. Truth be told, I never did care for Brando. Personally I believe the real “star” was a young actress known as Maria Schneider. To quote film critic Roger Ebert: “Maria Schneider doesn’t seem to act her role so much as to exude it.”

Basically it comes to this: Marlo Brando more or less portrayed himself, while Schneider mixed innocence with raw sexuality.

This controversial flick more or less internationally defined Maria Schneider as an actress. Brando continued being what he did best, which was being Brando. Meanwhile, Schneider acted in a few more flicks before real-life drama eclipsed her for the rest of the 1970s. The 80s decade treated her a bit better, as she made a comeback in her native country. In later interviews, she would claim that “Last Tango In Paris” nearly ruined her life.

Maria Schneider died on Feb. 3rd, 2011. Director of “Tango,” Bernardo Bertolucci said this*: “Her death has come too early, before I could give her a tender embrace and tell her that I was as tied to her as I was at the start and apologize to her at least once. The strong and creative relationship that we had during the filming of ‘Last Tango’ became poisoned with the passing of time. Maria accused me of having robbed her of her youth and only today am I wondering whether there wasn’t some truth to that.”

After hearing of her passing, I did this portrait of her. Done in pen & ink, on illustration board. Quill pen, nib either 102 or 104.

Maria Schneider & Joe Dallesandro in Jacques Rivette's film "Merry Go Round." Photo: Photo: Des Filles des Garçons

*Full Roger Ebert quote can be found here:
*Full Bernardo Bertolucci quote can be found here:
*Interview with film critic Roger Ebert from 1974:



Little Joe Never Once Gave It Away…

“In my movies, everyone’s in love with Joe Dallesandro.” – Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol ‘Superstar’ and premiere male sex symbols of 60s/70s Underground cinema. With that said, it can be summed up as this; today at age 61, Joe Dallesandro is an iconic living legend.

For those not familiar with Warhol-lore, here’s a quick crash course. Born in Florida, raised rough in NYC. He first supported himself as a teenage prostitute and nude model.

Sometime in 1967 Joe met Andy Warhol and filmmaker Paul Morrissey. Together they cast Dallesandro immediately in “The Loves of Ondine.” The rest is underground cinematic history. His turn as a hustler in 1968’s ‘Flesh’ introduced him to the mainstream as well as the underground.

In addition to being photographed by Francesco Scavullo, Jack Robinson, Richard Avedon, he has graced two famous album covers. One was the Rolling Stones’ ‘Sticky Fingers’ and later on in the early 80s with The Smiths’ self titled debut.

After finishing Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein and Andy Warhol’s Dracula (both 1974) Joe decided to stay in Europe. For the next ten years he acted in a variety of Italian films. During the 1980s, Little Joe and his crude tattoo made his U.S. comeback. The best known of the current wave of roles; Francis Ford Coppla’s ‘The Cotton Club’ and John Waters’ ‘Crybaby.’ During the 1990s, Joe modeled for a Calvin Klein fashion ad. According to Wikipedia, Dallesandro is married for the third time, and currently lives in Los Angles.

If all else, Joe Dallesandro will always be immortalized in the Lou Reed song “Walk On The Wild Side.”

Little Joe never once gave it away
Everybody had to pay and pay
A hustle here and a hustle there
New York City’s the place where they say,
Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
I said, Hey Joe
Take a walk on the wild side

I just found out that Joe Dallesandro has a documentary about himself making the rounds, titled ‘Little Joe.’ In promotion of that film, here’s a link to a video, Joe being interviewed by onetime club kid (Party Monster/Disco Bloodbath) James St. James:

Research Source: