SHOW BIZ ROYALS - FRENCH & RUSSIAN HOLLYWOOD CONNECTION
PATHWAY OF THE RULER AS EPIC SPECTACLE-MAKER:
Storyline: The shallow showman clings to his crypto-regal ways to become a tastemaker to the masses, accurately and serially reflecting the demands of his times, from casts of thousands to thousands of quick cuts, in service of his over-the-top, albeit, vacant visions.
Michael Bay (1965) - American director and producer. Outer: Claimed to be the natural child of director John Frankheimer, although later paternity tests proved negative. Adopted soon after birth. Showed an early interest in filmmaking, shooting Super-8 action films, as soon as he could focus a camera, and by his teens he was working in the storyboard department of ILM. 6’2”. Went to Wesleyan Univ. and Pasadena Art Center College of Design, after being rejected by USC film school, and immediately after graduating in 1989, he began his professional career shooting commercials for some of the top name brands in the world, winning an accolade as Commercial Director of the Year from the Directors guild of America at the age of 27. Did music videos as well with some of the top acts, before moving up to features, beginning with Bad Boys in 1995, which would gross well over $100 million, and set a precedent that almost all his subsequent films would match and outperform. Each one of his megahits would find huge undemanding audiences, who would thrill to his nonstop action sequences and attention deficit disorder cuts, so that their eyes would never have to linger on any one image for more than a few seconds, if that. Characters would always be secondary to the action, and usually limned in tight close-up, while his camera would always be on the move, as if its eye were the true central role in the movie. His second feature, The Rock, would more than double its predecessor in its box office, and within a very short time, he would be an acknowledged king of the fast action blockbusters. Added producer to his filmic multi-hats, as he continued churning out highly predictable, albeit highly profitable fare, working in conjunction with established hitmaker Jerry Bruckheimer. Save for The Island, each film would top the previous one in intake, to make his production company, Bay Films, one of Hollywood’s hottest from a sheer commercial standpoint. Also formed Platinum Dunes, with two other producers, as a means of producing far more modest fare, with relatively small budgets, in order to give younger directors an opportunity to strut their filmic stuff. The second company would also crack the $100 million mark with several remakes of earlier successful horror films, that failed, like all his other work, to impress the critics, but still managed to fill theater seats with the undiscriminating. Expanded his reach by buying Digital Domain, an established special effects house in order to get into video games and animation, and is also a longtime partner in Propaganda Films, an LA music video production company. Largely wedded to his career, he has eschewed intimacy in favor of working relationships. Added to his unimpressive oeuvre in 2016 with 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, yet another epic filled with sound and fury and signifying even less than nothing save for being a far more modest box office success than his previous offerings. Inner: Extremely visually oriented, with a great love for explosive movement, although little real feel for the human element in any story. Usually makes cameo appearances in his works. Born to direct lifetime of transposing his large sense of spectacle onto the 21st century screen, in his ongoing evolution as an artist with little feel for small moments, and a great feel for large ones. Cecil B. DeMille (Cecil Blount DeMille) (Cecil Blount DeMille) (1881-1959) - American filmmaker. Outer: Mother was an Englishwoman of Jewish descent who also wrote occasional drama and supported the family after his father’s death in the early 1890s, by opening a school for girls and later a theatrical company. His sire, who was of French-Dutch stock, had been an Episcopal lay preacher who taught at Columbia Univ. and was a playwright. Born while his parents were touring New England, he was raised in spartan piety, then studied at Pennsylvania Military College and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. 5’11”. Began his career as a stage actor at 17, but soon began collaborating with his playwright brother. A few days after his 21st birthday, he married a stage colleague, Constance Adams, the daughter of a judge, who was eight years his senior, one daughter and 3 adopted children from the union. Openly cheated on his supposedly frigid spouse from the very beginning of their union, with a hoard of female assistants and collaborators, as well as a longtime mistress, another actress, while bragging he never spent a Saturday night at home his entire marriage, and staged orgies for male guests, with the same sense of spectacle he brought to his cinematic efforts. Spent a dozen years acting and serving as general manager of his mother’s theatrical company, enjoying only middling success. Joined several producers, glove salesman Samuel Goldwyn and vaudeville musician Jesse Lasky (Garth Brooks) in the formation of a production company, which would eventually become Paramount Pictures, although at the time, he saw film as a lesser medium. In 1913, he made The Squaw Man, one of the first features produced in Hollywood, which was both a critical and commercial success, as the screen’s first epic. The film publicized the name of its stars, who had heretofore been unidentified, while introducing interior lighting for its actors. In the early years, he was involved in all aspects of the creative output of the company, taking on the self-important title of Director General. Had an office with stained-glass windows and a beamed roof reminiscent of a cathedral, and stomped around his sets in knee-high boots, a wide-brimmed hat and riding breeches with a megaphone in hand, surrounded by an entourage catering to his every need. Extremely attuned to public tastes, he established himself as a leading director, when that role was largely anonymous. After a period of doing comedies, where he made Gloria Swanson (Emma Stone) a star, he found his true métier in vast spectacles based on Biblical stories. Continually explored the theme of struggle and compromise as pathways to success, with bitterness as the price of achieving it. Became a household name with his ability to inspire the exotic imagination of his time. Failed to set up his own studio in the mid-1920s, then became a producer-director for MGM in 1928, before joining Paramount 4 years later. Served as host of Lux Radio Theater for 9 years beginning in 1936, then resigned when he refused to pay a $1 assessment imposed on him by the American Federation of Radio Artists, which opposed a California initiative vote abolishing the closed shop. Spent the latter part of his career with larger and larger productions, employing vast hordes of extras to give an epic sense of drama to his otherwise empty vision of traditional spirituality through such vehicles as The Ten Commandments and The King of Kings. Won an Academy Reward in 1953 for directing The Greatest Show on Earth, and was flooded with honors for the remaining 6 years of his life, after never having won anything previously. Made a Knight of the French Legion of Honor, as well. Directed over 70 films, and appeared occasionally as an actor, while maintaining an aristocratic lifestyle. His autobiography, Autobiography, was published posthumously. Died of a heart attack at home, while in preparations for a film on the Boy Scouts and its founder. Inner: Born showman, commanding personality, first director to use a megaphone. Pioneer in lighting effects, as well as the use of color, and the idea of a sneak preview. Anti-intellectual and extremely conservative right-winger, strongly opposed to labor and the very masses to whom he pandered, despite having grown up under totally opposite influences. King of Hollywood kings lifetime of creating entertaining spectacles, while retaining his ancient royalist views in the modern-day egalitarian aristocracy of Hollywood. Horace Vernet (Emile-Jean-Horace Vernet) (1789-1863) - French artist. Outer: From a multi-generational family of well-known French artists. Grandson of seascape painter Claude-Joseph Vernet (Andrew Wyeth). Incarnated right at the beginning of the French revolution, and was symbolically born in the galleries of the Louvre, while his parents were staying there. Father was an artist, Carle Vernet (N.C. Wyeth) who initially trained him, as did his maternal grandfather. Able to support himself with his drawings by the age of 15, and exhibited at the Salon from his early 20s onward. Rejected the classicism of the time, for realism, preferring to represent his images in unadorned terms. Decorated by the Emperor Napoleon for his gallant conduct at the defense of the Barriere de Clichy, for which he won the Cross of the Legion of Honor. Despite being a Bonapartiste, and thoroughly glorifying the era of the emperor in his works, he was also successful after the Restoration of the crown in 1815. Afterwards, he began doing large-scale battlefield scenes, chosen from French military his/story. His studio then became a center of political intrigue, as well as a cultural meeting/place, as he took a lordly role in French cultural and political society, providing an arena for discussion and debate. Ultimately became a director of the French Academy in Rome in 1828, and remained there for 6 years. On his return to Paris, he became a professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Traveled widely, and did military, oriental and biblical scenes, while from his late 40s onward concentrated on spectacular battle epics. Became the most popular painter in France, with an emphasis on the drama of military engagements, winning royal commissions from succeeding emperors and kings. Extremely productive with a sure sense of spectacle, although the critics despised his facility and his cliched pictorials. Enjoyed a long and successful career. Inner: Conservative with a simplistic sense of politics. Excellent eye for nature, using close observation of actualities for his works, rather than working from his imagination. Also worked quickly, with an extremely sure hand. Big canvas lifetime of creating visual spectacles that would be his signature in his next go-round as king of that genre in Hollywood. Francois Le Moyne (1688-1737) - French artist. Outer: Stepfather was an artist. At 13, he entered an artist’s studio, then studied at the Academie Royale. Won the Premier Prize in 1711, but did not get the coveted scholarship to study in Rome. Won approval by the Academie in 1716, and his first commission the following annum was a series on the life of Christ. 2 years later, he was made a full member of the Academie. Focused on religious and mythological paintings, showing himself to be an incipient storyteller on canvas. A financier helped him study in Italy for several months, and he returned as one of the chief exponents of the Venetian style, as he continued to execute murals and his/story paintings. In 1728, he received his most important commission, the ceiling of the Salon d’Hercule at Versailles, which he worked on for 3 years, in an unconscious return to his kingly past. Won the title of Premier Peintre du Roi, but the jealousies of others, as well as overwork and grand ambition, caused him to commit suicide in a fit of depression. Inner: Prudent and highly ambitious. Employed lush coloring, clear harmonies and the grand style of the Baroque, as well as graceful figures. Bridge lifetime of moving out of the royal realm into the rarified air of the arts, only to undo himself through his ongoing penchant for domination. Louis XIII (1601-1643) - King of France. Outer: Father was King Henri IV (FDR), mother was Marie de’ Medicis (Doris Kopf-Schroeder), daughter of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Morose and backward as a child, he assumed the throne as a boy on his father’s assassination in 1610, although his education was largely neglected. Dominated by his mother, who reversed some of his father’s policies. Finally sent her into exile in 1617 and put down 2 subsequent revolts by her, in an openly hostile relationship. Had a speech defect as boy, and was forced to have his tongue operated on, before he could ever speak. Experienced sexual difficulties, as well as problems with communication, keeping himself hidden from not only everyone around him, but himself as well. At 14, he married the daughter of the King of Spain, and sister of Felipe IV (Walt Disney), Anne of Austria (Emma Stone), 2 sons from the union including his successor Louis XIV (Charles de Gaulle). Had a totally separate life from his queen, amidst rumors of homoeroticism. Did not produce an heir until over 20 years into the marriage, when he finally was able to have union with his wife. Plump as a boy, he became thinner and more anxious looking as he grew older. Courageous in battle, leading his troops against Huguenot insurgents in his early 20s, but periodically mentally unstable and subject to ill health because of military campaigns. Allowed ministers to govern, trusting Cardinal de Richelieu (Henry Kissinger) with affairs of state, who, in turn gave him political machinations aplenty with which to busy his reign. The latter returned to alliances with Protestant states and opposition to Spain and Austria, which turned his younger brother, Gaston, duc d’Orleans, into a continual plotter fixated on bringing the powerful minister down. Won the enmity of many nobles and Protestants in his realm with his policies as well. One more failed revolt by his mother in 1630 occasioned her final exile, while the decade saw more conspiracies. Had a series of favorites among the young men of his court, who were the only people he felt free around, although even one of their number, Henri de Cinq-Mars (Pierre Laval) occasioned another plot, and had to be executed. An absolutist monarch, he was very pious, and religious foundations flourished under him. Interested in literature and writing, as well, establishing the Royal French Academy. Of delicate health, he died of tuberculosis, 5 months after Richielieu passed. Within five years of his death, there was an open rebellion among some of the princes of the realm, called the Fronde, which reflected the dualistic wake he left behind in his uncomfortable rule. Inner: Indolent and melancholic. Violent and timid, with a host of contradictory characteristics, including strict control and helpless dysfunction. War lover, but otherwise passive. Had a great dislike of family friction, and yet seemed to inspire unending conspiracies, thanks to his unintegrated character. Dualistic lifetime of manifesting a disjointed interior which was uncomfortable with rule, causing him to switch over to the milieu of pure self-expression in further lives in this series, while still maintaining his conservative sense of autocratic politics. Louis I, duc d’Orleans (1372-1407) - French noble. Outer: Father was Charles V (Raymond Arons). Mother was somewhat unstable, passing on that trait to her eldest son, Charles VI (Antonin Artaud). One of 8 children and 2nd son. Handsome, and far the superior of his brother in intellect and ambition, and the only member of the royal household who understood diplomatic Latin, despite being somewhat unstable himself. In 1387, he married his cousin Valentina Viscounti (Gypsy Rose Lee), the daughter of the duke of Milan, by proxy. Her unprecedented dowry of half a million gold francs also included lands in northern Italy, which he wished to incorporate into a kingdom of his own, carved out of the Papal States. 8 children from union, including the poet Charles d’Orleans (Robert Lowell). When his brother went mad, he got into a power struggle with his uncle Phillippe II, the duke of Burgundy (Darryl F. Zanuck), enjoying his princely status while the former went through periods of lucidity. After the death of the duke in 1404, the struggle for power continued with his son, Jean the Fearless (Joschka Fischer). Probably became lovers with the queen, Isabeau (Eve LeGallienne), who joined him against Burgundy, and also manipulated his wife into exile, while he made no effort to defend her, preferring matrimonial acrimony with his concomitant status as regent. Eventually he was assassinated in the streets by agents of Jean, who caught him at night, hacked off his left hand, dragged him off his mount, and then carved him up, as his escort went fleeing. Inner: Devoutly religious, and given to melancholy, but also an inveterate pleasure-seeker, who enjoyed the company of saidsame, no matter their station. Profligate, and irresponsible, as well as an inveterate gambler and gamboler, with scholarly interests complimenting his luxurious tastes. Dualistic lifetime of pursuing both power and pleasure at the highest levels, only to be ultimately outdone by those even more ambitious than himself. Louis II (846-879) - King of the West Franks. Known as ‘Louis the Stammerer.’ Outer: Son of Charles II (Darryl F. Zanuck), he was made king of Aquitaine under his father in 867. When the latter became emperor in 875, he was given the regency over the West Frankish kingdom, while Charles was off fighting in Italy for the pope. Elected king in his own right 2 years later. Refused to follow his father’s example as defender of the papacy the following year. Along with his cousin, Louis the Younger, king of the East Franks, he agreed to maintain the division of kingdoms that their fathers had set up. Unable to effectively rule, because his magnates had chosen him specifically to maintain their own interests. Married twice, to Ansgarde of Burgundy, two sons from the union, including his far more aggressive succesor, Louis III (Ernest Hemingway). His second union was with Adelaide of Paris with whom he had a daughter, and one posthumous son, Charles the Simple (Lex Barker), who would eventually become enthroned. Had virtually no impact on his brief time of rule. Inner: Physically weak and largely politically impotent. Frustrated lifetime of trying to exert his royal influence against a recalcitrant nobility, creating an early exit, and the desire to return to the throne to give completion to both his sense of rule and his ongoing problems with communication when thrust into royal circumstances.
PATHWAY OF THE POET AS MAD PERFORMER:
Storyline: The avant-garde absurdist violently rummages through his psyche to lay it bare for the world to see, as the uncrowned king of the theater of cruelty.
