Femmes Fatales Nov 12 2023
A VERY HOT TUB
The most eco-friendly way to boil water.


The above photo and those below show the lovely U.S. model and singer Colleen Farrington, who we saw on a paperback cover not long ago. There are many frames from this session floating around online, and over time we developed a narrative about them. In our heads Farrington was a little nervous at first, and was like, “Maybe a drink and a smoke will relax me.” Ten minutes later: “Let's show it all!” She even went so far as to give a glimpse of what was most assuredly a massive bush. Farrington became Playboy's October 1957 centerfold—which was around the time these images were made—and about eight years later brought into the world Diane Lane, whose movie The Big Town we discussed last year.

Publishing nude actresses brings criticism our way occasionally. We received such an e-mail a while back when we mentioned feminist themes in Leslie Ford's fiction and posted a Reiko Ike nude on the same day, a juxtaposition which we admit invites scrutiny. The e-mail, which actually was mostly positive, suggested that female nudity is exploitative unless, perhaps, shot by other women. We disagree with that perspective, but it at least tacitly acknowledges the validity of erotic photography. There are some out there who see female nudity as exploitative no matter who shoots it, and believe that the concept of artistic nudity is just a fig leaf for the same old gender repression. But as we've said before, when artful nudity becomes taboo, control over what constitutes normal sex is ceded to the porn industry. How's that working out?

We think whether a nude female image is exploitative depends on myriad considerations: who made it and when; who financed it and what was paid, if anything; who appeared in it and why; whether they appeared willingly (even if it was only for money); what the art was trying to depict or say; the context in which it was disseminated or displayed;and whether it succeeded purely as a discrete piece of art. With all those factors in play, it's easier to just condemn everything. The final consideration, though, is key: the successful execution of the piece. Good art, as long as it was never intended to harm or subjugate, immediately or eventually sheds cultural criticisms like a duck sheds water.

Sexual desire is encoded in our DNA. Erotic art will rebound from the new puritanism and will always exist, but with the inclusion of fresh points of view. Arguably, it's already happening. Art is an appropriate realm for exploring sexual ideas. Erotic photography is pulp-related due to the sexual subtext of so much pulp literature and film noir, the evolution of men's adventure magazines into nudie mags, and the popularity of cheesecake pin-ups. The relationship between sexual subtext and a nude is exactly the same as the relationship between a word, and a definition of that word. We offer some definitions here at Pulp Intl. and will continue making the connection between what is hinted at versus what can be shown, even if for the time being sharing nudes means we're swimming upstream.

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Femmes Fatales Feb 8 2017
LUXURY HILTON
She gets a five star rating.


The above photo shows Fay Hilton, who was, well, nobody in particular celebritywise, just an unusually beautiful woman, unrelated to the famous Hiltons, who modeled for noted lensman Peter Basch and whose shots have survived to be auctioned off at high prices. This one of her wearing bikini bottoms that seem juuuust about to be defeated by gravity was made around 1965. 

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Hollywoodland Sep 23 2014
FIGHTING CHANCE
Who can take a tragedy and make it a success? The Candyman can.

A world-weary Sammy Davis, Jr. appears here in a photo shot by Peter Basch in the back of a Chicago limousine. Davis was about to go to New York to star on Broadway in Clifford Odets and William Gibson’s Golden Boy, a musical involving a boxer’s turbulent career, doomed interracial romance, and eventual suicide. Not exactly an uplifting night out, yet the show ran for 569 performances and the cast album cracked the Top 40. That’s called star power, and Davis, who was already huge in Hollywood and the music industry, had it to spare. The photo dates from 1964. 

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Femmes Fatales Nov 17 2013
TITLE SEQUENCE
They probably should have called off the contest and given her the crown in perpetuity.

Zahra Norbo was a 1955 Miss Sweden, 1958 Playboy centerfold, and all-around popular magazine model who appeared in publications like Spick, Stag, Tempo and Tiger. She also scored a few television appearances, notably on The Groucho Marx Show. There’s a bit of confusion online about which year she was Miss Sweden. Some sources, Wikipedia among them, say it was 1956, but we’ve seen a 1956 press photo that refers to her as the previous year’s winner, and here’s what Playboy said in her March 1958 layout: After copping the Miss Sweden title three years ago, Miss Norbo came to the U.S. of A. So that pretty much settles it—she won her title in 1955 using her real name Ragnhild Olausson. This provocative shot was made in 1957 by acclaimed lensman Peter Basch.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 30 2012
HAY BABY
There’s no horse or carriage, but if you want, we can go on a different type of hayride.


This week’s page from the Goodtime Calendar of 1963 features the work of German born glamour photographer Peter Basch, whose photography appeared in magazines like Life, Look, and Playboy. This particular model is unknown to us, but during his career Basch photographed pretty much every prominent celebrity, among them Mansfield, Bardot, Andress, Belmondo, Mastroianni, Brando, Dali, Cocteau, Monroe, et. al., and published them in numerous photography books that sold well and made his name internationally known. Some of those appear below, with cover stars Candice Bergen, TIna Louise, and Brigitte Skay.

As the end of the year grows near, the Goodtime editors seem to be running on empty with their quips. We still can’t figure out why they can get images from some of the best photographers of the day, but can’t find better quotes. Since speech is free for anyone to use as long as it’s attributed, they have access to pretty much everything that has ever been said by humans in all of history, but instead settle for the wisdom of guys like Jim Conway and Johnny Morgan. Oh well. It’s a mystery.
 
Sep 29: Men really understand women—some say they don’t because it’s cheaper that way.
 
Sep 30: A fence between makes love more keen—German Prov.
 
Oct 1: Women’s slacks: Cutting to get to the bottom of every figure problem.
 
Oct 2: Modern wife: A woman who knows her husband’s favorite dishes and the restaurants that serve them.
 
Oct 3: “A man never knows that a woman has any old clothes until he marries her.”—Jim Conway
 
Oct 4: “If it wasn’t for marriage, husbands would have to fight with strangers.”—Johnny Morgan
 
Oct 5: “The only time an experienced husband puts his foot down is when his wife’s finished vacuuming under it.”—Henry Morgan
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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
May 27
1930—Chrysler Building Opens
In New York City, after a mere eighteen months of construction, the Chrysler Building opens to the public. At 1,046 feet, 319 meters, it is the tallest building in the world at the time, but more significantly, William Van Alen's design is a landmark in art deco that is celebrated to this day as an example of skyscraper architecture at its most elegant.
1969—Jeffrey Hunter Dies
American actor Jeffrey Hunter dies of a cerebral hemorrhage after falling down a flight of stairs and sustaining a skull fracture, a mishap precipitated by his suffering a stroke seconds earlier. Hunter played many roles, including Jesus in the 1961 film King of Kings, but is perhaps best known for portraying Captain Christopher Pike in the original Star Trek pilot episode "The Cage".
May 25
1938—Alicante Is Bombed
During the Spanish Civil War, a squadron of Italian bombers sent by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini to support the insurgent Spanish Nationalists, bombs the town of Alicante, killing more than three-hundred people. Although less remembered internationally than the infamous Nazi bombing of Guernica the previous year, the death toll in Alicante is similar, if not higher.
1977—Star Wars Opens
George Lucas's sci-fi epic Star Wars premiers in the Unites States to rave reviews and packed movie houses. Produced on a budget of $11 million, the film goes on to earn $460 million in the U.S. and $337 million overseas, while spawning a franchise that would eventually earn billions and make Lucas a Hollywood icon.
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