- 6,49 €
What do you need to make money making movies? The answer, according to cult hero, creator of the sexploitation film, and the man the Wall Street Journal once dubbed the King Leer of Hollywood, Russ Meyer, is: “big bosoms and square jaws.” In the first candid and fiendishly researched account of the late cinematic instigator’s life, Jimmy McDonough shows us how Russ Meyer used that formula to turn his own crazed fantasies into movies that made him a millionaire and changed the face of American film forever.
Bringing his anecdote—and action—packed biographical style to another renegade of popular culture, New York Times bestselling author of Shakey Jimmy McDonough offers a wild, warts-and-all portrait of Russ Meyer, the director, writer, producer, and commando moviemaking force behind such sexploitation classics as Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Vixen, and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. This former WWII combat photographer immortalized his personal sexual obsession (women with enormous breasts, of course) upon the silver screen, turning his favorite hobby into box-office gold when this one-man movie machine wrote, directed, and produced a no-budget wonder called The Immoral Mr. Teas in 1959. The modest little film pushed all preexisting limits of on-screen nudity, and with its success, the floodgates of what was permitted to be shown on film were thrust open, never to be closed again. Russ Meyer ignited a true revolution in filmmaking, breaking all sex, nudity, and violence taboos. In a career that spanned more than forty years, Meyer created a body of work that has influenced a legion of filmmakers, fashionistas, comic book artists, rock bands, and even the occasional feminist.
Rich with wicked and sometimes shocking observations and recollections from Meyer’s friends (such as colleague Roger Ebert and fellow filmmaker John Waters), lovers and leading ladies (some of whom played both roles with equal vigor), a cadre of his grizzled combat buddies, moviemakers inspired by him, and critics and fans alike, Big Bosoms and Square Jaws tells the voluptuous story of Meyer’s very singular life and career: his troubled youth, his war years, his volatile marriages, his victories against censorship, and his clashes with the Hollywood establishment. In his new biography of a true maverick, Jimmy McDonough blows the lid off the story of Russ Meyer, from beginning to his recent tragic demise, creating in the process a vivid portrait of a past America.
Reviewed by Legs McNeilGod I love slang, I really do, especially when it's used to write a biography of a man obsessed with only two things in life: WWII and heaving, pendulous breasts."Subtitled The Biography of Russ Meyer, King of the Sex Film, McDonough's work paints a two-fisted tale of the legendary filmmaker who helped launch the sexual revolution with his scandalous Immoral Mr. Teas in 1959; caused a rip in the time/space continuum of the psychedelic 1960s with Mondo Topless and Super Vixens; and clenched the beatnik and punk ethics with Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill! and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra Vixens.Meyer was a square who helped define hip in an unhip time those incredibly boring 1950s.Way cool, except that books that rely on slang don't usually read too well. Witness Meyer's own three-volume autobiography, A Clean Breast. It's an unreadable 1,150-page work that pursues the diary of a breast fetishist. Very interesting, but monotonous.A Clean Breast leaves you thanking God for McDonough's book, which, like Meyer's, pushes the limits of vernacular use, but, unlike Meyer's, succeeds, because McDonough's slang is so damn funny as in: "A stiff swirl of cotton-candy blond hair, lips like over-stuffed couches mating, a lethal weapon body there was something plain wicked about Lorna Maitland. Her terminally unimpressed scowl seemed to suggest that your balls were not long for this world."Although McDonough (Shakey) infuses his book with well-researched history, he always comes back to Meyer's obsession with buxom gals: "Meyer likened the process to an affair. After poring over every inch of their bodies with his camera eye, he'd grow bored and so would they.... Once you've unwrapped them, the thrill is gone."But what if you really don't care about an incredibly immature man who spent his whole life engaging in "quickies," producing and directing cheap films about stacked women and hanging out drinking with his WWII buddies?Here McDonough hits on a stroke of genius he displays Meyer nurturing his macho image and melting down when that image is breached. Big Bosoms and Square Jaws is a fun, twisted romp through the life of one of America's most celebrated, sordid and ultimately sad filmmakers. Given that Meyer died last year, McDonough has done us all a favor by being serious enough to write the silly and cerebral story of a cad who defined America's lowbrow culture. Photos. .