Reza Abdoh (1963?-1995) - Iranian/American playwright and performer. Outer: Mother was an Italian of legendary beauty, father was a wealthy Iranian, and also was extremely abusive. The former preferred residing in London, where her son was exposed to art, dance and theater, in an affluent upbringing. At 9, he got a part in a Robert Wilson theatrical epic, and realized the stage would be his life. At 13, he apprenticed with England’s National Youth Theater and spent his adolescence with an ensemble of street artists traveling throughout Europe. Tall, lean and messianic. Visited, then moved to Los Angeles, where he immersed himself in the avant-garde scene, ultimately becoming connected with the Los Angeles Theater Center for a decade, where he collaborated with its various artists in numerous productions, many shocking and profane in their uninhibited explorations of the human psyche, but highly popular at artistic festivals. Created a tribe-like theater group, with himself as its charismatic core. Became HIV-positive, and moved to NYC, allowing his artistry to disintegrate in his final productions over his rage and anger at being robbed of his life. Worked in multi-media, with a loyal company of actors willing to totally expose themselves for him. Died of an AIDS-related disease. Inner: Highly demanding, with a great desire to shock, provoke and repel his audiences. Cruel father and enchanting mother represented his basic dual view of the world. Act out lifetime of virtually being born for the stage and taking full advantage of the uninhibited environment of the late 20th century to bring his dark visions of humanity to life. Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) - French actor, poet and dramatist. Outer: Parents were Levantine Greeks, from whom he received his early fascination with mysticism. Deeply attached to his devout mother and sister, while his father was quite distant, heading a fairly affluent family. Suffered a near-fatal attack of meningitis at 5, and never quite recovered from it. Fragile, he had to be nursed at home. Brought up as a Catholic, and at one time entertained thoughts of becoming a priest. Began writing poetry when young, then decided to pursue a career of acting. Underwent another attack of meningitis at 19. Suffered intense headaches and pain, and became addicted to laudanum the rest of his life. A homophile, his singular romantic relationship was with a fellow actor. Studied his art in Paris, and made his debut with the Dadaist-Surrealist Theater, but broke with them because of their political views. Appeared in two films, and also began a lifelong in-and-out relationship with mental institutions, spending 9 years in them, during both world wars. Felt the theater was an exploratory realm to shock audiences into sharing the vision of both playwright and actors. Wrote theoretical works on the stage, which had a lasting influence, particularly with the Theater of the Absurd, while his own plays were far less effective. Became vehemently anti-clerical later in life. Eventually disappeared into his own mind, and died of cancer of the rectum, symbol of his own tenuous hold on survival. Inner: Intensely self-involved visionary. Prey to countless fantasies, feverish writer, scribbling on anything available. Had an enormous drug habit, with little real connection to planetary life. Continually explored the theme of death and rebirth. Absurdist lifetime of bringing his inner madness to the outer stage, and giving it both form and theory. Comte de L’Autremont (Isidore Ducasse) (1846-1870) - French poet. Outer: Father was a chancellor at the French consulate in Uruguay, mother committed suicide when he was one. Spent a quiet childhood at the consulate, buried deep within his own unintegrated interior, then was sent to France to live with an uncle when he was 13. Tall, thin, pale, with long hair falling over his face. Given a monthly allowance by his father to attend a French institute, but he disappeared instead to try to reinvent himself. Took his name from an arrogant hero of a novel by French writer Eugene Sue (Ernest Hemingway). Wrote poems, loudly declaiming his passages at all hours, much to his neighbors’ displeasure. A Belgian publisher refused to distribute his book because of the violence in it. Died mysteriously in his hotel room during a Prussian seige, possibly beaten by police, which would have been in keeping with his own inner Theater of Cruelty. Inner: Strange, unintegrated character with virtually no connection to the world around him. Absurd lifetime of acting out his profound sense of alienation on his interior stage, before self-willing his early final curtain as a fitting ending to his brief one act go-round. Donatien de Sade, Marquis de Sade (Donatien Alphonse Francois, Marquis de Sade) (1740-1814) - French writer and sensualist. Outer: Only surviving child of a French conte who was a lieutenant-general for several provinces, and an impoverished roue. His mother was lady-in-waiting to her cousin, the Princess de Condé. Descended on his father’s side from a noble Provencal family, and on his mother’s he was collaterally related to the Bourbon kings. Hardly knew his father, spent his first 4 years at the Condé palace, then was raised by his rakish Abbe uncle. Educated by Jesuits, as well as private tutoring. Entered military school, and was commissioned an officer, rising to the rank of captain in an elite cavalry regiment. 5’2”, he affected the attire of a dandy. Married Renée-Pélagie de Montreuil for money into the bourgeois aristocracy in 1763, although he was in love with his wife’s sister, with whom he had the most passionate affair of his life. Jailed 6 months later for debauchery with a mistress, serving 2 weeks. Succeeded his father in his lieutenant-generalcies, and later acquired several properties, continuing his licentious ways with mistresses galore. Had a son by his official union, but was soon accused of flagellation and abuse by a prostitute who withdrew her complaint after the payment of a large bribe. 2 more children followed, and he was later accused of sodomy and flagellation along with a lackey in a case involving several prostitutes and the aphrodisiac, Spanish fly. Tried in absentia, he was given a death sentence, and burned in effigy. Jailed, but his mother helped him escape, although more incidents propelled him to Italy after numerous complaints about his excesses were lodged by neighbors. Upon the death of his mother, his mother-in-law, who was his forsworn enemy, re-lodged charges against him, and he was once again jailed, escaped and re-imprisoned. During this time, his wife both loyally and masochistically lived austerely in a convent, so as to be able to supply him with the gourmet food he craved, as well as other amenities, giving him the foundation he needed at great personal sacrifice, and without which, his pen would have remained silent. Began writing during this 12 year period of incarceration. Also suffered hallucinations at the time. Finally liberated from the Bastille at the outset of the French Revolution. Organized a cavalry for the Section des Piques, and was made one of 3 commissioners to inspect the state of Paris hospitals. Became chairman of the Section, using his position to help his mother-in-law despite her lifelong vendetta against him. Separated from his wife, had numerous mistresses, and was finally jailed again for moderatism. Escaped the guillotine by being sent to a hospital, and eventually was freed but found himself destitute at the end of the Reign of Terror in 1794. Grew corpulent in jail, and suffered all sorts of physical ailments. Worked for Versailles vaudeville, suffered hard times, and was eventually rearrested for writing obscene works, and spent most of the remainder of his life at a mental hospital in Charenton where he directed plays and created an asylum theater. Finally died of a pulmonary condition and was buried, against his wishes, with Catholic rites. His youngest son helped police in burning his father’s works. Inner: Totally lack of capacity for self-criticism or self-control. Self-created victim by continually flaunting the morality of his times. Alternately viewed as an important literary figure and a perverse satyr of no merit whatsoever. Depraved lifetime of exploring his provocative sensuality without inhibition, while adding the characterization ‘sadism’ to the erotic lexicon of the world. Charles VI (1368-1422) - King of France. Known as “Charles the Mad.” Outer: Father was Charles V (Raymond Arons), mother was somewhat unstable, probably passing on the condition that ultimately undid him mentally. Eldest surviving son, one of 8 children, including Louis, duc d’Orleans (Cecil B. DeMille). Handsome youth, tall, affable and robust, with a liberal sensibility. Succeeded to the throne at the age of 12. His uncles became his regents, and provoked a civil war through their excessive taxation. At 17, he married a half/German half/Italian princess, Isabeau (Eva LeGallienne), with whom he fell in love on first sight. Highly sensual wife, 12 children from union, including his successor Charles VII (Leon Blum), after his first four sons died. The duo maintained an ostentatious court, and at the age of 20, he came into his majority. While crossing a forest in 1392, leading a punitive expedition, an old leper leapt out from the bushes, grabbed his bridle, and cried he had been betrayed. The king attacked his men-at-arms and killed 4 of them. When he recovered, he wept and said he could never be consoled. A few months later, he was almost accidently burned to death in the costume of a “wild man,” by his brother at a ball. Afterwards, the attacks began to happen more frequently and last for longer durations, through his suffering from poryphria, the “royal malady.” Had 44 attacks all told, each lasting from 3 to 9 months, interspersed with 3 to 5 month periods of sanity. Often thought he was made of glass and about to break. Rejected his wife when mad, and she turned to others for affection, although the duo periodically reconciled. The queen plotted against France through the marriage of a daughter to the English king, Richard II (Richard Nixon). The kingdom subsequently reflected his disorder, with nobles vying for power, while the queen continued to play a treacherous role in the affairs of state, almost affecting the attainment of the French throne by the English king, Henry V (Winston Churchill), which was aborted only through the latter’s sudden death. Faded out, and died in his early 50s. Inner: Lusty, athletic when young, completely pathetic later on. Payback lifetime of directly acting out his great guilt over a high profile assassination in an earlier existence, to the point of symbolically killing the 4 who did it, in order to try to release his own sense of shame and culpability. William de Tracy (?-c1173) - English assassin. Outer: Of aristocratic birth. Had been Thomas a Beckett’s (Martin Luther King) man when he became chancellor of England. One of 4 knights in the presence of Henry II (Kathleen Kennedy) when he stated he wished to be rid of Beckett. Only one of the 4 that Beckett greeted by name at Canterbury, when the quartet went to murder to him. Urged him to flee, but he refused. Struck the first blow, then confessed afterwards, but his heart was extremely heavy with guilt. Granted his manor to the chapter of Canterbury as expiation. Set out for the Holy Land, but died along the way in the agony of a leprosy-like disease that peeled his flesh away. Inner: Tortured lifetime of acting out of the darkness of his heart, and then internalizing that heavy burden for numerous incarnations without being able to release it. Antigonus (?-37BZ) - Last Hasmonean ruler of Judaea. Outer: Son of Aristobulus II (Albert Camus). When his father was captured by the Romans in 56BZ, he fled to Parthia and talked the Parthians into marching under the Hasmonean banner against the Roman occupation of Jerusalem. Had them cut off his uncle John Hyrancus’s (Paul Bowles) ears so as to make him ineligible for the priesthood, and no threat to his intended rule. To his surprise, he defeated the Romans and drove them out of Judaea, and made himself king and high priest, his 2 family titles, while re-establishing Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. Able to hold the Roman-appointed tetrarch, Herod (Adolf HItler) at bay for 3 years, but finally was forced to surrender to the superior forces of Rome. As the very last of the Hasmonean line of rulers, he was slain by orders of Marc Antony (Marquis de Lafayette), ending his family’s dynasty. Inner: Martial adept, with a strong will, a sadistic sensibility, and a desire for power to match it. End-of-the-line lifetime of bringing his family’s dynastic story to conclusion with one last blast of defiance, before falling to the inexorability of superior forces against him in yet another round of performance art with a predictably unhappy ending.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS INDEPENDENT IDEALIST:
Storyline: The principled player brings her intermix of passion and aloofness to bear quite brilliantly on the theater, but never gets past act one in her private life.
Eva LeGallienne (1899-1991) - French/English/American actress. Outer: Mother was a journalist, father was poet Richard Le Gallienne, who was a friend and possible lover of Oscar Wilde (Joe Orton). Her progenitor was often gone from home for months at a time, and showed little interest in either his wife or his daughter, preferring his drunken, philandering pursuits. The duo divorced when she was 4. Raised in both London and Paris, then educated at the College Sevigne, although she was forced to leave France during WW I, and came to England, where she studied at the future Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. 5’4”, 120 lbs, blue-eyed. Fluent in 7 languages, and at one time, a crack fencer. Decided to devote her life to the stage after watching a performance by Sarah Bernhardt (Laurie Anderson). Made her stage debut in her mid-teens in “The Laughter of Fools,” in London. Despite being well-received for her craft, it took her a number of years to gain wide notice, while working in both London and the U.S. Made her NY debut the same year as her London bow in “Mrs. Boltay’s Daughters.” Became known as ‘Le G.’ Her first success came in 1920, although she still had difficulty in finding satisfactory parts, and did readings of famous playwrights in between engagements. Felt the theater should be free to the public, and bemoaned the fact it was controlled by people primarily interested in making money. Established a populist venue in 1926 to perform the classics, which she called the Civic Repertory Theater, then turned down more lucrative roles to appear in low-priced versions of the old masters, while also acting as a producer and director. Her theater eventually folded 9 years later for economic reasons. An outspoken homophile and avowed outsider, she developed a serious drinking problem with her ongoing sense of alienation, although continued acting, but never enjoyed the reputation of her topflight contemporaries, thanks in part to an unpleasant personality. Worked steadily on Broadway, and in 1946, was one of a trio who started the American Repertory Theater, although it only lasted one season. Wrote 2 autobiographical works, "At 33" in 1934 and "With a Quiet Heart" in 1953. Also wrote a children’s book and a biography of actress Eleanor Duse (Sophia Loren). Did several films, and was awarded a Tony in 1964 for distinguished contributions to the theater. Won an Emmy in 1978 for Best Supporting Actress for ‘The Royal Family.’ Died of heart failure in her 9th decade. Inner: Haughty, withdrawn and humorless. Also predatory, selfish and fickle in her affairs, feeling she neither had the capability of loving or being loved. Hooded heart lifetime of dedicating herself to uplifting the American theater, while doing little to uplift her distant self to some sense of connection to anything other than her work. Mathilda Heron (1830-1877) - IIrish/American actress. Outer: Father owned a small Irish farm. 3rd daughter and youngest of 5. Her sire brought the family to America when she was 12, where he prospered as a lumber merchant. Sent to a private French academy, but her family protested her desire to make the stage her profession. Became the pupil of an actor, anyway, and made her professional debut in 1851. Made a trip to California the following year, and, even though she arrived penniless, she fast became an audience favorite. Secretly married Henry Byrne, a San Francisco lawyer, in 1854, but left him within a month. Went to Paris and saw Alexandre Dumas, fils’ (Tennessee Williams) ‘La Dame Aux Camelias,’ and translated the play into English, bringing it back to America with her. Although it received little attention when she debuted it in 1855, the NY performance 2 years later drew considerable press, and it became one of her signature roles. Found similar success with the French play, “Medea.” Married Robert Stoepel, a NY orchestra leader and composer in her late 20s, their daughter became actress Bijou Heron. The duo later divorced in 1869. Took “La Dame,” to London, but the censors mangled it. Wrote several original plays, and revisited California, but had already passed her peak in her early 30s. By the mid-1860s, she grew fat and gray and her brilliance faded. Dissipated her fortune through lavish spending and her generosity, and was reduced to poverty. Existed on the proceeds of a benefit performance given by fellow actors for her, while training aspirants for theater. Died after an operation to halt her hemorrhoidal bleeding. Inner: Quixotic, followed her feelings rather than the rules of elocution. Emotion-charged, magnetic, tempestuous. Intense, impulsive, naturalistic actress. Limited herself to emotional roles and sensational plays in order to truly express herself upon the stage, although her acting style became dated half-way through her career. Passionate lifetime of bringing her unusual intensity and stubborn idealism to the American stage, only to remain unintegrated with her life and her art in yet another go-round of trying to draw the two together. Claire Clairon (Claire-Josephe-Hippolyte de la Tude Clairon) (1723-1803) - French actress. Outer: Mother was a seamstress, grew up amidst extreme poverty in early childhood. Joined the Comedie Italienne at the age of 12 and toured with them in the French provinces. Evinced a strong singing voice, and at 20 she joined the Paris Opera, before becoming a member of the Comedie Francaise. Chose the title role of Phedre for her debut, which had been played by her subsequent lifelong rival, Marie-Francoise Dumesnil (Bette Davis). Was an instant success, and became a noted tragedienne. Gave his/storical authenticity to her costumes, and abandoned the stilted declamatory style of the time for a more natural mode of acting through the influence of playwright Jean-Francois Marmontel (Saul Bellow). There was no spontaneity or improvisation in her own emoting, however. Refused to play with an actor who had defamed the company in her mid-30s, and quit the formal stage. Took refuge with playwright Voltaire (Michel Foucault) and acted in his private theater, before returning to Paris for private theatricals and court theater. At 50, she went to to the court of the Margrave of Anspach, and wrote her memoirs there, Memoires et reflexions sur l’art dramatique. Engaged in a debate in her mid-60s with her longtime rival over the differences between art and artifice. After the Margrave’s death, her pension stopped because of the French Revolution, and she came back to Paris, where she lived out her life on the proceeds of her book. Inner: Uncompromising in her idealistic view of art. Extremely serious and unable to see beyond her own rigid vision of life. Principled lifetime of putting integrity in front of ambition, while embracing her own sense of artistry to create a far more accessible style of acting for the French stage, while once again finding great difficulty in integrating her art and her life. Isabeau (1371-1435) - German/Italian Queen of France. Outer: Daughter of the duke of Bavaria-Inglostadt, mother was an Italian princess. Half-German, half-Italian. In 1385, at the age of 14, she married Charles VI of France (Reza Abdoh), 12 children from union, including the heir to the throne, Charles VII (Leon Blum), although the paternity of many of her offspring were in question, causing the dauphin to brood on his own legitimacy. The king fell madly in love with her at first sight, and initially the duo were quite compatible. Learned French and through her influence, the court became lively, with much feasting and celebration. Their conjugal relations, however, ended with the onset of his madness in 1392, and she turned first to her besotted brother-in-law, the duke of Orleans, as well as her own brother, the duke of Bavaria, to maneuver herself into control of the government, despite being wildly unpopular. Used her position to pursue her own pleasures, while showering her favorites with largesse looted from the treasury. Completely neglected her children, as well as her husband, leaving them largely impoverished in the hands of a few loyal servants. During the king’s lucid periods, they would reconciliate, although his incapacity was reflected by the kingdom, which came undone during the latter part of his reign. Forced to flee to Milan at one point, before returning. After Orleans was murdered in 1407, she turned to her former enemy, the duke of Burgundy, who rescued her from imprisonment by her son in 1417, and set up governments for her in Chartres and then Troyes, although the latter deserted her in favor of the dauphin. Played a treacherous role towards the end of her husband’s reign, by signing a treaty that would marry her daughter to Henry V of England (Winston Churchill) in 1420, giving him the kingship of France in lieu of her son, although the former died before actualizing it. Outlived her husband by 13 years, and played no role in her son’s subsequent reign, dying despised by both the French and English. Inner: Capricious, manipulative, and power-mad. Highly-sexed, with the power and position to unconventionally sate her physical needs. Mirror lifetime of dealing with over-the-edge behavior through the reflection of another in addition to her own direct actions, in order to see her own excesses more clearly through the filter of his’n’herstory.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SHOW BUSINESS MARTYR:
Storyline: The vulnerable victim plays Jean of Arc to her own self-destructive sensibilities, burning herself at the stake of self-judgment in a confused search for who she really is, under the glare of a very public spotlight.
