Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sexy Screen Gems: Old Guys and Male Sexual Magnetism With a Side Trip Down the Slopes of Brad Pitt’s Lips














Some of you probably don’t even know who Robert Mitchum was. Ask your Mom. Mention Cape Fear, or The Night of the Hunter, in which he played villains.

Watched Mitchum in The Yakuza last night (1975, shot on location in Tokyo with a lot of respect for the landscape, architecture and culture). Not a great movie, but okay while doing paperwork. In it, Mitchum spoke Japanese free and easy, especially with the women. His character exudes sexual confidence, that clipped language flowing smooth and sexy over his thin, manly lips set above a huge vagina-clefted jaw.

He could have been describing machine parts, but he made it sound like an appreciative review of intimate acts — pillow talk. Mitchum made me believe he’d been in that situation with exotic women before, maybe in WWII where lean young men — shiny torsos more sinew than muscle — discovered women, possibly for the first time. 

In the Army, Mitchum was a medic assigned the duty of "pecker checker" — visual screening for syphilis. Ah, the innocent days of STD-yore.

The Yakuza in the film presented a very different form of manliness. Their boyish bodies --- unlike the current rendition (Bruce Lee, Jet Li) --- sported beautifully tattooed backs and shoulders. But for all their murderous sword-wielding they seemed a little light in the pinkie finger department if you know what I mean.

Some men stay friendly and flirty well into their 70's. Gene Hackman in Bonnie & Clyde (1967) was already losing his hair, his body soft, and out-of-condition at 37. I didn’t respond to him then, but paid closer attention when I saw him in The Firm (1993) with Jeanne Tripplehorn, who plays Tom Cruise’s wife (I’m focusing on Hackman when Cruise is in the picture??!!??). He’s 63 in this movie, and his character is ready to bed Tripplehorn, accept her luscious gifts with gratitude, able to recognize he’s in the right place at the right time (until he realizes that he’s not only not going to get laid — he’s going to die). Maybe I was responding more to Tripplehorn.

Sam Neill, Daniel Craig, George Clooney, Pierce Brosnan, Samuel L. Jackson, Clive Owen, Guy Pearce are the new sexy old guys. Bruce Willis projects that kind of sexual magnetism.  Ryan Gosling (The Notebook) looks like he might generate some long-term heat; Kevin Costner, sometimes; Ben Affleck, never.

I can’t make up my mind about Brad Pitt. He was all cocksure and hard buns and (hopefully chapped) pouting lips in Thelma & Louise, but his movies since then haven’t gotten me over the line.  It’s those iconic lips.

People with extra large lips have a cross to bear; they have to be just a little better at whatever it is they do.  It’s hard not to watch their lips, to wonder what it’s like to have that kind of power.  They must long to have people accept them as normal, to really hear them when they speak.