Jean-Paul Belmondo, French-born son of a Sicilian sculptor, was the veritable "Roi" of 1960's New Wave Cinema. After being cast as the broody, dangerous and unbearably sexy criminal in Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless", Jean-Paul's career took off in 1960 and he remained a leading man in French cinema well into the 1980's.
I was first exposed to Belmondo's smoldering screen persona when I watched the Sophia Loren film, "The Women." Belmondo plays a bespectabled, young intellect hiding out with his family in the hills of Italy as the last days of World War II and the Nazi occupation rage on. Sophia can barely contain her attraction to him and they enjoy a passionate romp on a grassy hill only to be interrupted by Nazi Soldiers, who assassinate him for his non-fascista agenda.
Even though his part in "The Women" was small, it was indeed very memorable, especially for a gal whose dream man is a sensitive but masculine artista who looks like a hot middle-weight boxer in Clark Kent glasses! It's a powerful punch, I know it.
It was after I popped an Ativan and took a long bubblebath that a nice thought occurred to me. I tossed around the idea that perhaps by the time I am 45, I should sell all my shit, move to Italy, rent some haunted, 500-year old castle that is covered in bouganvilla and write the Second- or-Third Greatest American Novel.
And at this castle there works a young man, a poor local boy who taught himself to read and write and is very, very moody. He is also always shirtless, as he tends to the olive groves and gardens that grace my view from the bedroom of the castle. He looks exactly like Belmondo, dons glasses and has a gorgeous "wop mop" of hair that is forever mussy. On his meal periods, he sits in a shady corner of the barn, breaking a loaf of bread and dipping it into olive oil as he reads Kant.
After his work is done, he utilizes the outdoor shower, which happens to be within viewing distance from my kitchen, if I stand on a box and lean over to the left... Perhaps he will need his cigarette lit. He always has a cigarette resting on his bottom lip and smokes it without using his hands. Maybe he does need a light, or some soap, perhaps...
I think I'll venture on out there with a towel...