Jean Seberg (1938-1979) - American actress. Outer: Of Swedish descent. Father was a pharmacist, mother was a school teacher. Grew up in the Midwest in a wholesome environment, taught Sunday School and worked at her sire’s drugstore. Her mother would have liked her to become a writer, while her father wished her to be a doctor. An accomplished, active teen, she wanted to be an actress from the age of 12, and participated in high school dramatics. Attended the Univ. of Iowa, and after her drama coach entered her name, she was selected out of thousands of applicants to play the role of Joan of Arc (Petra Kelly) in Otto Preminger’s Saint Joan in 1957. The publicity made her famous, even though the film was not received well. Devastated by reactions to her debut, she went in seclusion to Nice, France. Turned down by the Actor’s Studio, and following one more picture with Preminger, she returned to France to continue her career. 5’6”. At 20, she married At 20, she married Francois Moreujil, a French attorney-filmmaker who directed her in a forgettable movie, divorced 2 years later, but continued working in France and emerged as an international star via Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless in 1960. Her sense of corrupted innocence was subsequently used to good effect by several international directors. In her mid-20s, she married French novelist Romain Gary, divorced after 8 years, 2 children. Very active sexually, continually rejecting a stream of exotic, revolutionary lovers, through her neediness and sense of manipulation. Became politically active in left-wing causes, including the Black Panthers, which made her persona non grata with the FBI, and they began harassing her during the late 1960s. Suffered a nervous breakdown following the death of her daughter 2 days following her birth, after a story was planted that she was carrying the child of a Black Panther leader. Made a suicide attempt every year on the anniversary of her daughter’s death. Beginning in her mid-30s, she was married for 6 years to Dennis Berry, another French director during the 1970s. After separating from him, although not divorcing him, she married an Algerian, Ahmed Hasmi, and a few months later was found dead in her car in Paris from an overdose of barbiturates. Former husband Gary also eventually killed himself, after blaming the FBI for his ex-wife’s death. Inner: From wholesome beginnings, gradually grew more and more paranoid, taking on the imbalance of the world until she could no longer live with herself. Needy, angry, caustic, incredibly self-destructive and ultimately unbalanced. Self-immolating lifetime of identifying with the martyr who brought her to public prominence, and then living out her life to bring about a similar conclusion. Jeanne Eagels (Amelia Jean Eagels) (1893-1929) - American actress. Outer: Father was a carpenter of French descent, mother was of Irish descent. 2nd of 6 children. Had a colorful childhood, beginning her stage career at 7 as Puck in an amateur production. Probably made her professional debut around 11. Frail, mischievous tomboy. Educated in public and parochial schools, and blossomed into a celebrated beauty with a fiery temperament. Labored as a stock girl and cashier in a department store, and also took on small parts with area theater companies. Worked her way up to the role of leading lady with the with the Tent Repertoire Company, staying with them for 6 years. Golden-haired with blue eyes. Married Morris Dubinsky, the tent show co-owner, who was also an actor. Their son was subsequently cared for by friends and never knew who his mother was. Came to NYC at 21, and played the ‘subway circuit,’ in the city’s outlying boroughs. Worked during the day in the early movie studios of NY, and then at night on stage. Her first real hit was in her late 20s, as a French war orphan. Scored her most resounding success and was most deeply identified in the public’s mind with the prostitute Sadie Thompson in “Rain,” which ran for over 600 performances. In 1925, she married Ted Coy, a banker who had been an All-American football star at Yale, divorced 3 years later. Began drinking heavily as her career started to wane. Cancelled a week of performances due to ptomaine poisoning and was barred from performing for 1 1/2 years and fined by Actor’s Equity. Operated on for corneal ulcers. Died of alcohol psychosis as well as an overdose of a nerve sedative. Inner: Neurotic, loyal, mercurial, generous and sweet. Emotionally volatile, which she was able to channel onstage, but not off, through an inability to find real love. Operated on a philosophy of “Never deny. Never Explain. Say nothing and become a legend.” Umbrella-less lifetime of falling victim to her own internal rain, and drowning in her own fears and sorrows. Marie Duplessis (Rose Alphonsine Plessis) (1824-1827) - French courtesan. Outer: Her paternal grandmother was a prostitute, while her paternal grandfather was a priest, in an unholy matrimonial union of opposites. Father owned a drapers shop, and was a drunkard, while her mother lowered herself socially to marry him, to her eternal regret. One younger sister. Her mother eventually left her sire, and put her daughters in the care of a cousin, only to die when her eldest was 8. Her progenitor continued to fob her off on relatives, until she lost her virginity at 12 and was sent home post haste. Worked for a laundress for a year, before her sorry sire began pimping her out, selling her initially to a 70 year old bachelor, who used her for a year, before returning her. By her early teens she had been shipped off to relatives in Paris, where she found various means of employment in clothing shops. Petite, and slim, with dark eyes, and an angelic oval face that continued to carry the melancholy of her childhood. Her innocent look proved extremely alluring and she soon became a courtesan, educating herself to make herself more interesting to men of means. Changed her nom de boudoir to Marie and steadily moved up the social ladder, adding a ‘du’ to her surname as she bedded ducs and comtes alike. Had a child with a duc, although she gave it up for adoption and it died of pneumonia. At 18, she met Alexandre Dumas, fils (Tennessee Williams) who would later immortalize her in literature as the doomed lady of the camellias, following a year long affair with her, and a continual obsession afterwards. Able to balance off a group of lovers, who all fed into her upkeep, until at the age of 20, she settled on an elderly count, who had been the Russian ambassador to Vienna, and projected his dead daughter on her. In turn, he was a father figure to her, as they both tried, but failed to fill in great gaping holes in each other’s lives. Despite her promiscuity, she continued to search above all else for the love denied her in her childhood, but in its stead, got a wealth of material objects, as she moved into an opulent apartment, replete with grand furnishings, and a modest library, which she used in her ongoing self-education. Through discipline, she was able to transform her Norman accent into an acceptable Parisian one, and to read and write with far more facility than her limited education warranted. Despite being inundated with riches, they were never enough, as she continually craved more and more compensatory luxury. A compulsive gambler, she mourned over the fact that although she loved, she was never really loved in return, although she came close after a brief affair with composer Franz Liszt (G.W. Pabst), who finally opted for career over her. Already sick with the consumption that would prematurely end her life, and afraid her fatal illness would leave her totally alone at the end, she married an old lover of hers, a comte, in 1845, although the duo quickly separated, and the union was never legal in France. Nevertheless she took the title of countess, and made a desperate attempt at staving off death in her final year, as her former lovers all peeled away, leaving her in enormous debt, before she finally succumbed, at the age of 23 to consumption, with two loyal lovers, one her husband, by her side at the end. Five months later, she found literary immortality in Dumas’ La Dame aux Camellias, a fantasy of what he wished would have happened in her sacrificing herself for the love of him. The book version was less successful than the play, which in turn became the opera La Traviata by Guiseppe Verdi (Luchino Visconti), and a highly popular 20th century film, Camille, starring Greta Garbo. Inner: Melancholic, seductive and highly materialistic. Sad-eyed lady of the lowland lifetime of being denied the love she continually craved, and trying to replace it with luxurious items, only to prematurely succumb to the favorite dis-ease of her fellow romantic era romantics, tuberculosis. Magdeleine-Marie Desgarcins (Louise Desgarcins) (1769-1797) - French actress. Outer: Made her debut in 1788, in Jean Racine’s (Ingmar Bergman) Bajazet., and proved herself to be a tragic actress of considerable accomplishment. Soon was made a full member of her company. When the French Revolution split the company in 1791, she went off with actor Francois Talma, her frequent co-star, and formed a new company, starring in several Shakespearean translation. Her triumphs, however, were short-lived, as she slipped into insanity, and before she was thirty, perished. Inner: Exit stage left lifetime of giving emotional expression to the deep sadness and tragedy she has long carried about her person, before succumbing to her ongoing bent for obliteration, via her unhappy mind. Margaret (1424-1445) - Queen of France. Outer: Father was James I (Richard Burton) of Scotland, mother was Joan Beaufort (Elizabeth Taylor). At 13, she was married to the future Louis XI (Adolf Hitler) of France when he was the same age and still Dauphin. Louis resented having no say in the marriage and took a strong dislike to her, despite her obvious high qualities. She subsequently remained in Paris while her husband withdrew to the countryside. Lived with her mother-in-law, the queen, but despite the kind treatment she received from her royal in-laws, was very unhappy in France. Died from an inflammation of the lungs in her early 20s, in a death that was probably self-willed. Inner: Charming victim of the political ambitions of others. Unhappy lifetime of royal rejection, in her ongoing highly public struggles with self-love and self-worth, no matter the epoch or circumstance.
PATHWAY OF THE RULER AS INGENIOUS INNOVATOR TURNED INNOCUOUS FILMMAKER:
Storyline: The pioneer producer redirects his previous facility for cinematic empire into a worldwide enterprise geared towards allowing him a full lifespan of influential independence, rather than his earlier half-life built on the inherent limitations of mastering a technology that would soon outstrip him, and leave him too far behind to ever catch up to it.
Roland Emmerich (1955) - German film producer and director. Outer: As a child, he was fascinated by American science-fiction films and TV, and developed his own incipient sense of self-expression via painting and sculpting. Had several older brothers, while one sister, Ute, became a producer. Moved to Munich in 1977 to study at the School of Television and Film there for four years, where he learned production design and direction. As a student he made a general release film, The Noah’s Ark Principle in 1984, which would go on to enjoy a multi-country run. Along with his sister, he formed his own production company, Centropolis (later Centropolis Entertainment), from the proceeds, and began to explore his fascination with the supernatural and sci-fi on film, directing English language vehicles in Germany, with an eye on a worldwide market for them. On a straight-to-video project, Moon 44, he met actor Dean Devlin, who would subsequently become his writing and producing partner, as he moved to Hollywood and began producing and directing bigger budgeted fare, beginning with Universal Soldier in 1992. Enjoyed a huge hit with Stargate two years later, then became known as an event movie maker, with big budget blockbusters, starting with Independence Day in 1996, an alien invasion spectacle replete with spectacularly destroyed cities. Failed to replicate his success with a remake of the reptilian classic Godzilla, but eventually returned to earth-destroying form with Day After Tomorrow, and in 2009, 2012, Hollywoodizing fears around that date’s projected apocalypse in most spectacular and lucrative manner. Continued to create heavily-visual special effects dramas, with a focus on remakes of earlier efforts in that genre in order to bring them technologically up-to-date. Openly homophile, he has been an active contributor to same sex organizations. Lives in Puerto Vallarta as well as Los Angeles, and is an avid collector of both films and books. Inner: Unabashed film fan, with a fascination for cutting-edge technology, as well as cinematic mayhem. Chain smoker, and social activist, with a great desire to right worldwide wrongs. Part drei lifetime of making sure he stays au courant with both technology and his potential audiences, so as not to repeat his two earlier truncated existences, when the times passed him by, through a lack of both internal and external vision on his part. Leon Gaumont (1864-1946) - French film executive and inventor. Outer: From modest circumstances, although was mechanically minded since childhood, with a longtime fascination with photography. Even as a teen, he limned advanced ideas on filming and successive projection. In 1881, he entered the Paris workshops of one of the best known precision instrument manufacturers of the time. In 1888, he married Camille Maillard, whose dowry including a piece of land which became the eventual sit of the Gaumont Studios. Went to work for a manufacturer of photographic equipment in 1893, and when the former became involved in a legal battle with his brother, he bought him out 2 years later, and established the Gaumont Company the following year as a manufacturer, along with Gustave Eiffel, the creator of the famous tower, and two others. Although his initial effort failed, he soon developed the right model, and his success turned him towards the production end of film, while he also began tinkering with devices, inventing the Chronophone, which coordinated a sound system with the silent product on the screen. Expanded quickly, so that he soon had studios, labs and a chain of movie theaters, centered in Paris and extending to other French cities. Started developing an international market for his output in England, Germany, Russia and the U.S., while continuing to tinker with new devices. In 1912, he introduced ‘talkies,’ in one of his Parisian theaters, with an advanced version of the Chronophone. At the same time, he patented a tri-color additive process, and by 1918, he had produced his first short color film. A decade later, he developed a sound system, which would result in the first French talkie, Eau de Nil. Unable to stem Hollywood’s overarching reach, and at the dawn of the age of talking films, 1929, he retired. His various companies were either absorbed or continued on under other management. His career paralleled exactly that of Charles Pathé, right down to their mutual retirement. Died at home. Inner: Inveterate tinkerer, who found the technological, rather than the creative side of filmmaking to his liking. Self-inventing inventor’s lifetime of paralleling his longtime cohort in creating a business empire out of newly developed gadgetry, before retiring just as it was about to launch itself into a brand new era. Charles X (Charles-Philippe) (1757-1836) - French king. Outer: 5th and youngest son of the dauphin Louis, mother was a German princess. Younger brother of Louis XVI (Lex Barker) and Louis XVIII (Luc Besson). Spent his early life in the scandalous pursuit of pleasure and dissipation. Tall, slim, debonair and handsome. Married Marie-Therese (Celine Dion), the daughter of the king of Sardinia in 1773, 4 children from the union, including his barely crowned successor, Louis XIX (Michael Lucas), the last of the direct Bourbon line, and Charles, duc de Berry (Macauley Culkin), who would suffer assassination. His wife was the sister of his brother, Louis XVIII’s wife, Marie Josephine (Asia Argento) and equally unattractive. Particularly fond of actresses, the singular member of his family’s generation with a strong sex drive. Had a longtime liaison with the sister-in-law of one of the queen’s, Marie Antoinette (Lana Turner), favorites. Given military service in 1782 as a distraction rather than a career, and eventually abandoned his libertinism to concentrate on politics. Because of his absolute resistance to any reforms, he was ordered by his brother, the king, to leave France at the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, and became the first member of the royal family to go into exile. Joined by his brother Louis XVIII in 1791. Spent the intervening years between the fall of the monarchy and the Bourbon Restoration in 1814 traveling throughout Europe, making one unsuccessful attempt to land and lead a royalist uprising in France. Established himself in London, but his wife did not accompany him and died in 1805, the same year his mistress did, making him swear on her death-bed to amend his ways, which he did, becoming a moral, religious bigot. When his brother became king in the post-Napoleonic period, he was made lieutenant-general of the kingdom and became leader of the Ultras, the reactionary royalists. Lost his son Charles to an assassin in 1820, and never really recovered from the blow, becoming anti-everything that smacked of change. Succeeded his brother in 1824 on the latter’s death, but soon proved extremely unpopular with his uber-Tory rule. Revived the titles of the old days, and tried to restore pre-revolutionary privileges to the clergy and the former aristocracy, while each of his ministries proved progressively more unpopular. Wanted to pay the country’s ousted aristocrats a billion francs for their confiscated property. Suspended freedom of the press, and illegally dissolved the Chamber of Deputies in 1830, refusing to acknowledge the electoral majority of his opposition, and ordered new elections in September, although his high-handedness sparked the July Revolution of 1830 and he was forced to flee. Named Louis-Philippe (Boris Yeltsin) lieutenant-general of the kingdom and abdicated in favor of his grandson, although it was the former who was offered the crown. Went into exile with great dignity in England, and eventually wound up in Prague, until shortly before his death from cholera, ending the Bourbon line on the throne. Inner: Reactionary, unbending, and only able to change through extremes, going from libertinism to moralistic prudery. Stubborn, obstinate, clung to the divine right of kings throughout his life. Recalcitrant lifetime of exemplifying a decadent then decayed house of rule, which probably impelled him to try in his next go-round to ascend an early throne of the far more flexible film industry. Louis-Henri IV, Condé (Louis-Henri, IVth prince of Condé) (1692-1740) - French nobleman. Known as Monsieur le duc. Outer: Grandson of the 5th prince, Henri-Louis (Luc Besson). Grandson of the 5th prince, Henri-Louis (Roland Emmerich). Eldest son of the 6th prince (Michael Lucas), mother, Louise Francoise (Arletty) was an illegitimate daughter of Louis XIV (Charles de Gaulle). His sire carried the family genetic propensity for insanity, and died when his son was 18. Tall and moderately good-looking when young, he lost an eye in a hunting accident. Married Marie-Anne de Bourbon-Conti in 1713, but his wife died 7 years later, no children from the union. Following the death of Louis XIV in 1715, he became duc de Bourbon and was appointed head of a Regency Council by Philippe II, duc de Bourbon (Boris Yeltsin), who was acting as regent for the young Louis XV (Mikhail Gorbachev). Preferred hunting and financial speculation to his duties and in 1719 took on an extremely ambitious mistress. As the eldest prince of the blood, he was made first minister on the death of Philippe, but was under the influence of his mistress. Raised taxes and instituted severely repressive police measures which made his regime extremely unpopular. Put all his efforts into blocking the Orleans branch from succeeding to the throne, since the young king was sickly. Arranged a royal marriage between Louis and the daughter of the dethroned Polish king, which caused Spain to ally with France’s traditional enemy Austria. After failing in his intrigues against the king’s influential tutor, he was dismissed in 1726 and exiled to Chantilly, where he spent the rest of his life dabbling in scientific studies. Married in 1728 to Caroline of Hesse-Rheinfels-Rothenburg, a German princess, one son from union who succeeded him. Ultimately became stooped and extremely thin. Inner: Dilettantish and self-involved, with little real feel for the powers thrust upon him, and absolutely no connection to the realities of his policies. Fared poorly in contemporary chronicles, eliciting numerous slurs on his intelligence and character. Out-of-touch lifetime of showing a marked ineptitude for executive rule, allowing himself to be manipulated and then out-maneuvered, before retreating to technological pursuits, which would later come to serve him well. Baldwin II of Constantinople (1217-1273) - Latin emperor of Constantinople. Outer: Born immediately after his mother Yolanda (Meg Ryan) arrived in Constantinople to assume the regency for his older brother. Never knew his father, Peter II of Courtenay (Macauley Culkin), who was directly related to the Capetian line on the French throne, and died in an Epirot prison around the time of his birth. Youngest of four sons and six daughters, with his older brother Robert (Michael Lucas) his predecessor Latin emperor of Constantinople. Only 11 at the time of the latter’s death, the aged, but still quite spry John of Brienne (Ashton Kutcher), who held the title of king of Jerusalem, was chosen as his regent. Made to marry the latter’s four year old daughter, with a suitable land dowry, under the proviso that John would be basileus until his death, at which point the young emperor would succeed him. The marriage became official in 1234, while the empire continued its steady decline, as its exiled counterpart in Nicaea was continuing to verge on retaking it, through a series of aggressive and far more talented leaders. In 1236, he went to Italy to raise arms, money and men, and wound up staying away for four years, much preferring western ways and culture to the corroded environment of Constantinople, which had been reduced to ruins through the negligence of its Latin host. In 1237, he claimed Namur for himself, as count, only to lose it nearly twenty years later when the count of Luxembourg invaded it, and he was forced to sell its rights to a cousin, having very rarely even been there. Pawned the sacred Crown of Thorns that Jesus allegedly wore the same year, to a Venetian merchant, and, with the considerable fortune he got for it, he was able to raise a relatively large army, although he was unable to translate it into any positive action, as his regent died, and he was now full-fledged emperor of a domain that was little more than the city of Constantinople. Went west again in 1245 and stayed for two years, while his wife and one of the barons reigned in his stead. Sold relics to the French king, but his finances remained n dire straits, and he was forced to hand over his son Philip as a hostage/pledge to Venetian merchants, in order to raise money. Although his son was later redeemed by the king of Spain, he fared ill in his pursuit of keeping his empty treasury from totally collapsing, and in 1261, Constantinople fell to its rightful ruler, Michael VIII Palaeologus (Jean-Pierre Aumont), ending the fifty-seven year empire-in-exile status of the city’s true ruling house. Fled through Greece and Italy, finally reaching France, while still importuning for help to reclaim his empire. Schemed with Charles d’Anjou to retake Constantinople although nothing came of it, and he wound up living on a pension from the former. Died a few days after his son married a daughter of Charles, permanently ending the brief run on the throne of Constantinople by its Latin Emperors. Inner: Shaky seat of power lifetime of spending his entire rule desperately trying to find arms and financial support for it, while showing a clear preference for being elsewhere than on the dying Latin throne of Constantinople.
PATHWAY OF THE RULER AS CELEBRATED SONGBIRD:
Storyline: The enchanting chanteuse finds nothing but unhappiness in her royal lives, before becoming an astonishingly well-loved figure through her gift for sheer entertainment, and the gradual evolution of her popular pipes from serviceable to sensational.
