|Goodnight to the princess of Technicolor
||[Nov. 1st, 2006|09:00 pm]
(roughly translated from a French obit posted at the Spaghetti Westerns messageboard)|
Tina Aumont, actress of the cinema underground, dies Saturday at 60 years.
By Philippe Azoury: Monday October 30, 2006
Tina Aumont, the cat woman, died in her sleep Saturday at dawn, in Port-Vendres, after a bout of respiratory illness. Born February 14, 1946, in Hollywood, Marie-Christine was the daughter of the extraordinary Maria Montez and Jean-Pierre Aumont. On her cradle was a poem by Jean Cocteau proclaiming the birth of "The Daughter of the Stars".
At 17 years old, after boarding school in Switzerland, she made the cover of Paris Match. There she announced her wedding with Christian Marquand (whom she met in Mégève with friends of Roger Vadim) and her film debut with director Joseph Losey in MODESTY BLAISE. "In London, I had come to greet Losey on behalf of Robert Aldrich. He asked me whether I could ride a motor bike. I found myself in the production. I could not drive a motor bike, I turned right into a wall." Perhaps almost too beautiful for those would like to describe her life as electric, she set off without the brakes on at top speed, with all the dangers, without worrying about the possible obstacles.
In the middle of 1966, with her incredible eyes hemmed with black kohl, and a body that seemed to fall straight of mythology ("One of the most beautiful women in the world", in the expert opinion of screenwriter Tinto Brass), Tina, again using the name Aumont after her divorce, would set fire to Cinecittà. In May 1968, partnered with Bernardo Bertolucci, she recited Roland Barthes, her eyes made up in homage to Orphée. She also was romanticaly linked to Pierre Clémenti, whom she was said to be his female counterpart. Like him, she kept company with Viva, Nico and Philippe Garrel, the psychedelic painter Frederic Pardo, Marianne Faithfull, Anita Pallenberg, the Rolling Stones, Terence Stamp, and Marlon Brando.
She was a sensual Carmen in MAN: HIS PRIDE AND HIS VENGEANCE, the spaghetti western inspired by Mérimée, with Franco Nero and Klaus Kinski. Her catch phrase: "I am not invading, but I am a presence which one cannot be unaware of." Tinto Brass (THE HOWL, SALON KITTY), Mauro Bolognini (METELLO, LA GRANDE BOURGEOISIE), Francesco Rosi (EXQUISITE CORPSES), Vincente Minnelli (A MATTER OF TIME) would also direct this underground and free Raquel Welch.
She expanded her role in Fellini's CASANOVA while portraying Casanova's true love. Rossellini portrayed her as Marie-madeleine in his film THE MESSIAH. She made some sexy films, well in the Italian "Ciné Revue" style (THE NUDE PRINCESS, THE DIVINE NYMPH) but, already busy, missed starring in SUSPIRIA, which Dario Argento offered to her. In France, Tina Aumont kept up "appearances" with the poetic direction of Philippe Garrel (LES HAUTES SOLITUDES, co-starring Jean Seberg and Nico).
In 1976, during a stay in Malaysia, it was learned she had been incarcerated in Italy for use and possession of narcotics. The same Italy which already locked up Clémenti and offered him no plea bargain. "[My heroism], it was provocation and lots of unconsciousness." She returned to France, where she ran into band of regulars at the Palace Hotel: Paquita Paquin, Edwige, Octavio, Yves Adrien and especially Alain Pacadis. Her exploits with Paca (including one, epic, in Saint-Tropez) would be documented in rich first-person accounts in the chronicle Night Clubbing de Libé.
She carried a stubborn grudge, only for Italy, in a long decade of Parisian festivals. Her voice of ash, her original allure, her dandy fatigue, her excesses, were too frightening for the French cinema of the '80's and '90's: her appearances became rare. She of the flowery skin, generous and detached: "As soon as I have a blank check, my cold style will return, a little remote. Elsewhere." Where was that, Tina?