Actor/Icon James Dean’s Sex Life in Speculative Terms

dead deanDATELINE:  Don’t Hold the Hot Sauce

 

The latest salacious book from Darwin Porter and his partner in crime Danforth Prince is a kiss and tell sexography on James Dean.

Tomorrow Never Comes is 750 pages—a big one, a war and piece on James Dean. It seems epical to depict every sexual encounter of the long-ago star of Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden. The authors turned over every rock, and every Rock Hudson, to find the sex life of a 1950s movie star.

We are sure they missed a few trysts.

We can’t recommend the book to anyone with moral values. Dean, in this tome, is a switch-hitting, all-purpose, never turn them down, kind of guy. No detail is off limits. If you want to know every sniff, leer, and last drop, this is your kind of book.

We tend to doubt many of the anecdotes. After all, everyone involved is dead—and many probably wish they could come back to refute the dirty deeds. With occasional anachronisms, the writers make odd errors—suggesting “gay” was a common word in  sex culture of the 1950s. It wasn’t.

Our admiration for the few people who seemed to turn down a chance to bed, or not bed Dean grew in the miasma of endless assignations. If he did all they attribute, he never had time for much else.

Names are dropped faster than trousers. The book does reveal some interesting tidbits of a nonsexual nature—but you will be covered in slime by the time you find them.

We presume this is the end-all of James Dean books—until someone discovers he was a monk who never had sex with anyone.

 

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Another Shot at James Dean Sixty Years Later

DATELINE:  James Dean as Backseat Driver

LIFE is unfair. Not life in general, but the 1950s magazine. It is the title of the latest attempt to depict James Dean, based on a couple of icon photos.

When you have a couple of offbeat artists like James Dean and Dennis Stock, played by Dane DeHaan and Robert Pattinson, it’s hard to tell where life begins and the movie ends.

If you were expected the fictionalized tale of Dennis Stock’s friendship with Jimmy Dean, you will be about as blindsided as Jack Warner’s friendship with James Dean. Warner is truly unlikeable in this movie—and so Ben Kingsley shines here.

There is no friendship between the photographer and the movie star. Each had mercenary and power trip reasons to team up for a few pictures at the Indiana farm and in the noir of Times Square.

The film is a calculated slice of 1950s Americana, and for that reason it is not likely to appeal to people interested in sex scandals (the latest involve Dean and Brando). This movie is surprisingly heterosexual in its chasteness.

It likely is not a movie to win devotees and repeat viewers. It is well done, but lacks a certain element to make it special as art. Depicting two alienated and calculating artists (Dean and Stock) does not make them likeable.

Director Anton Corbijn provides us with verisimilitude in a manner of speaking. DeHaan does not look much like Dean, being too soft and too doughy. Dean was wiry, but DeHaan has caught the slouching and mumbling better than anyone else, except Dean himself.

Pattinson again gives himself a thankless role as an ambitious man. But the two actors might as well be in separate movies. Therein is the the secret of the movie.  Dean was always in his own world, and so is this film. Yes, we recommend this for being unlike all the other Dean biographical movies.

 

James Dean Died 60 Years Ago Today

DATELINE: A Small Tribute

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Would the ultimate Rebel Without A Cause actually be 84 today if he had lived? It is unlikely he would have survived the 1960s or the 1980s with his lifestyle.

Yet, we still think of his eternal adolescence, painful youth, and promise lost.

This week as a tribute to Dean we decided to give away copies of our caustic biography of the star, THE NEXT JAMES DEAN. The book featured some insider knowledge of Dean never published before—or since. One fan accused us of snapping a photo of his dead body for the cover image.

Then we took on all the imitators, clones, and clowns, who tried to emulate James Dean. Some were guiltless victims of studio publicity, but many went slightly bonkers trying to emulate him.

Dean made ten times the number of TV shows as his movies. And, most fans probably have not seen hours and hours of his live TV performances. Some are stunning, years ahead of their time.

Few fans know that ghoulish Alfred Hitchcock decided to film one of his seminal suspense scenes at the site of Dean’s deadly car crash. Yes, that desolate stretch of highway is where Cary Grant is chased by a crop duster in North by Northwest. Well, it’s actually a model, a drone by today’s standards.

Fans may not know that the same stretch of road is thought to be haunted by the ghost of Dean and his mysterious and missing death car. Each year on September 30th, around 6pm in the sunset, you can hear a sports car racing down the highway, but end up in a crashing sound. It is the ghost car of Dean.