Celine Dion (Celine Marie Claudette Dion) (1968) - Canadian/American singer. Outer: Of French/Canadian descent, with a touch of Syrian thrown in. Grew up in poverty as the youngest of 14 in a Roman Catholic family, that was rich where it counted, in love for one another. Music was part of her upbringing, and she was named after a popular French song. Her parents owned a small piano bar, where she would sing with her siblings. Wrote her first song at 12 with her mother and a brother, which led to a manager, Rene Angelil, whose belief in her was so strong, he mortgaged his home for her first release, which was a hit in Quebec. Largely sacrificed her adolescence for her desire to become a star, and within a short period, was a worldwide pop figure, becoming the first Canadian singer to achieve gold record status in France, in a crypto-nod to her recent popular past there. Won numerous awards as a European phenomenon during the 1980s, as a French-speaking singer. Still unknown in America, she underwent cosmetic and dental surgery and went to Berlitz in 1989 to improve her English. Made her English-singing debut the following year in the soft rock genre with “Unison,” which produced her first top ten single in the U.S. A duet the following year with Peabo Bryson on a movie track for Beauty and the Beast, got her both a Grammy and an Academy Reward for Best Pop Performance, and she was on her way, with her signature arrangements of sweeping ballads backed by innocuous instrumentation. Able to work in a host of genres, and though the critics would be mixed in their reactions to her, her fans wound find her technique and powerful voice to their precise taste. Continued recording bilingually, and quickly became a recording and performing superstar during the decade. Became lovers with her manager Angelil, who was over a quarter century her senior, although the relationship was kept a secret for fear of alienating her fans. By 1994, they felt confident enough of her status to marry in an elaborate ceremony broadcast live on Canadian TV. Continued churning out the hits around the world, and maintained her popularity in France by pacing her French releases between her more lucrative English-language records, while making a transition to more of a pop and soul sound, which saw some critics carp that she was becoming ever more a clichéd crowd-pleaser at the cost of her basic musicianship, a charge that had also been leveled at Whitney Houston. By decade’s end, she had sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, while also garnering more Grammys, and more nose-thumbing from the critical establishment, who found her focus on love, largely uninspiring, little realizing it would be the central theme of her life and lives past. At the turn of the century, her husband came down with throat cancer, which caused a much needed hiatus in her career, as she nursed him back to health. A false claim by the National Enquirer that she was pregnant with twins, elicited a huge suit, and an apology, and the following year, she gave birth to a son. Returned in full force to her recording career in 2002, with more of a maternal touch to her music, which elicited the usual negative reaction from the critics and positive response from her fans. Parlayed her popularity into a three year Las Vegas run, beginning in 2003, where she performed in a 4000 seat arena designed to showcase her sheer showmanship, against a typically extravagant Sin City backdrop of dancers and special effects. Gradually grew more comfortable with the format, while grossing millions from it, before returning to the studio and other venues. By 40, she had sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, on her way to becoming the best-selling female artist of all time. In 2008, she was given France’s most prestigious award, the Legion d’honneur. An entrepreneur with a perfume company as well as other enterprises, she is also highly charitable with her time and her money for worthwhile causes. Delivered a pair of twin boys in 2010, to add to her all-around prolificacy. Because of cancer, her husband stepped down as her manager in 2014, while remaining with their production company as chairman, although by the next year he was clearly dying, and did so in 2016. To add to her profound grief, her brother died two days later of cancer, as well. Inner: Conservative and traditional, and the subject of not only much carping and criticism, but parody and satire as well, which she finds flattering. Highly ambitious, with a great desire to be loved and to bring joy to others, which is the underlying motivation of her life. All you need is love lifetime of continuing to explore and refine her remarkable abilities to entertain, expanding her stage to the world-at-large, while remaining, at heart, the simple peasant she has always been, whether wearing royal robes, or singing her heart out to an audience of one. Mistinguett (Jeanne Bourgeoise) (1875-1956) - French singer and actress. Outer: From a humble background. Worked as a flower-seller in a rural restaurant, where she sang popular ballads, and was dubbed Miss Tinguette by a songwriter, for her English-looking protruding front teeth, which she would soon alter to Mistinguett, as her nom de chanson. Large-eyed, although largely plain-featured. Made her Parisian debut in 1895, and was soon appearing at the city’s most popular venues, including the Folies Bergere and le Moulin Rouge. Combined an earthy girlish charm and risqué routines, to become an overwhelmingly popular French entertainer, compensating for a limited voice and dancing skills, with the ability to really sell a song through the sheer dint of her personality. Began appearing in films in 1908, and did a score of them over the next decade, retiring well before the sound era, although she would appear in one film in 1936, and her final one in 1955. Didn’t really care for the medium, since she much preferred the intensely personal connection she always had with a live audience. Introduced the Apache Dance in 1909, in which the male dancer throws his partner about, and also created the subsequent showgirl fashion of the exaggerated head/dress and absurdly lengthy train. Designed the star entrance, via the top of a stage staircase, as well. By the WW I era, she was the highest paid singer and entertainer of her gender in the world. As a publicity stunt she insured her legs in 1919 for 500,000 francs. Toured the U.S. in 1924, and again later on in life, although did not translate as well to American tastes, as she did to French ones. Had a longtime relationship with entertainer Maurice Chevalier, as well as several other notables, while her signature song was “Mon Homme,” or “My Man.” Recorded over a 20 year period, beginning in 1922, and enjoyed a long career of over five decades. Published her autobiography, “Mistinguett on Mistinguett,” in 1954. Died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Inner: Quintessentially French, with the ability to transcend both looks and talent, to become an entertainer extraordinaire of her time. Born to entertain lifetime of finally finding public love, through dint of a magnetic personality, an instinctive feel for the exaggerated fashions of showgirldom, and an unfailing desire to bring joy to her audiences through the sheer and simple joy of her being. Marie Theresa de Savoy, comtesse d’Artois (1756-1805) - Italian/French royal consort. Outer: Of the royal House of Savoy. Also descended from the Bourbon kings of Spain, and the German nobility. Fifth child and third daughter of the king of Sardinia, and younger sister of Maria Josephine (Asia Argento), who would become her sister-in-law, as well. Almost as homely as her sibling, although a far more pleasant character. In 1773, two and a half years after her sister had married the future Louis XVII (Luc Besson), she wed his younger brother, the future Charles X (Roland Emmerich). Her husband showed little interest in her, and she bore the brunt of the general dislike both she and her sister drew to each other as unattractive aliens. Four children from the union, including two short-lived daughters, and one assassinated son, Charles Ferdinand, duc de Berry (Macauley Culkin). Her oldest surviving son, the barely crowned Louis XIX (Michael Lucas), would prove to be the last in the direct line of the Bourbons, when he died childless in 1844. On the onset of the French Revolution in 1789, she fled France with her husband and family. Her spouse largely ignored her in favor of actresses, and the two did not spend much of their exile together. When at last she was on her deathbed, she made him swear to amend his libertine ways, and he did, becoming a religious, overly moral bigot. Since Charles did not succeed to the throne until years later, she was never queen, and was buried far from home in Austria, as emblem of a life lived as a complete alien, with little real love extended to her. Inner: Chaste, moral and extremely unhappy. Sad-eyed lifetime of once again being put in the poisonous atmosphere of the French court, and being made to feel unloved, unlovely and unheeded, save for her final deathbed wish. Marie Angelique de Scorailles de Roussille, duchesse de Fontanges (1661-1681) - French royal mistress. Outer: Born in the countersued, she became lady-in-waiting at the French court to the sister-in-law of Louis XIV (Charles de Gaulle). In 1679, she became lovers at the age of 18 to the 41 year old king. Pretty, but simple and naive, she was elevated to a duchesse. Gave birth to a stillborn child, after being poisoned by her rival, Francoise de Montespan (Asia Argento), a notorious manipulator and also concurrent mistress to the king. Retired to a convent, but by then, she was mortally ill, and died soon afterwards. Her single contribution to her times, would by the “fontange,” a ribbon-encased headdress that she fashioned after losing her cap while riding. Inner: Simple, straightforward and no match for the machinations of the royal court. Victim lifetime of falling to the evil manipulations of her longtime crypto-sister, as part of her unhappy romance with royalty, which needed one more go-round, before she abandoned it for the far more satisfactory realm of show business.
PATHWAY OF THE RULER AS INGENIOUS INNOVATOR TURNED INNOCUOUS FILMMAKER:
Storyline: The pioneer producer parallels his crypto-family member in redesigning his creative filmmaking skills, after earlier mastering the production and technological end of the industry, while always keeping his eye on the bottom line, in order to extend his life in the industry without overstaying his welcome, as has been his habit in the past.
Luc Besson (1959) - French filmmaker. Outer: Parents were Club Med scuba diving instructors. Originally wanted to be a marine biologist and dolphinologist, after traveling with his parents to various European tourist resorts, and getting a taste of various seas. When he was 10, his parents returned to Paris and divorced soon afterwards to marry others. Felt himself somewhat of a bad seed for being a double reminder of a union that did not work, although it also gave him considerable motivation to make something of himself. Loved writing stories as a youth, and was also a huge comic book fan. Had a diving accident at 17, that ended all thoughts of marine biology, although later recovered from it. Dropped out of school and began making short films soon afterwards, while working as an assistant to established directors. Did a documentary and several commercials, before moving to the U.S. for three years, then returning to France and forming his own production company, Les Films du Loup, which was later changed to Les Films de Dauphins, in an unconscious nod to his own earlier crypto-royal background, as well as a celebration of his love for dolphins. His first feature, Le Grand Bleu in 1988, was a huge commercial success, and he soon became an exemplar of what would known as the Cinema du look movement, in which visual style would trump substance, and narrative would be secondary to spectacle, although he felt uncomfortable with the category. Married and divorced actress Anne Parillaud, who starred in La Femme Nikita, which he both wrote and directed. One daughter from the union. Had a second daughter with actress Maiwenn Le Besco. Enjoyed his biggest hit in 1997 with The Fifth Element, a sci-fi idea he had been toying since adolescence, which became the most expensive film ever made by a European. Very commercial in his approach to projects, with far more of an interest in making money than his fellow French cineastes, earning him the derogatory nickname of the Spielberg of France. In 1997, he married actress Milla Jovovich, who starred in his The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, only to divorce two years later. Worked as both writer and producer on a series of actioners, including The Transporter series and several Jet Li martial arts films. In 2004, he married Virginia Silla, a film producer, three daughters from the union. Has five daughters all told. Although not a particular favorite of the critics, his films have proved popular, and he has won his fair share of European awards. Announced after 10 films in 2005 that he was through with directing, feeling others could do a better job with his scripts, although has continued in that role with an animated series, while limiting himself to producer in his other efforts since then. Inner: Doesn’t like outdoor lighting, and almost always shoots on fully-enclosed sets so he can control all elements. Never does audio commentary for DVDs of his release, feeling it compromises their magic. Try, try again lifetime of deliberately delimiting his career so as not to have the times pass him, as they have in the past, in his ongoing need to stay abreast of a remorseless cutting-edge industry, where you are only as good as your last success. Charles Pathé (Charles Morand Pathé) (1863-1957) - French industrialist and film pioneer. Outer: Father was a pork butcher and a cook. 3rd of 4 brothers. Had a workingclass upbringing, and a difficult childhood and youth, then began adding to the family support at 12. Spent 5 years in the military, before going to Argentina to seek his fortune, but returned home deeply disappointed in 1891, only to have several more failures in the entrepreneurial realm. Married in 1893, then worked on a meager salary as a lawyer. Bought an Edison phonograph in 1894, and began exhibiting it at fairs, before becoming a successful merchant of the device. Added motion picture projectors to his wares, and started shooting simple fare, while forming a film company, Pathé Freres, with his 3 brothers in 1896. By 1901, he had left the phonograph end to the last remaining frere in the company, and devoted his full resources to motion picture production, as well as making cameras and projectors for worldwide sale. Built a studio in Vincennes the following year, and began an assembly-line operation, shooting one or two short films a day, mostly criminal adventures, melodrama and comic anecdotes. Expanded into foreign markets, with branches in a host of countries, and by 1908, he had an international empire, doubling the sales of his films in America of all other combined companies. Expanded rapidly, building studios, labs and theaters, while also continuing to sell equipment. Developed a color process, and inaugurated the first weekly film journal, “Pathé Gazette,” which lasted in one form or another, until the mid-1950s. Came to the US in 1914, because of the chaos on the European front due to WW I, and stayed 3 years, focusing on the American branch of his operation. When he returned home, the film landscape had changed markedly, with the American influence dominating, productions costs soaring, and far less demand for his home-grown product. At war’s end, he was forced to divest his company of its various foreign assets, and over the next decade sold all his interests in the company, and retired to the Riviera, although his company remained in existence as a leading film distributor. Along with Leon Gaumont, one of the 2 driving forces in early French cinema. Died on the eve of his 94th birthday. Inner: Driven, highly ambitious, an emperor-at-heart, who took full advantage of an incipient phenomenon, without the facility for growing and changing with it. Shrewd and pragmatic businessman, with great commercial foresight. Transition lifetime of finding a commercial crown that fit his large head, after an early self-reinvention, and then riding its first crest, before a long retirement to retool what will probably continue to be his further investigations into the dual world of art and commerce. Louis XVIII (Louis-Stanislas-Xavier) (1755-1824) - French king. Outer: 4th son of the dauphin Louis, mother was a German princess. Younger brother of Louis XVI (Lex Barker) and older brother of Charles X (Roland Emmerich). Studious as a child, with a fondness for literature and poetry. Married Marie Josephine de Savoy (Asia Argento), daughter of the king of Sardinia in 1773. His wife was 2 years his senior and strikingly ugly, with huge beetle brows, no seed from the union, despite two pregnancies, which ended in miscarriage. Suffered from the same affliction as Louis XVI, which made erection painful, but he never took the trouble to correct it. His spouse was the sister of his brother, Charles X’s wife, Marie Therese (Celine Dion). Had a mistress, and used to take snuff from her bare back. Bisexual, had numerous liaisons with young men, all of them platonic, while his wife took to alcohol. Following the death of his 2 older brothers and accession of Louis XVI in 1774, he became heir presumptive to the throne, until the birth of a nephew. After the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, he remained in Paris exhorting the king to resist the revolutionaries, before finally fleeing the country in 1791. Proclaimed king of France in exile in 1795 after the death of his nephew, Louis XVII (Cheryl Crane). Grew to huge proportions, as he wandered the European continent, finally winding up in England in 1808. Enjoyed the patronage of the English royal court who recognized him as king of France. His wife accompanied him, despite their non-relationship and died in 1810. In 1814, the Bourbons were restored to the throne, and he returned to France on the fall of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Although claiming rule by divine right, he bowed to pressure and agreed to a constitutional monarchy based on the British model. Fled during Napoleon’s 100 Day return to power, and set up a provisional government in Ghent, Belgium. Returned after Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo. Afflicted with gout, he forewent the rite of coronation, the first French king to do so. Given executive and legislative powers, but he had to deal with a right-wing, royalist Parliament, which he dissolved in 1816. Opposed the extremism of the Ultras, a reactionary crew who wanted to wipe out every vestige of the French Revolution, although they gained more influence after 1820, and thwarted most of his attempts at healing his nation’s many wounds. Unable to leave his bed at the end and suffered a living death through gangrene. Died after prolonged agony under circumstances identical to that of Louis XIV (Charles de Gaulle). Inner: Strong sense of his own self-importance. Physically gross, and as he got older, more and more incapacitated. Competent and willing to rebuild France, but without the physical fortitude to do so. Heavy-bodied lifetime of taking on the decay of the ancien regime physically, and ultimately reducing himself to a living death as the embodiment of France’s dying ruling class. Henri-Louis V, Condé (Henri-Louis de Bourbon, 5th prince de Condé) (1643-1709) - French noble. Outer: Father was the Great Condé (Yul Brynner), mother was the Duchess of Fronsac. At the age of 3, he was entitled Duc d’Enghien. His early life saw him shuttled back and forth by his mother, because of the Fronde uprisings, a revolt of the princes of the kingdom. Small and bookish. Eventually went into exile with his sire, before finally returning to France in 1659. Married 4 years later to Anne Henriette, the Bavarian daughter of the Prince Palatine, 9 children from a union, although only 4 survived him, including his heir Louis III (Michael Lucas), who continued the family tradition of hopeless insanity by life’s end. Accompanied his accomplished martial father on some of his campaigns, but showed no aptitude for the fighting arts, despite being in the field on-and-off for over a quarter of a century. On his father’s death in 1686, he turned his attention to improving Chantilly, the principal county seat of his family. Had a wide range of interests, including science and technology. Quite eccentric, he eventually became deranged in his last years, thanks to the onset of lycanthropy. Inner: Excellent host, but also held a lot of anger, which he displayed with malicious practical jokes, proving to be a terror to his family. Strong technological interests, but his duties and living in the shadow of a legendary family ultimately unbent him, and he dipped into a madness probably brought on by the frustration of the parental model that he failed to emulate. Thwarted lifetime of not being allowed to pursue his primary interests, and instead, serve as a let-down son of a famous father, which serially gave him the need to establish his own primacy on a throne, before delving into the arena where his true talent lay. Henry of Hainault (c1174-1216) - Latin emperor of Constantinople. Outer: Father was the count of Hainault and mother was countess of Flanders. Younger brother of Baldwin (Ryan O’Neal), heir to his parents domains, and sixth child out of nine, as well as third son, with his older sister Isabella (Carolyn Bessette), queen of France, and his younger sister Yolanda (Meg Ryan) a future regent of his adopted domain. Joined the Fourth Crusade after century’s turn and distinguished himself at the siege of Constantinople, where the crusaders overthrew the usurper of the Byzantine throne and claimed it for themselves as the Latin Kingdom of Constantinople. Served as one of the division generals, along with his brother Baldwin. His heroics made him one of the primary princes of the new realm, as Baldwin was chosen to be its first emperor, despite competition from their fellow general, Boniface of Montferrat. Married Agnes of Monferrat, his daughter, in a political act of conciliation, although she died soon afterwards in childbirth. Also had a daughter with an unnamed mistress. After his brother was captured and executed by the Bulgarians, he was made regent, and then the second emperor of the Latin empire of Constantinople on the confirmation of the former’s death. Proved to be quite the opposite of his sibling, respecting the rights and religion of his Greek subjects, as far and away the most capable of the Flemish/French crew who occupied the Latin throne during its fifty plus year run in Constantinople. Successful in his campaigns against the rival Nicaean empire, finally forging a truce with Theodore I Lascaris (Lawrence Durrell) in 1214, to the latter’s territorial benefit. The previous annum, after making peace with the slayer of his brother, Kaloyan, the Bulgarian tsar, he was reluctantly forced into a dynastic marriage with his daughter Maria in 1213, against his better judgment. Able to transform what looked like a broken empire into a growing concern, before he may or may not have been poisoned, when he died suddenly at Thessalonica. Succeeded by his nephew, Peter II of Courtenay (Macauley Culkin). Inner: Wise, brave and just, with a talent in both the field and in administration. High point lifetime of an interregnum in Constantinople, where he alone of his family proved worthy of wearing the city’s chief mantle of power.
PATHWAY OF THE RULER AS LITERALLY REVAMPED MOVIE QUEEN:
Storyline: The notorious nonconformist has a facility for attention-getting in whatever milieu she finds herself, while alternating between self-love and self-loathing, in her ongoing courting of, and battles against, both renown and renouncement.
