Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Roots of Agnosticism

Everyone loves a bitchy old queen, but let's face it -- we love nothing more than a bitchy old queen from Texas.

Rex Reed came into conversations I had at least three times this weekend. Besides his performance in Myra Breckinridge (his resemblance to Raquel Welch is so uncanny it's very confusing when they are in the same frame), we have his reviews to look back on through the years. I wish someone would make a YouTube video of his best lines on the Tonight Show.

His distaste for all things in the Global South and Asia in particular is legend. I remember a Tonight Show appearance where he mentioned flying through Delhi and what he saw out the window appalled him so much that he refused to leave the plane. He turned to Johnny Carson and said, "Mrs. Gahndi is right. Someone needs to just drop a bomb on that place."

More recently after seeing the South Korean film Old Boy, he quipped: "What else can you expect from a nation weaned on kimchi, a mixture of raw garlic and cabbage buried underground until it rots, dug up from the grave and then served in earthenware pots sold at the Seoul airport as souvenirs?"

My favorite quote however, was from a 1977 review in which he said, "If Diane Keaton does not win the Oscar for Looking for Mr. Goodbar, there is no God." Keaton did win the Oscar that year, but for her role in Annie Hall. That probably explain how Rex became an agnostic.

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At 2:18 PM, Blogger ArtSparker said...

The phrase "irrefutable logic" comes to mind.

At 12:05 PM, Blogger rich bachelor said...

That suit was pretty alright in my book. He nearly killed it with his whimsical belt-placement, though.

I'd love to know what those excised words were, toward the end.

And finally, I actually kind of liked "Myra Breckinridge", and...Well, just that I guess.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Susan - I'm not sure any logic is involved in this.

Rich - Rex was often dismissed as being a hack, but he had some great one liners through the years. He's mellowed and is much gentler these days.

I agree on "Myrna" which is a sort of so-bad-it's-great flick. And Farrah's greatest role, in my book.

At 6:06 PM, Blogger Gary said...

Rex was a cutie! When Joy and I went to see Keely at Feinstein's at the Regency Rex Reed was sitting right next to us. He was going on and on with the gossip before the show and I was trying hard to listen and look as though I wasn't.

At one point Keely went around the room passing out the mic to the audience to sing "When the Saints Go Marching In". Jerry Vale was there and she let him do a verse - he altered the lyrics. And then she gave it to Rex - who altered the lyrics. And then she gave it to me - who did not alter the lyrics. This is when Keely nicknamed me 'Hoppy'.

I was waiting to see if Rex would make eyes at me but he never did. If he had I might have a more juicy comment for your blog.

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

You always find such treasures. Rex was muy guapo back in the day, wasn't he?

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Gary - I bet he was checking you out but doing it subtly. Tacky as he can be, I would love to know him. The best gossip on him was when he walked out of Tower Records with three CDs in his pocket and two he paid for. He claimed it was an innocent mistake and offered to pay for them. Two of the "stolen" CDs was by Peggy Lee. When she heard the story, she was touched and sent him her entire catalog.

Salty - When I was young, I thought he was a nellie old queen when he was in his 30s. Now I look back at the old clips and wish I'd met him back then.


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