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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ebert on Big Breasts, Too Much Drinking, Tilda Swinton

Grateful that Seth Porges--one of my most excellent interns at E&P who has done well since--linked to an interview he did with the late Roger Ebert two years ago for Maxim.  So we see another of Roger.  I'd even forgotten that he wrote the screenplay for Russ Meyer's immortal Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.    Sort of like Gore Vidal writing Caligula for Bob Guccione.    Roger also said that if he could talk again the person he'd like to interview was...Tilda Swinton.  His greatest regret?  Wasting too much of his early years to drinking, before he found AA.   And now this, after he sang the, ahem, praises of Dolly Parton:
You write a lot about your love of voluptuous women. Is this the reason you and sexploitation director Russ Meyer, your Beyond the Valley of the Dolls co-writer, got along so well?
Without any question. With Russ it went beyond love to obsession. He would have considered most of the women in your magazine underdeveloped. I asked him once, “Where do you find those women?” He told me, “After they get beyond a certain cup size, they find me.” Russ was unapologetically, cheerfully, passionately a worshiper of breasts.

He seemed to have tons of euphemisms for them. To pull a few from your book: “bra busters,” “awesome configurations,” “the Guns of Navarone.” Which was your favorite?
“Ticket sellers.”

As a kid you met Colonel Sanders before KFC was a thing. Did you sense that the good colonel was going places?
He was just this guy hanging around the Chuck Wagon Diner on Neil Street in Champaign, Illinois, asking people how they liked his recipe. He didn’t have his own restaurants yet. I thought he was kind of goofy. I remember, however, his chicken was damned delicious. Better than now. Although perhaps memory enhances the past.

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