Asia Argento (1975) - Italian actress, director and writer. Outer: Paternal grandfather was a producer and paternal grandmother was a Brazilian fashion model. Father was Italian filmmaker Dario Argento, mother was actress Daria Nicolodi, although the two never officially married. One older half-sister, Fiore, became an actress, while a second half-sister was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1994. Her sire, who was a director, producer and screenwriter, built his reputation making horror and slasher films, and used to read his unsettling scripts to his daughter as bedtime stories. Had a lonely, unhappy, introverted childhood with books as her only friends, and soon turned to self-expression as a means of connecting with her larger self. Published a book of poems at 8, began acting at 9, and at 14 ran away from home. Desperately wanted her often absent father’s attention, and finally gained it when he began casting her in his films, beginning when she was 12. Began receiving awards from the Italian film community for her work in her teens, and expanded into both English and French-language fare. 5’6”. In 1994, while still a teen, she added directing to her filmmaking c.v. with a couple of Italian shorts. Two years later she did a documentary on her father, and followed it up with an award-winning one on American director Abel Ferrera. After holing up in her apartment for months in 2000, she penned and then directed her first feature effort, Scarlet Diva, which was co-produced by her father. In 2004 she directed her second, and first American production, The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, and became involved with her star, Savannah Knoop. In addition to her filmwork, she has also written both stories and novels. Despite professing a caustic view of acting as sheer egomania, she has been uninhibited about revealing herself through a web video diary, and her face and figure have adorned a number of album covers and music videos. Linked with several actors, she had a daughter with an Italian rock’n’roller, and had a second daughter with Italian director, Michele Civetta, whom she married in 2008. Inner: Neurotic, moody and highly self-involved, with a unique gift for self-expression. Totally worked-obsessed, with highly dualistic feelings about herself and her native country. Attention-getting lifetime of coming into a household that would challenge both her creativity and sense of self, and lead her onto a highly self-absorbed existence defined largely by her own creations. Musidora (1889-1957) (Jeanne Roques) - French actress, writer, painter, dancer and director. Outer: Raised in a highly political household. Mother was a feminist, while her father was a socialist. Extremely expressive from childhood on, she penned her first novel in her mid-teens, and also took to the stage and music hall, becoming a lifelong friend of fellow actress and future writer Colette. Felt physicality and looks were extremely important, and was never prudish about exposing her body to the cameras. Became involved with early French cinema, making her debut in 1914, before collaborating with director Louis Feuillade, in what would be a mutually beneficial partnership for both. Took on the name Musidora, which meant gift of the muses, and also adopted a public vamp persona, with heavily kohled eyes and a black leotard, that would prove extremely popular around the WW I era, through both her and the American actress, Theda Bara (Uma Thurman). Paralleled Bara’s early career and pallid exotic looks, and just as the former used an anagram for “arab death,” for her nom de cinema, she chose Irma Vep, an anagram for vampire. Voluptuous and dark-haired, she did all her own stunts, and served as a defining emblem of female beauty during the 1910s and early 1920s. Began appearing in a series of Feuillade-directed serials called Les Vampires, although the subject matter, contra to the title, was about a criminal mob who were based on an actual French crew of gangsters. Continued appearing in Feuillade’s films, and also expanded into both producing and directing, working in France, Spain and Italy, as a pioneer in a still-new medium. Formed her own production company and shot several of Colette’s works, although her efforts were too sophisticated for the audiences of her time. In 1927, she married a doctor, one son from the union, which ultimately resulted in divorce in the early 1940s. Ended her acting career with the advent of sound, and wrote and produced the latter part of her life, with her final work, in which she both starred an directed, an homage in 1950 to Feuillade, who had died decades earlier. In a trickster conclusion to her life, where the joke was partly on her, she worked the ticket booth of the Cinematheque Francais for her last decade. Inner: Assertive, self-involved, and not unlike the beaux ideal of the brash vamp that she played to archetypal perfection. Femme fatale lifetime of exploring her considerable gifts of self-expression in a variety of genres, as a means of opening up her previous angry and manipulative character into far more creative and self-healing realms. Marie Josephine Louise de Savoy (Maria Giuseppina Luigia) (1753-1810) - Italian queen consort of France. Outer: Of the royal House of Savoy. Also descended from the Bourbon kings of Spain, and the German nobility. Third child and second daughter of the king of Sardinia, and sister of Marie Theresa (Celine Dion), who would become her sister-in-law, as well. Strikingly ugly, with huge beetle brows, and an unpleasant disposition to match her off-putting looks. In 1771, she married the future Louis XVIII (Luc Besson), and at the onset of the French Revolution in 1791, she went into exile with him, wandering the continent before finally winding up in England in 1808. Although she became pregnant twice, the union produced no issue due to miscarriages. Her husband took to liaisons with young men, and she took to alcohol in compensation for her empty marriage, while they battled endlessly. Rumored to have been involved with one of her ladies-in-waiting, as a reaction to Louis’s same-sex dalliances, in an unhealthy and manipulative competition twixt the two, who were rarely together. After the regicide of the king, Louis XVI (Lex Barker), and the death of his son, Louis XVII (Cheryl Crane), in 1795, her husband was declared Louis XVIII and king of France by the exiled French court. Did not live long enough to see her spouse enthroned, so she wound up queen in name only. Died in exile in England. Inner: Angry, bitter and manipulative. Recompense lifetime of wearing her unhappy insides on the outside, in order, probably, to finally let her see herself, and move on in succeeding go-rounds to more creative arenas of self-expression than her sheer powermongering modes of her royal past. Francoise de Montespan, marquise de Montespan (Francoise-Athenais de Rochechouart) (Francoise-Athenais Mortemart) (1641-1707) - French royal mistress. Outer: Daughter of a French marquis. In 1663, she married the Marquis de Montespan, 2 children from the union. Underwent a black mass, replete with the sacrifice of an infant, in order to gain the king’s affections, and was able to do so. Made lady-in-waiting to the queen the following year, and became mistress to Louis XIV (Charles de Gaulle) in 1667, holding that position for 13 years. Although their first-born died, she had 7 more children with him, including Louise-Francoise de Bourbon (Arletty). All were later legitimatized, and lived openly with him. A noted beauty, she practiced black magic and witchcraft in order to keep the king closely bound to her. When her husband displayed resentment against the liaison, he was unceremoniously exiled to French Guyana in 1668, and separated from his wife 6 years later. Encouraged several writers who were connected with the court, but was considered haughty and arrogant, in her role as one of the leaders of court society. Trafficked with a gang of poisoners and sorcerers, with the intent of vitiating both the queen and the dauphin, so that she could marry the king, and have their children inherit the throne. Dismissed by Louis after she was implicated in a poisoning scheme, known as La Voison case, which involved some of the most powerful members of the nobility, including a goodly number of duchesses, and one duc and a marquis. Hundred of apothecaries, alchemists, druggists, warlocks and the like were also involved, in a plot that could very well have carried off the king himself. Replaced in the latter’s affections by Francoise de Maintenon (Simone de Beauvoir). Remained at court until 1691, even though no longer the king’s lover, then withdrew to the convent of Saint-Joseph in Paris, and eventually became Mother Superior there. Inner: Proud, haughty, reckless, ambitious and scheming, with absolute no moral bounds in her desire for influence and control. Power-mongering lifetime of working her way into inner court circles, only to undo herself through excessive plotting, before ending up in a position of reduced authority, with her great internal anger unabated.
PATHWAY OF THE RULER AS RECLAIMED STRONG MAN:
Storyline: The martyred monarch takes on the weaknesses of his inherited institutions as a way of dealing with and purging his own failings as an end-of-the-line leader who never fully recognizes the tenuousness of his hold on power, before returning as the mythic Tarzan, to symbolize his resurrected strength.
Lex Barker (Alexander Crichlow Barker, Jr.) (1919-1973) - American/Swiss actor. Outer: From a wealthy, privileged background, and a direct descendant of Rhode Island founder Roger Willilams (Martin Luther King). Father was a civil engineer. Handsome and athletic, he played prep school football and ran track. Dropped out of Princeton Univ. after 2 years, to join a theatrical stock company, which caused his family to disown him. 6’4’, 200+ pounds, projecting a strong masculinity. Studied engineering at night, then served as a major in WW II, where he was an aide to Gen. Mark Clark. In 1944, he received a head wound from artillery fire, and spent some time as a prisoner-of-war. Made his film debut in 1945 with Doll Face. Found a niche as the tenth actor to play junglemeister Tarzan, and starred in 5 films as that character from 1949 to 1953, although he hated being stuck in the role. Married 5 times, beginning with Constanze Thurlow between 1942 and 1950, 2 children from the first union. His next four partners were all actresses of varying fame, Arlene Dahl from 1951 to 1952, Lana Turner from 1953 to 1957, Irene Labhart, from 1957 to 1962, which produced actor Christopher Barker, and ended with her death. His final spouse was Carmen Cervera, a former Miss Spain, in 1965, a year before he took out Swiss citizenship. Began molesting her daughter Cheryl Crane, when she was 10, and when his wife found out about it, awoke him from his sleep with a gun to his head, and told him to get out, ending their union. Denied the accusation, and stated the couple’s inability to have children caused their marriage to fail. The charge wasn’t made public until years after his death, when Crane wrote about it in her autobiography. Continued to play virile leads in Westerns and minor opuses, before reviving his career in Italy and Germany in the mid-60s, mostly in action films, becoming a European star in the secondary stage of his career. Particularly popular in Germany, starring in numerous westerns by the German writer Karl May, and winning a German Oscar in 1966 for Best Actor. Produced films and was fluent in a number of languages, including French, Italian, Spanish and German, allowing him to become a movie ambassador to the world. His last marriage ended in 1972. Preparing to wed a 6th time, when he died of a heart attack, while on a NYC street. Inner: Athletic, ambitious and controlling. Bulked-up lifetime of acting out his innate strength, after having shown himself an emblem of the weakness of the throne of the various states he uncomfortably ruled. Nicholas II (1868-1918) - Tsar of Russia. Outer: Eldest son of Alexander III (Johnny Weissmuller), mother was the daughter of the king of Denmark. Symbolically born on the Russian feast of Job the Sufferer. Brought up under the spartan circumstances of his father, while his mother was more fun-loving, giving him a relatively care-free childhood. Good with languages, but showed little interest in affairs of state, other than an interest in the military and physical exercise, thoroughly he enjoyed his summer stints in the army. 5’’7”, and slim. Met his future wife, Alix (Lana Turner), a German princess, when he was 16, and became increasingly enchanted by her. Escaped assassination in Japan on a world tour through a quick-acting aide. Assumed the throne on the death of his father in 1894, lamenting that he was unprepared and never wanted to be tsar. A week after he buried his father, he married the renamed Alexandra, who went on to thoroughly dominate him, particularly in the latter part of his reign. 4 daughters and a son from the union, including hemophiliac Alexis (Cheryl Crane). Officially crowned 2 years later, with nearly 1400 people killed in the crush to see him, and another 1300 injured in a grim harbinger of things to come. Insensitively continued with the ceremonies afterwards, although he visited several hospitals and donated money to the families of the victims. A cultural nationalist, he viewed the Muscovite ideal of throne, church and people as his trinity of rule, with himself as the divinely appointed autocrat. Prone, through his wife, to advice from spiritualists, he fell under the sway of the hypnotic monk, Grigori Rasputin, who seemed to have the power to cure his son. An anti-liberal conservative without the vision to augment his own power. Unwilling and unable to learn from opposing views, he gradually isolated himself from the reality of the perilous situation to the crown, as the revolutionary movement grew stronger, along with resentment of his inept rule. Never accommodated himself to the Duma, the legislative body created in the wake of the first phase of the Russian Revolution in 1905. More interested in foreign than domestic affairs, he wished to be viewed as a ‘man of peace,’ although he supported Russian expansionism. Assumed military command during WW I, placing the prestige of the monarchy at risk and his absence from court opened up his inevitable downfall. His government collapsed in wake of bread riots in 1917 and he renounced the throne in March of that year in favor of his brother, who refused it. The family was denied exile and was taken instead to interior imprisonment, where they were all executed in a cellar, on order of Lenin, after being told they were to be photographed. 11 men burst into the room and riddled them with bullets. They were then doused in sulphuric acid and buried in secret graves. Their burial site remained a secret, and they were not officially disinterred until 1991, with the remnants of two bodies of the family never recovered, although they, too, would eventually be found nearby in 2007. The family was finally given its official due in 1998, on the 80th anniversary of their execution. Inner: Simple, modest and timid, devoted to family, but clearly not a figure for the turbulence of his time. Polite, soft-spoken, with a passionate sense of Russian patriotism. Narrow-minded, weak and reactionary, embodying the state of the dying institute of the Russian monarchy. Disembodied lifetime of being overwhelmed by the exigencies of power, a continual ongoing theme of his, and once again, the sacrificial lamb on the altar of revolutionary inevitability. Louis XVI (1754-1793) - King of France. Outer: Grandson of Louis XV (Mikhail Gorbachev). 3rd but oldest surviving son of the dauphin and his German wife. Well-educated, with a proficiency in languages, although never really trained for rule. In 1765, his father died, making him heir to the throne. In 1770, he married Marie Antoinette (Lana Turner), the youngest daughter of Maria Theresa (Mary Renault) and HRE Franz I (Joseph Albers). Succeeded his grandfather in 1774. Solemn, thick-set, and shortsighted, with bulging eyes and a puffy face. His singular passion was for hunting. Had a genital malformation, and didn’t consummate his marriage for the first 7 years of their relationship, nor did he initially pay much attention to his wife, although he seemed to love her. After a circumcision, his condition was remedied, and they had 4 children together, including the heir apparent, Louis XVII (Cheryl Crane). The 2 grew closer with the impending crisis, while she dominated him, and was not afraid to meddle in political affairs. One of the few kings of his time not to have mistresses. More interested in foreign, than domestic affairs, and never gave any of his reformist ministers what they needed, falling victim to reactionary court factions and the frivolous will of the aristocracy. Despite numerous opportunities, he never understood the dynamics of the revolution and the possibilities it offered him, and remained dimly resistant to all popular cries for change, including a constitutional monarchy along the English model. Forced to call a States General in 1789, as his powers, as well as that of the nobility, were gradually eroded, while one of his sons died. He and his family were made virtual prisoners from October of that year in the Tuileries, and in 1791, they made an abortive attempt at escape, but were arrested at Varennes and again imprisoned, while he was suspended from exercising his constitutional capacities. The following year, the royal powers were once again suspended, and he and his family were removed to another prison. Eventually tried for treason and condemned to death in 1793. The following day, he bade farewell to the queen, and he was guillotined, after which, his head was displayed to the cheering crowd. Underwent his final ordeals with surprising regal dignity, as if his entire life had been led to bring out the true majesty within, in his final moments. Inner: Over-serious, vacillating, weak-willed, kind, timid and irresolute, a figure, like Nicholas II, quite out of touch with his time. Once again, a sacrificial lamb on the altar of revolutionary inevitability. Headless lifetime of setting himself up for public slaughter as a test of his own hidden inner sense of majestic downfall. Michael I Rangabe (?- 844) - Byzantine Basileus. Outer: From noble stock. Son of an admiral of the Aegean fleet. Married Prokopia (Lana Turner), the daughter of the future basileus Nicephorus I (Bernard Baruch), and joined the court of Constantinople, where he became head of the palace guard in 802, when his father-in-law took the throne. Handsome, with thick curls of black hair, although weak-willed and easily led. Able to survive the devastating outcome of a campaign against Krum, the khan of Bulgaria, where much of the Byzantine army was slaughtered, and his brother-in-law, the heir to the throne, was grievously wounded. After his father-in-law fell in the same battle in 811, he managed to win the purple through his supporters, since his rival, Stauracius (Cheryl Crane), the emperor’s son, was in no shape to mount the throne, despite harboring a deep-seated hatred for him. Nevertheless, he eventually gave him his reluctant blessing, with his wife being the prime motivator behind his accession, since he was totally ambivalent around rule. Agreed on his coronation to uphold the orthodox faith, which he did, showing himself to be particularly generous with the Church and monasteries, lavishing both with treasury moneys. Per their wishes, he actively persecuted the iconoclasts, who were against all relics and artful manifestations of Jesus and the saints. Recognized Charlemagne (Napoleon Bonaparte) as emperor of the Franks in 812 in trade for Venice being returned to the empire. Parsimonious only with funds for the defense of the empire, while also completely misjudging his army’s ability and, after it was put to flight, he saw he had no choice but to abdicate in favor of the general Leo the Armenian, who became the fifth to rule under that name. Although his wife was extremely reluctant to give up the throne, the family made its escape from the palace disguised in monastic habits. His three sons were subsequently castrated and tonsured, with one, Ignatius, eventually becoming an extremely unpopular Patriarch of Constantinople. His wife and daughters were all sent to convents, while he changed his name to Athanasius and spent the rest of his life in peaceful retirement on an island monastery, dying on the anniversary of the death date of his direct predecessor, Stauracius. Inner: Strongly religious and quite generous, although easily manipulated, and extremely weak-willed. Reluctant basileus, all too eager to give up the throne at the first opportunity. Dethroned lifetime of beginning a series of abdications with greater and greater repercussions over the next millennium plus, as a ruler who could never integrate his modest gifts with the increasingly more complex demands of state. Charles III (879-929) - King of France. Known as ‘Charles the Simple.’ Outer: Posthumous son of Louis II (Cecil B. DeMille). Too young to assume the throne on the deaths of his half-brother, Louis III (Ernest Hemingway) and cousin, he was finally crowned at the age of 14, by the archbishop of Reims. Renounced his rights following civil war 4 years later, but with the death of the new king, Eudes (Sean Young), the following year, he was generally accepted as monarch of the Franks. Remained under the influence of the dead king’s brother, Robert (Richard Harris), who won an important victory over the Vikings, putting an end to Norse raids through the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte. Ceded part of the territory of what would become Normandy to the Northmen in 911, in return for their vassalage and conversion to Christianity, creating a base for the Normans, who would invade England the following century, and claim their crown. In 918, he married Eadgifu, daughter of Edward the Elder (JFK), king of Wessex, his son Louis IV (Henry Miller) succeeded him. When the last Carolingian king of the East Franks died, their magnates accepted his authority, but he became so pre-occupied with their affairs, that his own nobles elected Robert their king in 922. His forces killed the latter in battle the following year, but he was taken prisoner by the the count of Vermandois, who used him for his own personal gain, against Robert’s son-in-law, the new king. Lost his crown, the first of the western Carolingian monarchs to do so. Spent the last part of his deposed reign in captivity, as a political pawn of others. Inner: Weak figure, more of a catalyst for the machinations of others, rather than a forceful implementer of his own will. Just desserts lifetime of losing his throne, but living to deal with the consequences, creating an ongoing need on his part to try to reclaim his sense of kingship, before abandoning all thrones to try the celluloid corridors of Hollywood as an appropriate vessel to flex his monarchical muscle.
