I was once a movie star. Black and white was the medium, so I guess you could say it was an art film, and there was even a sex scene. It took considerable acting skill to keep the bathing suit straps from showing above the sheets and still create some sense of erotic shenanigans for the camera, and the thing was necessarily short: in a four-minute movie there isn’t a lot of time for plot development, let alone fornication.

The filmmaker was on his way to a career in fashion photography, but in 1966 R.I.T. saw to it that her Professional Photography graduates were well-rounded. “Film” was not an elective. The studio was the living room of an apartment in the slums that bordered campus in those old downtown days. The plot would be long-forgotten except that it was based on a song; a song that I also sang for the sound-track: Anathea. (Her brother steals a horse, gets caught, chained up and the judge says “Hang him.” She goes to the judge with gold and silver to buy brother’s freedom; Judge says keep your money, all I want is your ass, so she beds down with him then hears the gallows groaning. The song isn’t clear on exactly what she does next, but it ends up with “Thirteen doctors can not cure him, thirteen shelves of drugs can’t heal him.”) Take that, you sonofabitch. Tears all around. End of movie.

You laugh, but I’ve seen lots of worse films.


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