The Late Show Blogathon: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?


I’m sure y’all have read about THIS

“Last Tango in Paris” director Bernardo Bertolucci confessed that he and Marlon Brando conspired against actress Maria Schneider during a rape scene in which the actor used a stick of butter as lubricant to simulate sex. The director addressed the non-consensual rape scene in a recently resurfaced interview from 2013.
According to Bertolucci, he and Brando agreed not to tell Schneider what would happen to her because he wanted her reaction “as a girl, not as an actress.” He said that he and Schneider, who died in 2011, never saw one another after the film because she hated him.

REALLY? How seriously can we take this 40 years late “confession.” From the look of the film it’s a deliberately staged scene — a “sex scene” in which actual sex doesn’t take place, though it works to create the illusion that it has. But there’s no denying that the experience upset her.

As you can see from IMDB Maria Schneider had appeared in films prior to Last Tango. But just as Lawrence of Arabia was Peter O’Toole’s “debut” rather than The Savage Innocents so it is with Maria and Bernardo.

No less an eminence that Ingmar Bergman complained that Bertolucci really wanted the character Schneider played to be a boy, but choked at the last minute and substituted this very boyish lesbian.
And a few years later, Bertolucci, whose bisexuality is far from a state secret ( cough Allen Midgette cough) admitted that was true but felt his new “discovery” would be better than a boy.

MariaSchnider was never a “real actress.” She was more a “personality” who occasionally found fitting roles for herself. One of the best was in Antonioni’s The Passenger opposite Jack Nicholson. Both director and star were most congenial with her. But Maria’s career overall was erratic.

In the late 70’s Jacques Rivette sought her out for a project called –


Maria agreed to do it if her co-star could be her friend Joe Dallesandro


Having worked for so many years with Warhol and Morrissey, Joe took to Rivette’s semi-improvisatory style like a duck to water. Maria was another story. Sometimes she showed up on the set, and sometimes she didn’t. So erratic was her behavior that Rivette hired Hermione Karagheuz to do the scenes Maria wouldn’t/couldn’t. He adored working with Joe.

And here’s the result.

A little over a decade ago Bernardo Bertolucci suffered a debilitating back injury has confined him to a wheelchair.. While he made his last film, the little-seen Him and Me in this condition, it is doubtful he will ever make another.

Gino Paoli will sing us out with a song he wrote with Ennio Morricone for Before the Revolution


  1. Natch December 22, 2016 12:18 pm 

    Apparently she did not hate BB to the point of refusing to play a few years later in his “1900” (though she was eventually replaced by Stefania Sandrelli, but for reasons that seem more related to her addiction problems which have banned her filming with Bunuel or Losey around the same period). It seems to me that she said her best shoot memory was René Clement’s film “The Baby Sitter” which I’ve never seen (it’s Clément’s only feature film I don’t know – it cannot be said it has a great reputation). She spent some time in Mexico in the 80s with Nurith Aviv, and from what I was told, she still had these problems that had already hindered her career – and shortened her life because she died very prematurely, like Tina Aumont, who had also begun under beautiful auspices, and who is sadly forgotten now. I don’t know (who can know ?) If Michèle Morgan has been happier (apparently she felt fulfilled in life), but at least she got time and energy to complete her professional trajectory and lived a respectable number of years. Anyway, all this remains sad and depressing ! I apologize, dear David to remind you of me in this way. But we must keep hope, isn’t it, especially now … Happy Christmas eve, … anyway !

  2. David E December 22, 2016 12:31 pm 

    Well I certainly haven’t forgotten Tina Aumont! She’s great in “Modesty Blaise,” “Le Lit de la Vierge” and “A Matter of Time”

    As for Maria she seems to be enjoying herself greatly in Antonioni’s “The Passenger”

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