PATHWAY OF THE RULER AS REAL-LIFE AND REEL-LIFE QUEEN OF MGM:
Storyline: The self-indulgent sovereign finds herself forcibly removed from her various thrones as unsubtle reminder of her deliberate disconnection from the extraordinary anger of ordinary citizens, over her ongoing obsessive pursuit of her own pleasures, before moving onto the fantasy realm of celluloid royalty, only to outlive her rule there as well.
Lana Turner (1920-1995) - American actress. Outer: Mother worked in a beauty parlor, close connection twixt the two. Father was a mine foreman and later a dock worker in San Francisco, who was killed in a craps game when she was 9. Educated briefly in a convent school, and had thoughts of becoming a nun. Later moved with her mother to Los Angeles, for the latter’s health, and as Hollywood legend has it, was discovered at the age of 16, by the editor of the Hollywood Reporter at Schwab’s Drugstore while playing hooky, although in truth, she was spotted at the counter of an ice cream parlor across the street from Hollywood High. Made her debut in 1937 with a bit role in A Star is Born, and soon came to be known as ‘The Sweater Girl,’ for her voluptuous figure, before being groomed for stardom by MGM. 5’3”. In 1940, she eloped with band leader Artie Shaw, on their first date, and chafed under his propensity for absolute control. Separated after 4 months and divorced the following year, while linking up with numerous Hollywood luminaries, including Howard Hughes, Frank Sinatra, Fernando Lamas and Tyrone Power (Sean Young), with whom she was genuinely in love. Loved being in the spotlight and surrounded by men. Became one of Hollywood’s top stars during the 1940s, as the Queen of MGM, and ran up a string of seven husbands, marrying one of them, Stephen Crane, a restauranteur, twice, after discovering the first time that he was not yet legally divorced. One child, Cheryl, from union.Her next husband was a playboy millionaire, Bob Topping, between 1948 and 1952, and following him, actor Lex Barker in 1953, who began molesting her daughter when she was 10. Found out about it 3 years later, and stormed into his bedroom when he was asleep, pulled a gun on to his head, and ordered him out of the house. The official reason for the termination of the union was that the two could not have children, she divorced him in 1957, although the truth did not come out until years later when Crane wrote her autobiography, “Detour.” Her last three unions, to Fred May, between 1960 and 1962, Robert Eaton, between 1965 and 1969, and Ronald Dante, between 1969 and 1972, all ended in divorce, while she was subject to abuse from several of them. Appeared in a goodly number of melodramatic weepies, but by the late 1950s, her career was in ebb, and her real life soon eclipsed her reel life. Rarely able to carry a part beyond individual scenes, although she had a feel for screen romance and melodrama. With her propensity for courting dangerous men, she became linked with gangster Johnny Stompanato, whom her daughter stabbed to death in 1958, when she felt her mother was in danger from his violent temper. The headlines helped her career, despite being pilloried by the press as a horrid mother, as did her emotional testimony on the witness stand, when her daughter was exonerated. Suffered through the newspaper publication of her love letters, but ultimately was vindicated by her audience, scoring one of her biggest successes on her return to the screen with Imitation of Life, and continued to star until the early 1970s, when she turned to television. After her final marriage to a nightclub entertainer, she announced a religious awakening in 1980, and that she would remain celibate, while eventually allowing her life to run out, out of the public eye, before dying of throat cancer. Wrote her autobiography, “Lana: The Lady, the Legend and the Truth,” chronicling a suicide attempt, 2 abortions, 3 still-births and her battle with the bottle, amidst the other melodramas of her life. Inner: Excitement-addicted and bracketed by death, in an unconscious reflection of lives past. Said, “I hope I don’t look like that,” the first time she saw herself on screen. Highly social, limited abilities, but able to be incandescent in front of the camera, although eventually became a recluse. Melodramatic lifetime of surviving being stage center, and having the violence that continually surrounds her acted out on others to finally see herself through to old age, and a measure of the introspection of seclusion. Alexandra (Princess Alix) (1872-1918) - German Empress of Russia. Outer: Favorite granddaughter of Queen Victoria (Mary Renault) of England, daughter of an English princess and a German grand-duke. Had a happy child until her mother died of diphtheria when she was 6. Became cool, aloof and serious afterwards, as well as a devout Lutheran. Had red-gold hair and blue eyes. Well-educated, with a passion for politics and an iron will. Her elder sister married into the ruling Russian Romanov family, and at the wedding, she met her future husband and future tsar, the 16 year old Nicholas (Lex Barker), whom she subsequently enchanted. Cousins by marriage, the duo were wed in 1894, a week after his father had been buried, 4 daughters and a son from union. Converted to the Russian Orthodox faith as was demanded. Disliked by the court, she turned inward for solace, while surrounding herself with fawning mediocrities and quacks and charlatans, as she deliberately retreated from any sense of reality other than her own. Desperately wanted a son, who was finally born in 1904, but Alexis (Cheryl Crane) proved to be a hemophiliac. She developed chronic heart trouble over her grief about his condition, and retreated ever deeper into her fantasy world, before enlisting a popular public holy man, the disreputable Grigori Rasputin (Godfrey Reggio), to aid her son, and gave him inordinate power in court, venerating him as a saint, despite his sinful rampant sexuality. Ignored all criticisms of him, when he seemed to be able to hold the condition in check. Despite growing revolutionary fervor in the country, and the ultimate assassination of Rasputin in 1915, she absolutely refused to acknowledge the state of upheaval of the country. Her husband gave her command when he left for the front during WW I, and her arbitrary and capricious rule helped bring about the fall of the House of Romanov, after 300 years in power, while she was viewed as a German agent because of her egregious insensitivity to the political realities unfolding around her. After Nicholas abdicated in 1917, she was imprisoned along with her family. The following year on orders of Lenin who feared their continued existence might spearhead a royalist counter/revolution, they were unceremoniously shot in a cellar with them, then covered in sulphuric acid to obliterate their remains, and buried in secret graves. Inner: Strong personality, with a deep abiding sense of orthodox autocracy. Intensely passionate, overwhelmed her husband. Mystical, indulged in long religious meditations. Virtual repeat of her Marie Antoinette life on many levels, with a religious overview added, and the desire to be strong rather than flighty. Head-in-the-clouds lifetime of exploring her spiritual sensibilities, over her usual material concerns, with the same result, to show her lessons not yet learned. Marie Antoinette (Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna) (1755-1793) - Austrian Queen of France. Outer: 15th of 16 children and youngest daughter of Maria Theresa (Mary Renault) and HRE Franz I (Josef Albers). Raised as a Hapsburg princess, in a close, large family. Dominated by her formidable mother, who constantly tried to control her wayward, flighty ways, and with whom she remained in close contact for the latter’s entire life, in the empress’s desire to have her put Austrian interests above her French duties. Tomboyish and constantly criticised by her mother for her lack of beauty, intelligence and talent. Blue-eyed, with thick ash-blonde hair. For political reasons, she was married to Louis XVI (Lex Barker) of France in 1770, but the union was unconsummated for the first 7 years because of a genital malformation on his part, which was eventually surgically cured with circumcision. Had 4 children, including heir Louis XVII (Cheryl Crane) and won the devotion of her husband after he initially ignored her. Only her oldest daughter, Marie-Therese-Charlotte (Arletty), would survive the French Revolution. Refused to conform to the restrictive tenets of the French court, and made absolutely no concessions to her public role, ignoring court etiquette, while enjoying the privileges, but not the stodgy demands, of being queen. Lavished her favorites with gifts, while her extravagance became a symbol of the capricious aristocracy, and she came to be seen as a hated foreigner ruling over both a court and a people who despised her. Served as a style-setter, with a mania for flowers, which helped give both French fashion and perfumery an international reputation that carried into modern times. Subject of numerous obscene fantasies as well as allegations of spectacular affairs, when in reality she was quite innocent, and her naturalness and spontaneity were misread as signs of licentiousness, although she probably took on lovers. Far more decisive than her husband, she became involved in numerous secret negotiations when the crown became threatened, beginning in the late 1780s. Harbored a desire to be an actress, and gave performances for select audiences. Close to her surviving children, and gradually withdrew from the public eye. Caught fleeing with her family in 1791, thanks to the ostentation of their get-away carriage. and they all became virtual prisoners of state, and were eventually forced to abdicate. Accused of all sorts of perversions, she was imprisoned along with her family, before being brought to trial, where she conducted herself with composure. Sentenced to death, she was guillotined some months after her husband, wearing a white dress she had hidden from her jailers. Died with great dignity, a haunted majestic figure at the end. Ultimately became a chameleonic figure of the ages, with different times looking at her differently. Inner: Arrogant, frivolous, sentimental, capricious, vain and snobbish, but also intelligent and strong-willed with a strong personality. Totally out-of-touch with popular sentiments, and a lightning rod for all that ailed the willful aristocracy. Wake-up-call lifetime of placing self-indulgence over self-awareness in a time that absolutely asked for the latter from her, demanding, in turn, another go-round to see if she could turn around her fated melodramatic role as a fallen head-of-state, through an added patina of religiosity. Louis de Bourbon, comte de Vermandois (1667-1683) - French royal bastard. Outer: Mother was the king’s mistress, Louise de la Valliere (Cheryl Crane), father was Louis XIV (Charles de Gaulle). One of either six or seven children of the couple, with only one, a sister, living into full maturity. His mother was always guilt-ridden about her adulterous relationship with the king, although he was legitimatized at 2 and given the title of comte de Vermandois, while being made a French admiral. When he was seven, his mother left the court to take the veil as a Carmelite sister, and the two had little contact afterwards. Grew up with his uncle, the king’s brother, Philippe I, duc d’Orleans (Gianni Versace) at the Palais Royal, and formed a close bond with his aunt, Elizabeth Charlotte, despite her intense dislike of her brother-in-law’s bastardly brood. His predatory and libertine uncle, who had a predilection for his own gender, led him down a similar pathway, and as a teen he began sharing the former’s best-known lover, the Chevalier de Lorraine, who seduced him. Fell in with their same-sex set, until the king, fearing further scandal, intervened and exiled him from the court to Normandy. His aunt asked that he be sent to Flanders to fight there under the French occupation, to which he readily and eagerly agreed. Fought at the siege of Courtray, where he was taken ill. Although advised to recuperate elsewhere, he felt a great need to redeem himself in his father’s eyes, and continued to fight, succumbing soon afterwards. Later legend would make him the notorious “Man in the Iron Mask,” a supposed twin and/or rival pretender that the king had imprisoned for life. Inner: Libertine lifetime of trying to prove his larger worth after giving in early to his pleasure-loving instincts, before switching genders and once again royally falling prey to his/her ongoing failings in that same domain. Prokopia (c770-after 813) - Byzantine Basileus consort. Outer: Father was the usurping emperor Nicephoros I (Bernard Baruch). Had one sibling, her brother Stauracius (Cheryl Crane), and was accustomed to being around powerful figures, giving her a thirst for saidsame. Married Michael Rangabe (Lex Barker), a nobleman, with at least three sons and two daughters from the union. Following her sire’s usurpation of the throne in 802, her status, as well as her brother’s rose to that of royalty, as her husband became captain of the palace guard. Lost her father in 811 when the empire was badly defeated by the Bulgars, which also saw her brother severely wounded and paralyzed. Somehow her husband escaped the devastation, and as her sibling lay dying, she manipulated her own court faction into having her spouse succeed him. Despite an ingrained hatred Stauracius held for Michael, he eventually designated him his heir and then retired to a monastery, where he died soon afterward. The couple proved extremely generous with the Church and monasteries, lavishing huge sums upon them, while neglecting the needs of the military. The war with the Bulgars continued, and her husband fared poorly in its resumption, escaping the battlefield and hurrying back to Constantinople in 813, where he importuned the Patriarch that he abdicate. Completely against relinquishing the throne, since she loved the pomp and power, but had little choice, and with her family disguised in monastic garb, they escaped the palace to a church, before being granted safe passage. Her three sons were all castrated, with one eventually becoming Patriarch of Constantinople, while her two daughters became nuns. Michael happily retired to a monastery to live another three plus decades, while she entered a convent, and disappeared from herstory, with her end days completely unrecorded. Inner: Highly ambitious, enjoying power and manipulating her husband onto a throne he did not covet, and then resisting mightily when he abdicated. Dethroned lifetime of beginning a pattern, along with her spouse, of being forced to abandon her crown to greater and greater social consequences, in her own uneasy dance around power, fame and herstorical notoriety.
PATHWAY OF THE RULER AS ROYAL DEAD-END SEED:
Storyline: The innocuous innocent takes on the burden of end-of-the-line royalty, suffering mightily for the sins of his forebears, and facing death stoically to purge himself of his own long-held sense of weakness, before returning in female form to act decisively in a murderous situation and reclaim him/herself.
Cheryl Crane (1943) - American celebrity offspring. Outer: Daughter of actress Lana Turner and restauranteur Stephen Crane. Her parents were married and divorced twice, and she grew up with her mother, although remained close with her father, as well as her maternal grandmother. Her mother’s second husband, Lex Barker, began molesting her at the age of 10, and when she told her mother about it three years later, she demanded he leave the house at gunpoint. At the age of 14, she interceded in an argument between her mother and the latter’s abusive gangster boyfriend, Johnny Stompanato, over her refusing to pay his gambling debts, and, grabbing the first weapon she could find, plunged a nine inch butcher knife into his stomach, killing him. In the subsequent trial, she was acquitted when the act was seen as a justifiable homicide, thanks to her mother’s dramatic turn on the witness stand. Sent to a home for problem girls afterwards, and did a lot of acting out as a wild teenager, before finally settling down. Realized she was attracted to women from an early age, and in 1971, settled into a longtime relationship with Jocelyn Leroy, whom her mother readily accepted. Followed her father into the restaurant business for 15 years, and eventually became a successful real estate saleswoman. Survived breast cancer to add to her various life dramas. Penned her autobiography “Detour: A Hollywood Story,” in 1988, while purposefully retreating from the public eye. Inner: Wild at heart, with the capacity for both growth and reflection. Stomachs are symbols of power, and in this case, that of the underworld, a stand-in for the revolutions that had earlier claimed her life. Healing lifetime of taking action after being the passive sacrificial lamb on the altars of monarchy, and in so doing, resuscitating herself in her own eyes, and finally making herself whole. Tsarevitch Alexis (1904-1918) - Russian prince. Outer: 4th child and only son of Alexandra (Lana Turner) and Nicholas II (Lex Barker) of Russia, and first male heir born to a reigning tsar since the 17th century. Delicate hemophiliac from birth, who drew the unholy healer, Grigori Rasputin (Godfrey Reggio) into the inner royal circle as his savior. Very responsive to the Mad Monk, who stopped several of his bleeding spells, by intuitively recognizing calmness as a healing factor in his condition. Close family life, well-loved by his father and mother, who was distraught over his condition. Inadvertently helped bring down his ruling house through Rasputin’s presence, as well as his mother’s disconnection from outer realities in dealing with his affliction. His father was forced to abdicate in 1917, and the family was placed under detention. Ultimately executed in a cellar with his parents and four sisters during the Russian Revolution. His body was never found, and was presumed to have been burned before the others were buried in secrecy. His sister, Anastasia, was also never found, leading to false claimants and much speculation about her fate, as well, although she was probably burned along with him. In 2007, bone fragments believed to be his, as well as his missing sister’s, were Inner: Frail, sickly, took on the persona of the passing monarchy of the Russians. Embodiment lifetime of nurturance and helplessness coupled with a violent ending, as the dead-end seed of a 300 year ruling house, and the personification of its sickly passing. Louis XVII (1785-1795) - French prince. Outer: 2nd oldest son of Marie-Antoinette (Lana Turner) and Louis XVI (Lex Barker), who became dauphin in 1789 on the early death of his elder brother. Close family life, well-loved by his parents. Imprisoned with his aunt, mother and sister in 1791, after an abortive attempt made at fleeing the country. His father was executed in 1793, and shortly before his mother went on trial, he was caught masturbating by his jailer, and to deflect blame, admitted to having an incestuous relationship with both his mother and aunt. The apocryphal tale became part of the evidence at the queen’s trial, only to be roundly rejected by one and all, as too outre, even for a bunch of aristocrats, such as his family. Following his mother’s execution, he was imprisoned by himself, where he was treated like a caged animal, living in darkness and filth for his last 2 years. Languished and died of tuberculosis. After his death many claimed his identity. Inner: Figure of pathos and humiliation, acting out the drama of royalty made to feel subhuman. Similar close relationship with same mother, coupled with separation and highly abused final years, as the living embodiment of a royal house that had run its course. Caged lifetime of the stark realities of the fortunes of rule, stemming from his ongoing need or desire to both embody the last of his line, and pay penance for hidden actions in the past. Louise de la Valliere, duchesse de la Valliere (1644-1710) - French royal mistress. Outer: Father was an army officer who died when his daughter was 7. Her mother remarried four years later to a marquis, and the family joined the princely court of the duc d’Orleans. Raised with the royal princesses, she wound up in royal circles, and was named maid of honor to Henrietta (Donna Versace), the sister of England’s restored king, Charles II (Peter O’Toole). The former had just married Louis XIV’s (Charles de Gaulle) libertine brother, Philippe I, duc d’Orleans (Gianni Versace), but soon proved to be a handful at the court at Fontainebleau. As a diversion for the king from her potentially scandalous behavior, the queen mother, Anne of Austria (Gloria Swanson) selected a trio of young women and she was one of them. A blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty, she had one leg which was shorter than the other, for which she wore specially-fashioned heels. Quickly became the king’s mistress, and unlike the other manipulative women around him, she desired neither titles, wealth, nor position from him, only his true heart. Highly moral, she felt guilty about the relationship, particularly after the king’s behavior drew remonstrations from the pulpit of Jacques Bossuet (Barack Obama), and she briefly fled the court to a convent. The king, however, prevailed on her to return, although there were many who were jealous of her position, and she was far too naive to protect herself from their gossip and manipulations. Lost her position as maid of honor, while secretly giving birth to a son in 1663, who was immediately taken from her to be raised elsewhere. Had 6 or 7 children with Louis, although only two survived infancy, with Louis de Bourbon (Lana Turner) dying in his teens, and a daughter who lived a full-term life. Following the death of the queen mother, she became the object of scorn and humiliation by Louis’s wife, and bore her adulterous status with great shame and regret. Refused a cover-up marriage, as most royal mistresses had done, for fear it would make her a double-adulteress, a consideration which never entered the minds of her far more ambitious prostituted peers. Despite being elevated to the status of duchess, and continuing to bear the king’s illegitimate progeny, she felt his royal affection was waning, and within five years, their relationship was largely over, as he moved on to other mistresses, particular the venomous and possessive marquise de Montespan (Asia Argento), who turned her into her own private servant. Begged to be released from her duties and allowed to join a convent, and also began affecting a hairshirt, while weeping constantly, which made her haggard and unhealthy. After earlier fleeing, she was finally permitted to enter a Carmelite convent in 1674, and took on the nom de penitence of Soeur Louise de la Misericord. Begged forgiveness from the queen before going, and wound up accepting the black veil of her order from the latter herself, who ultimately forgave her, realizing her earlier mea culpas were truly heartfelt. Proved herself a truly pious soul in her final retreat, and left her written reflections as a final atonement to her life. Inner: Highly religious, simple, modest and naive. Guilt-ridden lifetime of ultimately assuaging her sense of unclean culpability around the royal house of France, before switching genders and continuing to pay sacrificial penance, until finally truly reclaiming herself in century twenty. Stauracius (?-812) - Byzantine basileus. Outer: Son of Nicephorus I (Bernard Baruch), a patrician who was acclaimed emperor in 802. Brother of Prokopia (Lana Turner) who, in turn, would succeed him, as empress to Michael I Rangabe (Lex Barker). Co-crowned as emperor in 803, and four years later his father selected a wife for him, Theophano, in the traditional manner of a beauty pageant called a bride show. No children from the union. Given a military command and went to war with his sire against the Bulgarians, where he was wounded in the neck in the same battle in 811 that had killed his progenitor. Carried back to Adrianople, where he lay pain-wracked, paralyzed and bedridden, before hastily being proclaimed emperor. Feebly presented himself to the remains of the army, who gave their approval of him, despite his weakened state. Lifted by litter to Constantinople, where it was obvious he was in no condition to rule. Wished to have his wife succeed him, which split the court in twain. For reasons unknown, he detested his brother-in-law, and tried to have him blinded, but failed. Took holy orders on Michael’s accession, bitterly denouncing those who had created the succession against his will, and he was carted off to a monastery, where he died soon after. Inner: Victim lifetime of misfortune surrounding rule, in his/her ongoing struggles around thrones that are continually denied him, through circumstances far greater than his/her ability to deal with them.