Fox News is now reporting the car has been found, hidden away behind a false wall to prevent it from killing new victims.

We thought Dean was deader than a door-nail by now. One of his few surviving contemporaries thinks he won’t last. Yet, when we put our e-book up for free taking in honor of James Dean, about 300 fans downloaded our testimonial book. We were delighted.

There were no strings, catches, or tricks. We just gave the book away to dedicated fans. We think Jim Dean of Indiana would have approved.

See James Dean Before He is Lost in the Mists of Time

DATELINE: JAMES DEAN

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After viewing the Joshua Tree 1951 movie, we were alerted that on YouTube is a tribute to James Dean on his 82nd birthday in February.

We are loath to take in amateur video compilations, but here we came to realize is something far more professional and brilliant, and it’s available to everyone on the Internet.

ZmaXcharmvill3 is the poster and creator. And the five-minute video has all the earmarks of careful choreography and judicious use of the hundreds of Dean photos and film clips that permeate the blogsphere.

With music by Ryan Star, the tune “Losing Your Memory Now,” at first seems odd—but becomes crystal clear that we are losing James Dean in our collective memory. With books and videos like this one, perhaps he will linger with us a few more years.

Selecting nearly all the quintessential images of Dean, they pop up all around us, showing both Dean’s stunning beauty and sensitivity in a kaleidoscope of familiar and rare images.

By the four-minute mark, we begin to see the acting chops that knocked others off the screen and began a new generation of stylistic performances that linger today among new young actors who may not know how much they owe to James Dean.

ZmaXcharmvill3 uses a color screen test of Dean in full hypnotic mode, looking directly at us—and at each corner of the screen as his life flashes away in swirls of blue smoke.

The director has caught Dean’s essence and provided us with another capstone performance as he plays himself one more time.

With the anniversary of his death by car crash on the horizon at the end of September, we may want to take a few moments to ponder the incredible force that Dean displayed in a few short years and too few movies.

This video is worth every second.

If you want a sense of James Dean’s full impact, you may want to read THE NEXT JAMES DEAN, a look at the original star and all his imitators over the next 25 years. It’s available on Amazon.com in both softcover and e-book versions.

Go East of Eden to the Land of Nod

 

 DATELINE: Homage to the Movies

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With James Dean fresh in our minds in the person of James Preston in the kinky homage called Joshua Tree 1951, we thought how long it has been since we actually looked at James Dean the Original in one of his three major movies.

A few years back we had written a book on the subject of James Dean, one of several hundred tomes of varying weight and importance on the actor. Ours had the distinction of protected interviews with those who knew Dean and would not speak openly. It damned the book for its wink and nod. We sliced and diced the dozens of imitators.

So, we feel we have an interest in the rebel icon that transcends most fans and took a look at a new DVD version of East of Eden, the first major Dean role and the one that catapulted him into the stratosphere.

James Dean did not start quite at the top, but he was not a bottom feeder either. When Elia Kazan handed him the reins on a key role in an important movie, there is no doubt or worry that the young Hoosier actor was in charge.

For decades we have seen an army of young actors all in humble imitation of the original. And now, as we look at an actor who’d be over 80 today, we tried to see him freshly.

Dean, at once, seemed too old and yet too young in the part. He again struck us as diminutive, almost elfin in size, not so threatening, but smaller, like visiting a childhood house that once seemed immense.

Today every actor from two or three generations plays his role in the Dean mode. But, here, he is the only performer throwing away lines, bobbing and weaving away from the camera and fame, thereby stealing every scene.

 

His contemporaries did not know what to make of him as a psychological study and certainly did not think much of his work as a professional. They seem exasperated in this movie and work hard to keep the verisimilitude, which gives the film something of an unusual patina.

In scenes with Jo Van Fleet as his mother who abandoned him as an infant for a career as the madam of a brothel, Dean and Van Fleet seem almost to mimic each other’s genetics to create a sense of mother and son separated since birth.

There are moments in the film that make it timeless and memorable, even so many years later, after so many viewings.

 

We again give a nod to James Dean.

 http://williamrusso.us/

 You may read THE NEXT JAMES DEAN about the original and his clones. It’s in softcover and e-book on Amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Joshua Tree 1951 Chops James Dean Down to Bite Size

 

 

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DATELINE: Joshua Tree 1951 & James Dean

 

We cannot tell a lie: this movie falls atop the James Dean legend with the splat of Godzilla meeting Bambi. The trailer gives a full sensation.

