Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Parlez-moi D'Amour

In the book and the movie Henry & June, according to her diaries, Anais Nin, although married to her husband Hugo, formed a triad of lovers with Henry and June Miller. If you only watch this movie superficially, you may misunderstand her true relationship with June. Henry & June, the movie, because of its frank and quite tasteful treatment of sexual themes that were openly and widely accepted in France in that period of time, was threatened with an X-rating, that later was toned down to NC-17. So, who was Anais Nin? Nin was born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell, (February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977.) She was a French-Cuban author who lived first in France and later in the United States where her journals were published. Her diaries spanned more than 60 years, beginning when she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her death, that is her erotic literature and short stories were published posthumously. She was raised a Roman Catholic and spent her childhood and early life in Europe. After her parents separated, her mother moved Anaïs and her two brothers, Thorvald Nin and Joaquin Nin-Culmell, to Barcelona, and later to New York City. On March 3, 1923, in Havana, Cuba, Nin married her first husband, Hugh Parker Guiler (1898–1985), a banker and artist. The couple moved to Paris the following year, where Guiler pursued his banking career and Nin began to pursue her interest in writing. According to her diaries,Vol.1, 1931–1934, Nin shared a bohemian lifestyle with Henry Miller during her time in Paris. Hailed by many critics as one of the finest writers of female erotica, her diaries recounted that, faced with a desperate need for money, Nin, Miller and some of their friends began to write erotic and pornographic narratives for an anonymous "collector" for a dollar a page in the 1940s. Some of her early work were eventually published as Delta of Venus and Little Birds.

This clip shows one of her outing with Henry Miller who was portrayed as a shameful vagabond with an abandon life style that fascinated Nin. The scenery depicted with some fidelity Paris showing the infamous street urinoirs and nude prostitutes waiting for customers in brothels of shady quarters. After taking some money from Nin, Miller immediately entered a brothel, followed by Nin, wide-eyed in bewilderment that later turned into an obsession and ardent infatuation with Miller. Again, period music is heard in the French well known tune "Parlez-moi D'Amour" by Jean Lenoir & Bruce Slevier. This song was performed by Lucienne Boyer.

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