PATHWAY OF THE RULER AS HIS/STORICAL FOOTNOTE TURNED PORN KING:
Storyline: The maverick moviemaker trades in his scepter for serial rule over exhibitionistic erotic empires, proving himself to be a controversialist of the first order, and totally unafraid of flouting social convention.
Michael Lucas (Andrei Treivas Bregman) (1972) - Russian/American producer, director and porn star. Outer: Grew up in Moscow in a Russian/Jewish family, and attended college there, getting a degree in law. Briefly owned a travel agency, then headed west with $200 in his pocket. 6’2”, 180 lbs. Worked as a nude model and male escort before appearing in his first pornographic film in Germany, in a heterosexual role. Moved to France afterwards, where he began modeling and appearing on both TV and magazine covers before launching his career as a performer in homophile erotica in 1996, and adapting a Frenchified version of the name by which he would ultimately be known. Added direction to his erection-enhanced filmography with the well-received Back in the Saddle, and in 1998, he formed his own production company, Lucas Entertainment, which would be based in NYC, preferring its far more European confines as well its diverse ethnicities, to America’s nominal porn center, Los Angeles. As a tri-hatted producer, director and star, he would go on to win numerous awards from the Adult Film Industry, and be one of its top and most outspoken players, with his later releases featuring his name in possessive case before title. Sworn in as an American citizen in 2004. Added a video distribution company the same year, as well as a weblog the following annum, while also advocating safe sex in both the porn industry and the larger homophile community. In 2005, he came out with a high budget remake of Dangerous Liaisons, featuring a number of high profile members of the extended gay community in cameo roles. A frequent public speaker, as well as opinion-maker through columns, he is strongly anti-drug, and more than willing to take on homophobic people and institutions of all stripes. Raised conservative Israeli hackles by visiting Israel in order to entertain its homophile troops. Badmouthed Islam in print for its homophobic attitudes, and has been the target of several lawsuits, because of his high profile status within a very controversial industry. Inner: Outspoken, opinionated and totally uninhibited with a genuine gift for raising both consciousness and hackles. Outrageous fortune lifetime of continuing to explore an entertainment niche in which he had served as a pioneer, with the desire to write a far happier ending to the literal fairy tales in which his most recent lives in this series have culminated. Bernard Natan (Natan Tannenzapf) (1886-1942) - Romanian/French producer and porn star. Outer: Of Romanian/Jewish descent. At least one brother. Emigrated to France at the age of 20, and by 23, he had involved himself in the fledgling film industry. Married Marie-Louise Chatillon, two children from the union. In 1910, along with three partners and 25,000 francs, he created a small production company, Ciné Actualités, and began churning out one-reelers with it. Founded a film processing company in 1913 called Rapid Films, which would soon become one of the leading French labs, and in conjunction with it, created a publicity company, which would continue unabated albeit under a different name, into the next century. Despite being a Romanian citizen, he enlisted in the French army at the outbreak of WW I, and served the entire duration of the fray. Won the Croix de Guerre, while being wounded, and was discharged with the rank of sergeant. Changed his name to the less Jewish-sounding Bernard Natan, and gained French citizenship in 1921. Produced and acted in at least 20 silent pornographic films of both a hetero and bisexual nature between 1920 and 1927, in order to finance his overground film studio. Dominated this particular niche during this period, before making the complete switch over to mainstream fare. Began expanding his operations, adding workshops and editing facilities, and later building two motion picture studios. In 1926, he teamed with a French director and a British producer to create Les Productions Natan, which produced a number of major commercial features. Also co-produced his own films independent of the latter organization, while serving on a French cinematographic directorate, first as treasurer and then as vice-president. In 1929, he was in a position to buy controlling stock in Charles Pathe's (Luc Besson) company, after financial pressures forced the latter to sell off his assets, to create Pathé-Natan. Became the once-prestigious pioneering production company’s managing director, and used its diminished assets to create a major integrated company, despite the worldwide economic Depression which soon ensued. Proceeded to buy and build theaters, and equip them with sound to take advantage of the coming ‘talkie’ market, while creating Europe’s most modern moviemaking facilities. Put his brother Emile in charge of production, and over the first six years of the company he produced some 70 features, as well as a host of co-productions. Used the leading French directors of the time, as well as the leading actors and actresses and also distributed French versions of foreign productions, including Disney Studio’s Mickey Mouse cartoons. Acquired patents, and placed his long reach into radio and television holding companies, newsreels and even art films. Managed to avoid a number of potential financial crises in his expansion, and, for a while, weathered a vicious anti-Semitic and xenophobic campaign against him by the press. A little after mid-decade, he was driven out of the company by all the pressures, although he continued producing films, while his brother founded another successful production concern. At the end of 1938, he became victim of the vicious anti-Semitism of the time, and was arrested and accused of embezzling hundreds of millions of francs. Convicted of financial irregularities, he was stripped of his French nationality, and imprisoned in 1939. A second conviction in 1941 followed, although he was freed in 1942. Shortly thereafter, however, he was handed over to the occupying Nazis and deported to the Auschwitz death camp in 1942, dying a few weeks later. It would later be discovered that the charges against him were totally false, although the myth of his guilt would persist long after he was gone. Inner: Extremely adept businessman, with an instinctive sense of where the entertainment industry was going. Dualistic individual, not only in his bisexuality, but also in his overground/underground sensibilities, which would give play to his tragic end. Entrepreneurial lifetime of playing both kingpin and victim in high profile manner, as a means of trying to integrate his extremely dual sense of self. Louis XIX (Louis-Antoine de France, dauphin et du d’Angouleme) (1775-1844) - French pretender to the throne. Outer: Last of the direct Bourbon kingly line. Father was the future Charles X (Rolland Emmerich), mother, Marie Therese of Savoy (Celling Don), was the daughter of the king of Sardinia. Oldest of 4, including Charles, du de Berry (Macauley Caulking), and two sisters. When the French Revolution broke out in 1789, he and his younger brother, went into exile with their father, ultimately winding up in England. In 1792, he joined the émigré army of his cousin, the Prince of Condo, who had been the crypto-grandson from his previous go-round in this series. Following the regicide of the Louis XVI (Lex Barker) in 1793, and the death of the dauphin, Louis XVII (Cheryl Crane) two years later, his uncle was proclaimed Louis XVIII (Luc Besson), by the French court in exile. Led a royalist uprising afterwards in western France that failed, and wound up joining his family in the German Duchy of Brunswick, only to have to flee again, when the French army defeated the Austrians. Headed north to Latvia, under the protection of the Russian czar, and there he married his first cousin Marie-Therese-Charlotte (Arletty) in 1799, the only child of his deposed uncle and aunt, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (Lana Turner), to survive the Revolution. No children from the union. Joined the Bavarian army as a cavalry commander, and fought against the French, showing good martial skills. After the tsar made peace with the French in 1801, he and the court in exile were forced to flee to Warsaw, and for the next decade, he remained a confidante of the king, as political considerations sent him first to Russia, and then England. Tried to enlist in the Russian army against the Emperor Napoleon twice but both times was refused by the succeeding tsar. Returned to France in 1814, in a symbolic pre-reclamation of his house on the French throne, and then fought alongside the Duke of Wellington (Louis Mountbatten), although had to flee France during Napoleon’s 100 day return to Paris. Following the latter’s final fall, he served his uncle Louis XVIII’s restoration, then became the last dauphin of France when his father ascended the throne in 1824. Supported his sire’s largely reactionary regime, and helped put down an anti-Bourbon revolt in Spain, where a cousin had been seated on the throne. On the fall of his father in 1830 following a popular revolt, he held the kingship for a disputed 15 minutes as Louis XIX, against his wife’s wishes, then abdicated in favor of a nephew, Henri Chambord (Vladimir Putin) setting the record for the shortest regime in French his/story. Contrary to his wishes, his cousin, citizen king Louis-Philippe (Boris Yeltsin), would succeed him. Once again went into exile, and never returned to France, going first to Edinburgh, then the court of his cousins in Vienna. Following his sire’s death in 1836, he became the official head of his house, and on his death while in exile in Austria, Chambord would succeed him as the titular legitimist pretender. Inner: Well-versed warrior, although never really allowed to strut his martial stuff. His sire, nevertheless, never thought much of him. Conservative traditionalist, imbued with his sense of royal prerogative. Fifteen minutes of fame and power lifetime of largely doing his duties as a member of a beleaguered royal household, before returning as a mischiefmaker supreme, intent on indenting world culture with his presence, after largely and royally being denied doing the same in this go-round. Louis III, 6th prince de Condé (1688-1710) - French prince. Outer: Of the Royal House of Bourbon. Eldest surviving son of Henri-Louis III, 5th prince de Condé (Rolland Emmerich), and one of 10 children. Known by the courtesy title of the du de Bourbon. In 1685, he married Louise-Francoise de Bourbon (Arletty), the illegitimate daughter of Francoise de Montespan (Asia Argento) and Louis XIV (Charles de Gaulle). This union between a princely offspring and a royal bastard sent courtly tongues clucking, although it was approved by his house’s head, the celebrated warrior, Louis II, the Great Condo (Yul Brynner), now in his dotage, and soon to die after taking care of the latter when she had smallpox. Extremely unimpressive physically. Short with an abnormally large head, as a result of macrocephaly, and a yellowish-orange tint to his skin. 9 children from his union, all of whom accomplished far more than their parents ever did. Both he and his wife were continually disloyal to one another, with both carving excessive notches on their respective bedposts. Received a decent education, but made no mark on his time, thanks to a genetic malady passed down from grandfather to father to son, which left him insane by life’s end, although still producing progeny. Succeeded his demented sire in 1709, but only outlived him by a year. Eventually exited as a complete madman in his early 40s. Inner: Unremarkable lifetime save for his congenital predisposition towards lunacy, in an act out go-round geared towards ridding himself of some of his anger, within the threshold of his longtime karmic family. Robert of Courtenay (?-1228) - Latin emperor of Constantinople. Outer: Mother was Yolanda (Meg Ryan), who was sister to the first two Latin emperors of Constantinople. Father was Peter II of Courtenay (Macauley Culkin), a direct descendant of the Capetian line on the French throne. Second of four brothers, along with six sisters, from the fecund loins of his parents, including his successor on the Constantinople throne, Baldwin II (Roald Emmerich). His mother had followed her brothers to Constantinople, in anticipation of her husband succeeding them, which he nominally did, although he never reached the city, and and wound up languishing in an Epirot prison, where he died after two years. His older brother then renounced the inherited position, leaving it to him, as next in the line of succession, while his mother served as regent for him, before dying in 1219. A second regent covered the intervening years before he was crowned emperor in 1221. Showed himself to be remarkably obtuse with absolutely no gift for rule, and little real interest in anything other than seduction. Tried to get help from the pope and king of France, for his weak position, as both the Byzantine emperor-in-exile John III (Bruce Chatwin) and the Despote of Epirus, who had undone his father, both took advantage of his extreme vulnerability. Spent his time seducing anyone he could find that was impressed with his office, while also robbing churches and monasteries, and making no effort whatsoever to be worthy of his crown. Negotiations to marry Eudoxia, the daughter of the previous Byzantine emperor-in-exile Theodore I Lascaris (Lawrence Durrell) fell through, since his sister had wed the latter, which would have made him both the brother-in-law and son-in-law of his fellow potentate. Became infatuated with the daughter of a lowborn knight, the Lady of Neuville, who was already affianced to another, and married her, installing her in his palace. His barons burst into his bedchamber and disfigured her, before grabbing her mother and drowning her. After making no attempt to save either, he fled to Rome to lodge a formal protest with the pope to no avail, then died on his return home. Succeeded by his youngest brother, Baldwin II (Roald Emmerich), who was only 11 at the time. Inner: Feckless and a slave to his senses, with little interest in anything beyond his own personal pleasure. Pornorule lifetime of giving in to his longtime addiction to pleasures of the flesh, without the slightest interest in any other aspects of his inherited position of power.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SERIAL QUEEN TURNED STAR:
Storyline: The infectious athlete turns her focus and skills towards the twin goals of successful motherhood and respected star turns, after having earlier gone sleepless in Connecticut over the lack of the former and praiseless in silent screen Hollywood over the latter, only to run into more roadblocks along the way.
Meg Ryan (Margaret Hyra) (1963) - American actress. Outer: Mother was a wannabe actress who became a casting agent, father was a schoolteacher. 3 siblings. The former eventually moved out of the house to pursue her career, leaving her children with her husband, and condemning her daughter to feel abandoned by her. Proved to be a good student, and wound up 11th in her high school class. After graduating, she made her Hollywood debut in Rich and Famous at 19. 5’8”, blonde-haired and blue-eyed. Took night classes in journalism at NYU, then did commercials and a 2 year stint on a popular soap opera, “As The World Turns.” Played secondary roles, before becoming a romantic comedy star in her late 20s with When Harry Met Sally, most notably faking an orgasm in a public place in the film. At 30, she married actor Dennis Quaid, one son from union, as the duo went on to star in several films together. Became a Hollywood mainstay 2 years later with Sleepless in Seattle, while continuing to stretch herself as an actress, with an equal aptitude for both comedy and drama. Formed her own production company, Prufrock, and continued as a Hollywood favorite, with a sparkling screen personality and a winning likability. Separated from the philandering DQ after 9 years, in 2000 to take up with actor Russell Crowe, although the 2 soon blazed out on one another. Betrayed her archetype, and struggled mightily with public rejection over her image, as well as her subsequent 2 films, but learned to accept herself, and made an erotic thriller, In the Cut, including nude scenes, to cement her transition as a far more vulnerable and womanly person. Found less filmic success afterwards, and far more self-involvement in recompense, while adopting a Chinese daughter in 2006. Inner: Accessible, friendly, serious and focused, with a determination to make her domestic life work after the failure of her own upbringing, although eventually fell into generational patterns, but not without considerable growth on her part. Double duty lifetime of deliberately stretching herself as an actress and as a person, through both successes and failings, after having earlier proved her facility at resonating with a camera, without any real craft behind her abilities. Pearl White (1889-1938) - American actress. Outer: Father was a farmer who got into real estate and insurance and once served as a deputy county assessor. The youngest of 5, she grew up in Springfield, Missouri. Made her amateur stage debut at 6, before playing child leads in a host of other plays, allowing her to buy a horse with her earnings. Dropped out of school in her sophomore year, over her father’s objections, and at 13, joined a circus as an equestrienne, but suffered a spinal injury in a fall off the horse, and was forced to retire from circus life. At 18, she left home officially, married a stock actor, Victor Sutherland, and divorced 7 years later. Performed in stock and traveling companies, but was unable to get on the Broadway stage. Worked, instead, as a secretary for a film company. A director spotted her, and in her early 20s, she made her film debut in a Western three-reeler, and went on to star in over 100 one and two reelers, running the gamut from comedy to adventure to Westerns. In 1914, she became the star of a serial entitled, The Perils of Pauline for Pathé films, a role with which she would forever be identified, while occasionally playing off of Warner Oland (Dennis Quaid), as the villainous heavy in them. Became the most popular star of the silents in the 19-teens, performing her own stunts, although her spinal injury prevented her from doing more dangerous escapes from her ongoing celluloid perils. Married a second actor, Wallace McCutcheon, Jr. (Macauley Culkin), at 30, divorced 2 years later, no children from either union. Her distraught husband disappeared soon after the divorce, and shot himself several years later. A stand-in for her was killed in 1922, doing a dangerous stunt, and she had a nervous breakdown afterwards. In her early 30s, she felt she was too limited in what she was doing, despite her phenomenal success, and tried her hand at regular features, although couldn’t muster the audience attraction that her more athletic endeavors did. Made one last serial in her mid-30s, and then one final film in France the following year before retiring. Earned more than $2 million in her career and managed it wisely. Lived in Paris, had a successful racing stable, and spent the rest of her life enjoying herself in France. Converted to Roman Catholicism and died of a liver ailment. Wrote a largely invented autobiography, “Just Me,” at the height of her fame. Following her death, 2 film bios were made, loosely based on her life, and both were called, naturally enough, Perils of Pauline. Inner: Athletic, attractive, personable. Barely adequate as an actress, but possessed an infectious personality and was full of fun. Transitional lifetime of coming down from her previous high horse of nobility, and allowing her athleticism to take her to heady heights, while her undeveloped inner actress desired far more artistry, a situation she would try to remedy in her next go-round in this series. Caroline de Berry (Marie-Caroline Ferdinande Louise de Bourbon-Sicile, duchesse de Berry) (1798-1870) - French royal conspirator. Outer: Eldest daughter of the King of Two Sicilies, Francis I. In 1816, she married into the French royal family, Charles, Ferdinand, duc de Berry (Macauley Culkin), who was the son of the future king, Charles X (Roland Emmerich). Had two children who died at birth, before producing one daughter who survived. In 1820, while she was pregnant, her husband was assassinated at the opera, and died in her arms. Had a posthumous son by him, who was later known as Henri Chambord (Vladimir Putin). The latter would have a very legitimate claim to the throne, as the grandson of a deposed king. In 1830, she tried to secure succession for her son at the abdication of her father-in-law, but was forced into exile, instead, fleeing to her family in Naples. Two years later, she entered France disguised as a peasant, and tried to stir up an insurrection in the Vendée, against Charles’s replacement, Louis-Philippe (Boris Yeltsin). Arrested and imprisoned the same year, she was released when she gave birth to a daughter, and it was discovered she had married an obscure Italian nobleman, thereby excluding her from the throne. Returned to Sicily, and lived the rest of her long life out of the spotlight in Italy and Austria, with much to ponder, which probably made her decide to try to seek fame and fortune via a different venue in her succeeding go-rounds in this series. Inner: Feisty, willful and highly manipulative. Royal pain lifetime of making much public mischief, and escaping punishment for it, in her ongoing perils of pauline sense of adventure around herself. Yolanda of Flanders (1175-1219) - Latin empire of Constantinople regent. Outer: Father was Baldwin V, Count of Hainault. Mother was Countess Margaret I of Flanders. Older sister of two future Latin emperors of Constantinople, Baldwin I (Ryan O’Neal), and Henry of Hainault (Luc Besson), as well as younger sister of a future queen of France, Isabella of Hainault (Carolyn Bessette). Married Peter II of Courtenay (Macauley Culkin), who was descended from the royal Capetian line, four sons and six daughters from the union, with the latter half-dozen all marrying well. Inherited the county of Namur in the low countries from an uncle in 1212, and passed it on to her eldest son when she went to Constantinople in 1216. Her husband was elected emperor in 1217, following the death of Henry, although he never reached the city. Instead he languished in an Epirot prison for two years, before he was executed. Had their final child together almost immediately after arriving in Constantinople. Ruled as regent for her second son Robert of Courtenay (Michael Lucas), after her oldest refused to accompany the family. Showed good instincts in her elevation to being a political decision-maker. Chose the Bulgarians as her ally against the various Byzantine states, while also making a political alliance with Theodore I Lascaris (Lawrence Durrell), the Byzantine emperor-in-exile in Nicaea, by marrying one of her daughters, Mary, to him as his third wife. Died soon afterwards, and was succeeded by her son Robert. Inner: Sure-handed lifetime of acquitting herself well as a regent, in a brief bestowal of power through her ongoing early connection to the same regal brood.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS PERENNIAL CHILDSTAR:
Storyline: The primal peaker hits his stride in single figures, then never has enough left for a second act, necessitating both early exits stage left, or withdrawal back into the mass audience to reassess his drive for excessively early acclaim.