 

After years of teasing, the black and white art film that depicts an impressionistic version of James Dean hits the streaming market like Dean taking a public leak on the set of one of his movies.

 

Finally there is an arty biographical movie that does to James Dean what he did to art. From the opening and disquieting images of “The Human Ashtray” to Arthur Rimbaud’s bedroom, director Michael Mishory ties Dean into some heavy-duty angst and some lightweight Hollywood orgies of the early 1950s.

 

We first saw a trailer several years ago and have been teased endlessly about the film’s ever-postponed premiere. Now it has arrived on DVD with little fanfare outside of a Mexico theatrical showing.

 

As director James Franco learned with his towering small budget biography of Hart Crane, period movies are difficult, but this flows with ease in its pre-rock world of Joshua Tree where the old rocks don’t change for centuries, or at least since Dean stayed there.

 

Evocation of film noir and beat symbolist poetry seems to knot Dean’s roots as the film jumps back and forth in an impressionistic frenzy.

 

James Preston’s James Dean comes across as preformed, waiting to hatch out of a chrysalis. As Dean biographical features go, this one tries to be the be-all and end-all.

 

With so many of those who knew Dean gone and a few ancient leftovers not spilling their beans, the film will have no challengers. Nearly 60 years after James Dean’s car crash into mythomania, this film gives us the 21st century Dean.  No doubt that Dean would find the latest followers still lagging far behind his path.

 

This film requires acceptance on levels that are not standard for typical movies. It’s far beyond Eden, planetarium explosions, and belligerent oil tycoons that defined Dean’s movie legacy. He’s now ready for his close-up on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

 

We know that Jimmy Dean would have approved.

http://williamrusso.us/

William Russo is author of THE NEXT JAMES DEAN, featuring insights from a few who were there and demanded anonymity for their stories. The book is available on Amazon.com in softcover and e-book formats.

Chris Brown Caught in James Dean’s Porsche

 

 DATELINE: HUMOR!

Chris Brown totaled his Porsche while avoiding the girlfriend of Manti Te’o. She was chasing him in the sleigh of Santa Claus with the Tooth Fairy driving like a demon.

 

Brown claimed that she was hand in glove with paparazzi pursuing him on the way to his imaginary work project with his mother supervising his probation.

 

The Porsche was said to be the evil twin of the James Dean death car, resurrected to kill another bad boy.

 

Rhianna said she was sorry she was unable to be in the car with him as she likes to be at the scene of every crash, accident, and catastrophe Brown orchestrates.

 

Though Brown contended there were dozens of witnesses, no one yet has been found to corroborate his fantastic tale of woe.

 

The notorious singer contended he was followed by murderous drones manned by the CIA. He said in recent months he has been the victim of a massive conspiracy, bigger than the coverup at Roswell.

 

Brown was unable to describe the man on the grassy knoll whose photoflash caused the singer to swerve off the road and hit a foam mattress that fell of a truck in front of him.

 

He said pictures would be available to the media just as soon as his press agent finished the photoshopping.

 

Brown told assembled multitudes of sycophants that the plot may be hatched by Lindsay Lohan who is desperately trying to deflect the heat from bad publicity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rondo’s James Dean Act is a Giant Rebel Heading Out of Eden

 

 

 DATELINE: HUMOR!

Rajon Rondo suspends disbelief.

If Houdini could suspend himself in midair to escape from the most intricate of strait-jackets and chains, you would be fairly certain to believe that Rondo can escape suspension by the NBA.

You would likely be wrong because Rondo’s role model is James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. With a chicken-gut father like Jim Backus, it was only guaranteed that poor Jimmy Dean would race cars off cliffs.

Rondo has only gone off the cliff four times this year, racing against the buzzsaw-style NBA referees.

Armchair psychologists may want to make something of Rondo’s penchant for having trouble with father figures. After all, he threw a bottle of water through a television when Doc Rivers was telling the team what they needed to do.

James Dean kicked his foot through a portrait of his grandmother in a similar spot. “You people are driving me crazy,” he yelled at authority figures.

James Dean’s character, if not Dean himself, never fit in his social order—and he came to a bad end going to a road race in his Porsche Spyder named ‘The Little Bastard.’ It might be the way to baptize Rondo.

We presume Rondo has not purchased any silver sports cars yet, and he is not racing headlong into disaster. However, Dean took a giant step going east of Eden—into mythology say some, and into oblivion say others.

Rondo is now looking at the road not taken.