Sunday, October 13, 2013

Weekend blogging -- "nudity or the suggestion thereof"

Eventually this is going to tie back in with a recent Andrew Gelman post at the Monkey Cage and possibly with a post I need to write one of these days on the business lessons of Roger Corman, legendary maker of exploitation pictures (often but incorrectly identified as 'B-movies'*). In the meantime, I think this anecdote can probably stand on its own.
When Martin Scorsese first met Corman, he expected to meet the maniacal, seat-of-the-pants yahoo type that the stories might suggest. "Instead," Scorsese recalls, "I found him a very courteous and gentlemanly guy, but a very stern and tough customer who was quite polite as he explained these outrageous tactics of exploitation in cold, calm terms. . . . 'Martin, (Corman told him,) it's important that every fifteen pages there should be a touch of nudity or the suggestion thereof. Like a shoulder or leg exposed. It keeps the interest.' "
* B's are films made to fill out the second half of a double feature and, as Corman himself likes to point out, that format had fallen out of favor well before he started making films.

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