Horatio writes: Wakey! Wakey! Here comes... When photographer Richard Avedon used his powers of persuasion to make Nastassja Kinski pose naked wearing only a python and a bangle, he single-handedly inspired a generation of teenage boys to become avid consumers of amateur photography magazines. The iconic photograph originally appeared on the front cover of American Photographer. Its' beauty, biblical imagery, and mise en scene was lost on all of us. Here was a nearly naked woman on a magazine we could buy without shame for godssakes. The pretense of photographic appreciation went as far that if you could keep a straight face while you told your mother that you admired the image "for artistic reasons", you could buy the poster and hang it over your bed. The poster was in 87% of the bunks on boys side of summer camps in 1983. (If you are overwhelmed by nostalgia right now, the poster is still available here)
Kinski was sexy for so many reasons. Her agent had a prediction for ensuring she played roles in movies destined to become cult flicks... Cat People, Tess, and Paris, Texas come to mind. These were movies that conferred a halo of cool around Nastassja in the eyes of the average fourteen year old. None of us had actually seen these films but we would never dare disclose that fact and lose face to our friends. Put it this way. If the number of boys who claimed to have seen Paris, Texas, had seen Paris, Texas, it would have posted E.T. like numbers at le box office.
Number two. She looked like jail bait on film. A fact reinforced by her Roland Polanski fling. If one forgets that he was 25 years her senior (and that she was just 16), but the dude was about four foot eleven. And so were we. She had a thing for small guys which most of us were. Small, kinky guys to be precise. And perhaps we qualified for the latter trait if depositing our junk over a poster of a woman posing naked with a snake qualified as kinky.
Relive the good old days with this clip. Kinski in Cat People, Paul Schrader's "erotic fanatasy for the animal in all of us." We beg you, please make it last more than a weekend. We are taking a break over the holidays and will be back in 2008.