Macauley Culkin (1980) - American actor. Outer: Parents never married, although lived together for 2 decades. Father was a former actor who became a sexton, then the manager of his famous son, as soon as he became a brief marquee mainstay. Third of 7, 6 of whom have wound up acting to some extent, with brothers Rory and Kieran fashioning film careers for themselves. Named after English his/storian Thomas Macauley (Winston Churchill). Fashioned his stage debut at 6, and immediately showed a propensity for being a scene stealer. Made his movie debut at 7 in Rocket Gibraltar, then proved so endearing to his next writer/director that he fashioned a vehicle for him, Home Alone, a Christmas tale about a little boy who could handle himself against comic villains. The movie became a worldwide sensation, and he suddenly found himself the biggest child-star since the 1930s. Became a frequent visitor to Michael Jackson’s Neverland, and, although was allegedly molested by Jackson, continued to deny it all through the latter’s trial for saidsame in 2005. Later made godfather to two of Jackson’s children. His father took over his career, which foundered afterwards, causing his family to ultimately split up. Gave up movies at 16 with his career apparently already burned out. Announced at 17, prior to his coming into $17 million dollars, that he was ready to settle down with his life/love, Rachel Miner, a fellow teenage actress, whom he had met at the elite Professional Children’s School and married. The couple later separated and divorced in 2001. Later had a seven year relationship with actress Mila Kunis, which ended in 2011. 5’7”. Tried to resuscitate his career on the stage in London, as well as investigating ordinary life without the klieg lights on. Made forays into TV, and then returned to film with a decadent turn in Party Monster, while struggling to regain his earlier popular appeal. Busted for pot in 2004, to add to his difficulties, while confining most of his thesping to the small screen. Lost his 29 year old sister Dakota, the only nonactor among his siblings, to a car accident at the end of 2008. Ultimately became a monthly themed party-giver in NYC, while also serving as a club DJ, with the desire to stay out of the public spotlight, despite an occasional photo showing him excessively gaunt and decidedly un-movie starrish, thanks to an alleged $6000 a month heroin and oxycodone habit, which his publicist vehemently denied. Regained his health, while serving as frontman for the band, Pizza Underground, as internet rumors of his death at the end of 2014 allowed him to make fun of his presumed demise. The following annum he reprised his Home Alone character as an adult in a web series called :DRYVERS in which he plays an UBER driver prone to misadventure. Inner: Confused, destructive, agoraphobic, unhappy and willful, thanks, in large part, to overwhelming early success. Too much, too soon lifetime of experiencing very early stardom, beginning with a comedic, rather than a tragic turn as in his previous go-round, to see how his roller-coaster entry into national prominence will effect the rest of his life. Brandon de Wilde (Andre Brandon de Wilde) (1942-1972) - American actor. Outer: From a theatrical family, mother was an actress, father was a stage manager, who was a friend of the casting director of “Member of the Wedding.” Although he had a shaky tryout, he got the part and made his Broadway debut at 7 in that play, winning a prestigious award in the process, the first child ever to do so, before repeating the role in his film debut at 10. Won international stardom the following year as the hero-worshiping youngster in Shane. Had his own TV series after that, but the rest of his career flatlined in comparison to his sensational start. Tried to make the transition to adult stardom, but his trajectory was slow-moving, with most of his work on the small, rather than the large screen. Married Susan Maw in 1963, divorced 6 years later, with a son from the union. Married again in 1972 to Janice Gero, and perished less than four months later. Died of injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash on a slick road in Denver, while trying to avoid hitting another vehicle prior to appearing on the stage in “Butterflies Are Free.” Inner: Burnt candle lifetime of sensational early success, and then long letdown on the slick road of stardom, causing him to try the exact same trip again from a slightly different and looser perspective. Wallace McCutcheon, Jr. (1880-1928) - American actor, dancer and director. Outer: Father was director and cinematographer Wallace “Old Man” McCutcheon, who made his mark in early Hollywood, and then mysteriously disappeared around 1911. One of 8 children. Led a rootless, undisciplined playboy existence, before being asked to fill in for his ill father at Biograph in 1908, where he directed around a dozen undistinguished films, before being let go. Married and divorced an actress. Served in WW I, winning accolades for his bravery and rising to the rank of major, although he was gassed, which would undo him both physically and mentally. In 1919, after costarring with her in the popular serial, The Black Secret, he married serial queen Pearl White (Meg Ryan), who divorced him two years later for neglecting to provide for them, and since she was by far the wealthier of the two, no alimony was awarded. No children from the union. Totally distraught after the divorce, he went through a downward mental spiral, and ultimately shot himself. Inner: Fun-loving and largely irresponsible in the creative realms, far more focused in his more natural habitat of the warrior realm. Self-immolating lifetime of trying to make the transition to a more self-expressive existence, only to fall victim to remnants of his violent past and ultimately succumb to them. Charles-Ferdinand, duc de Berry (Charles-Ferdinand de Bourbon, duc de Berry) (1778-1820)- French prince. Outer: Younger son of the future Charles X (Roland Emmerich) of France. Mother, Marie-Josephine (Asia Argento), was the daughter of the king of Sardinia. His older brother, the future Louis XIX (Michael Lucas), held the throne for a record fifteen minutes. Also had two sisters. His maternal great grandparents were Felipe V (Desi Arnaz) and Elizabeth Farnese (Lucille Ball) of Spain. An attractive young man of great promise, he left France with his family at the outbreak of the French revolution in 1789. Served in the French royalist army from 1792 to 1797, and was given a cavalry regiment in Russia by the tsar, himself. Opted, however, for England for a decade and a half, and had a liaison with an English noblewoman, Amy Brown, siring two daughters with her, both of whom would be ennobled. For political reasons, the marriage was annulled in 1814, and he returned to France, before beating a retreat to Ghent at Napoleon’s last hurrah in 1815, then returned for good at the Restoration, where his uncle assumed the throne as Louis XVIII (Luc Besson). In 1816, he married the daughter of the King of the Two Sicilies, Caroline de Berry (Meg Ryan), and had two children who died at birth, then a daughter with her. Stabbed while leaving the opera by a rabid saddler, Louis-Pierre Louvel, and died hours later there, in his wife’s arm. Posthumous father of Henri Chambord (Vladimir Putin). His death would ultimately feed into France’s division between royalists and republicans, giving him far more power in death than he ever had in life. Inner: Frank and open, as well as conservative and traditional, with the thought he would one day ascend the throne. Wound up, instead, living an operatic life, of the royal hero sacrificed by fanatic fate, and then giving promise for royal resurrection via a posthumous prince. Dramatic lifetime of ultimately putting all his power in his spectacular death, in his ongoing draws towards early dramatic demises, under far more theatrical circumstances. Peter II of Courtenay (?-1219) - Latin emperor of Constantinople. Outer: Of the House of Capet. Father was the youngest son of Louis VI (Arthur Seyss-Inquart) of France. One of ten children and the second son, whose older sibling died when he was young. Wed Agnes of Nevers, and received three counties as part of her dowry. One daughter from the union. On her death, he married Yolanda (Meg Ryan), the younger sister of Baldwin I and Henry of Hainault (Luc Besson), the future first two Latin emperors of Constantinople. Ten children from the union, including the last two Latin emperors, Robert (Michael Lucas) and Baldwin II (Roald Emmerich). Accompanied Philippe II Augustus (FDR) on the Fourth Crusade in 1190, before joining the Albigensian crusade against heretics in France, alongside his sibling Robert. When his brother-in-law Henry died suddenly in 1216 without a male heir, he was elected to be his successor. Consecrated as the third Latin Emperor of Constantinople in Rome in 1217, although he never set foot in his domain. Failed in his first attempt to reach it by sea, after borrowing ships from the Venetians, then set out by land afterwards, instructing his wife to meet him there, while he was engaged in battle with the Despote of Epirus. Captured and imprisoned, and never heard from again, while executed sometime during his two year incarceration. His wife would briefly serve as regent for his oldest son Robert. Inner: Home alone lifetime of getting as close to a throne as he ever would, through his ongoing linkage with the same royal family, as a peripheral member not quite ready for the prime time of rule.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS OFT-TESTED SURVIVOR:
Storyline: The self-preserving drama queen shares a single name like her other crypto-royal sisters who traded in their tiaras for klieg-lit fame and fortune, and continues to define herself through the roller-coaster political sentiments of her times, as a victim and survivor of both her own making and unmaking.
Arletty (Leonie Marie Julie Bathiat) (1898-1992) - French actress. Outer: From a large working-class family. Father was a miner who was killed by a streetcar in 1916. Mother took in washing, while she grew up in poverty. Had little real schooling. Worked in a factory, then learned shorthand and typing, before laboring in an armament plant during WW I. Became a photographer’s and artist’s model afterwards, posing for such luminaries as Georges Braque and Henri Matisse, while becoming entranced with Parisian bohemian life. Lost a lover on the third day of WW I, and vowed never to marry, for fear of wounding her heart even more, or even worse, producing a young soldier who would be swallowed alive by the European war machine. Made her musical hall debut in 1918, and her official stage debut two years later, playing a courtesan, although the former venue, along with cabaret work, would prove to be her mainstay. Took her stage name from a Guy de Maupassant (Roman Polanski) story. Continued her live performances, enjoying popular success while also establishing herself in film in the 1930s. Although she rarely received top billing, she always managed to make her presence known in the latter medium, thanks to her ability to project good-humored beauty. Following WW II, she was accused of collaborating with the Nazi occupation by becoming lovers with a German officer, which did not sit well with her audience. Later remarked, “My heart is French, but my ass is international.” Forced to pay for her role as a high profile exemplar of “horizontal collaboration,” by being sent to a French concentration camp, before spending four months in a Parisian prison. In late 1944, she was placed under house arrest for another two years after a hearing, and was not permitted to appear either on stage or in film for three years. Made her most memorable screen appearance in Marcel Carné’s Children of Paradise, although she was not allowed to attend the postwar premiere because of continued public resentment against her. Eventually, she was permitted to pursue both her stage and screen careers. Wrote a defense for herself called "La Defense" in 1948, and two years later, her German soldier returned to France just before accepting an ambassadorship, and asked her to marry him, but she refused. Began losing her sight in her left eye, for which she needed drops. One day in 1962, she accidentally put them in her right eye and partially blinded herself. Although she could still see, by 1968, she had totally lost her sight. Her friends subsequently moved her to a small apartment, where she spent the rest of her life, looking inside, instead of outside, herself. Enjoyed a public rejuvenation in 1971, with the publication of her autobiography, I Am As I Am.” Inner: Sardonic, with sharp wit, and a good instinct for self-preservation, despite public opinion to the contrary. Tragedy-prone lifetime of letting both her heart and her ass get the better of her, before finally being given a long period to blindly grope inside in order to truly try to see herself. Marie-Therese-Charlotte, comtesse de Marnes (1778-1851) - Queen consort of France and Navarre. Outer: Eldest of 4 children of Marie Antoinette (Lana Turner) and Louis XVI (Lex Barker), and the only member of her family to escape the populist depredations of the French Revolution. Named after her grandmother Maria Theresa (Mary Renault), the Austrian Holy Roman Empress. Had a close relationship with her father, who spoiled her, while her mother tried to instill within her some sense of consciousness about those far less privileged than they. Had two younger brothers, including the unfortunate Louis XVII (Cheryl Crane), as well as a younger sister. Lost two of her siblings to disease, as the drumbeat of revolution began to grow louder and louder in France during the 1780s. Forced to leave the palace at Versailles when it was attacked by an angry mob, she and her family wound up under house arrest and then were imprisoned in 1792, when the monarchy fell. Serially lost her father and mother to the guillotine, over the next year. Never directly knew the fate of the rest of her family, but was allowed to leave the country in 1794, when the most violent phase of the revolution had spent itself, and wound up in exile in Vienna, at the former court of her grandmother. Moved to Latvia, at the behest of the Russian tsar, while her uncle Louis XVIII (Luc Besson) was proclaimed king by the exiled French court. In 1799, she married her cousin and the latter’s nephew, the future Louis XIX (Michael Lucas), who was the eldest son of the future Charles X (Roland Emmerich), her father’s brother. The genetic match was far too close for consanguineal comfort, but fortunately, produced no offspring. Remained in exile, along with the royal court, living in England, before finally being allowed to return to France with the final fall of the Emperor Napoleon in 1815. Rejoined the royal court at the restoration of her uncle Louis XVIII, then lost her cousin, the duc de Berry to assassination in 1820. Following her uncle’s death in 1824, she became dauphine of France, when her dual father-in-law and uncle Charles X assumed the throne for his own reactionary rule. A revolt in 1830 toppled him, and for a brief fifteen minutes, her husband was king of France and she was queen, before her spouse reluctantly abdicated in favor of his nephew Henri Chambord (Vladimir Putin), who would never assume the throne. Instead, a family cousin, Louis-Philippe (Boris Yeltsin), did so, as the citizen king. Went into exile at the same time with both the ex-king and her husband, originally sailing to England, and living in Edinburgh, never to see France again. In 1833, they were invited to her cousin, the HRE’s Austrian court, where they were treated royally. Continued to live an unsettled existence and in 1836 when Charles X died, her spouse became the legitimist pretender to the throne. Following his death in 1844, she moved to a castle outside of Vienna, where she was joined by Chambord, and lived quietly there, until dying of pneumonia, almost 58 years to the day of her mother’s execution. Inner: Strongly Roman Catholic, with a traditionalist sense of duty, and an excellent instinct for self-preservation. Highly dramatic lifetime of living out the last of the French monarchy, as an emblem of a royal will to survive. Louise-Francoise de Bourbon, princesse de Condé (1673-1743) - French princess. Outer: Eldest surviving daughter of Francoise de Montespan (Asia Argento), and one of 7 children she had with Louis XIV (Charles de Gaulle) as his mistress. Later legitimatized along with her other siblings. Supposedly named after the guilt-ridden mistress her mother had supplanted, Louise de la Valliere (Cheryl Crane), and then replaced in the king’s affections. The latter, who had gone off to a convent, became her godmother. Placed in the care of the marquise de Maintenon (Simone de Beauvoir), she was known as Mlle. de Nantes, and was given the affectionate nickname of poupotte. Deeply affected when her closest sister died, she had a relatively cloistered childhood, and at 13, was given in marriage to a distant cousin, Louis de Bourbon-Condé (Michael Lucas), elevating her to duchesse, although the match, between a royal bastard and a prince of the blood, caused much tut-tutting among her fellow nobility. Largely disregarded by her husband, an unattractive fellow with an abnormally large head, she wound up in almost a constant state of pregnancy with him, during his truncated life, producing nine children all told. Early in the marriage, she came down with smallpox, which her spouse completely ignored, although she was nursed back to health by her mother, and her warrior grandfather-in-law, the Great Condé (Yul Brynner), which fed into his subsequent exit from the same disease. A vivacious beauty, and an inconstant wife, just as her husband was with her, she whiled away her time with affairs in between pregnancies. Became much closer to her mother, once she left court in 1691, and was deeply depressed by her death in 1707. Her husband became affected by the family predisposition for insanity, and was a complete loon his last couple of years. When her father-in-law died in 1709, her deranged spouse succeeded to his titles, although died the following year, at which time she became known as the dowager princess. Still actively engaged in affairs into her late 40s, she had the Palais Bourbon built in Paris as her official residence, and led an active social life with her extended family, until her death at the age of 70. Inner: Highly social, seductive and manipulative, although not on the level of her mother, who was a past master at willful activity. Legitimatized lifetime of enjoying royal prerogatives, despite an unbalanced mate, while threading herself through the bedchambers of her time, under her ongoing dictum of her heart belonging to France, but her ass as hers to do with as she pleased.