Central Park, New York, 1961

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

September 1961: Three women keep cool during a heat wave by moving a park bench into the water in Central Park, New York. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)

September 1961: Three women keep cool during a heat wave by moving a park bench into the water in Central Park, New York. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)

Central Park is an urban park in middle-upper Manhattan, within New York City.
Between 1821 and 1855, New York City nearly quadrupled in population. As the city expanded northward up Manhattan, people were drawn to the few existing open spaces, mainly cemeteries, to get away from the noise and chaotic life in the city.
New York City’s need for a great public park was resounded by the famed poet and editor of the Evening Post, William Cullen Bryant, as well as by the first American landscape architect, Andrew Jackson Downing (1815–1852), who predicted and began to publicize the city’s need for a public park in 1844.
A stylish place for open-air driving, similar to Paris’ Bois de Boulogne or London’s Hyde Park, was felt to be needed by many influential New Yorkers and in 1853 the New York legislature settled upon a 700-acre (280 ha) area from 59th to 106th Streets for the creation of the Park, at a cost of more than US$5 million for the land alone.
The Park was established in 1857 on 778 acres (315 ha) of city-owned land and a Central Park Commission held a landscape design contest. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903) and Calvert Vaux (1824–1895), a landscape architect and an architect respectively, won the design competition, to improve and expand the park, with a plan they titled the “Greensward Plan”.
Andrew Jackson Downing was friend and mentor to Olmsted, and Vaux was his architect collaborator. After Downing died in July 1852, Olmsted and Vaux entered the Central Park design competition together. Vaux had invited the less experienced Olmsted to participate in the design competition with him, having been impressed with Olmsted’s theories and political contacts. The design of Central Park embodies Olmsted’s social consciousness and commitment to egalitarian ideals. Influenced by Downing and his own observations regarding social class in England, China, and the American South, Olmsted believed that the common green space must always be equally accessible to all citizens, and was to be defended against private encroachment. This principle is now fundamental to the idea of a “public park”, but was not assumed as necessary then. Olmsted’s tenure as park commissioner in New York was a long struggle to preserve that idea.
Construction began in 1858 and the park’s first area was opened to the public in the winter of the same year. Construction continued during the American Civil War farther north, and was expanded to its current size of 843 acres (341 ha) in 1873.
Central Park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962.
Today, the park is maintained by the Central Park Conservancy, a private, not-for-profit organization that manages the park under a contract with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
While planting and land form in much of the park appear natural, it is in fact almost entirely landscaped. The park contains several natural-looking lakes and ponds that have been created artificially, extensive walking tracks, bridle paths, two ice-skating rinks (one of which is a swimming pool in July and August), the Central Park Zoo, the Central Park Conservatory Garden, a wildlife sanctuary, a large area of natural woods, a 106-acre (43 ha) billion-gallon reservoir with an encircling running track, and an outdoor amphitheater, the Delacorte Theater, which hosts the “Shakespeare in the Park” summer festivals. Indoor attractions include Belvedere Castle with its nature center, the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, and the historic Carousel. In addition there are seven major lawns, the “meadows”, and many minor grassy areas; some of them are used for informal or team sports and some set aside as quiet areas; there are a number of enclosed playgrounds for children. The 6 miles (9.7 km) of drives within the park are used by joggers, cyclists, skateboarders, and inline skaters, especially when automobile traffic is prohibited, on weekends and in the evenings after 7:00 pm. The park has its own NYPD precinct, the Central Park Precinct, which employs both regular police and auxiliary officers. In 2005, safety measures held the number of crimes in the park to fewer than one hundred per year (down from approximately 1,000 in the early 1980s).
Central Park’s size and cultural position, has served as a model for many urban parks. The park, which receives approximately 35 million visitors annually, is the most visited urban park in the United States. It is also one of the most filmed locations in the world.
Advise and Consent is a 1959 political novel by Allen Drury (1918–1998) that explores the United States Senate confirmation of controversial Secretary of State nominee Robert Leffingwell, who is a former member of the Communist Party. The novel spent 102 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1960 and was adapted into a successful 1962 film starring Henry Fonda.
Sources/More to Read:
Wikipedia: Central Park
Wikipedia: Andrew Jackson Downing
Wikipedia: Frederick Law Olmsted
Wikipedia: Calvert Vaux
Central Park Conservancy
Wikipedia: Advise and Consent
Wikipedia: Allen Drury


John Surtees, Isle of Man 1958 & Monaco 1963

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

John Surtees riding a 500cc M.V. Agusta - Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, 1958 (mbike.com photo album by Maanala)

John Surtees riding a 500cc M.V. Agusta – Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, 1958 (mbike.com photo album by Maanala)

John Surtees driving a Ferrari T56 - Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco, 1963 (p: Yves Debraine)

John Surtees driving a Ferrari T56 – Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco, 1963 (p: Yves Debraine)

John Surtees, CBE (1934- ) is a British former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and Formula One driver. He is truly unique in motorsport, remains the only person to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels. Riding for the celebrated MV Agusta team, he won seven World Championships between 1956 and 1960. Then – with nothing left to prove – he made the transition from two wheels to four, winning the Formula One World Championship with Ferrari in 1964. The versatile racer – who also drove for the Lotus, Cooper, Honda and BRMworks teams – was equally at home in sports cars, winning the 1000km races at Nürburgring and Monza for Ferrari as well as the 1966 CanAm Championship in the Lola T70 he helped develop.
Surtees is the son of a south London motorcycle dealer. He had his first professional outing, when he was 15, in the sidecar of his father’s Vincent, which they won. However, when race officials discovered Surtees’s age, they were disqualified.
In 1955, Norton race chief Joe Craig gave Surtees his first factory sponsored ride aboard the Nortons. He finished the year by beating reigning world champion Duke at Silverstone and then at Brands Hatch. However, with Norton in financial trouble and uncertain about their racing plans, Surtees accepted an offer to race for the MV Agusta factory racing team. In 1956 Surtees won the 500cc world championship, MV Agusta’s first in the senior class. In the 1957 season, the MV Agustas were no match for the Gileras and Surtees battled to a third-place finish aboard a 1957 MV Agusta 500 Quattro. When Gilera and Moto Guzzi pulled out of Grand Prix racing at the end of 1957, Surtees and MV Agusta went on to dominate the competition. In 1958, 1959 and 1960, he won 32 out of 39 races and became the first man to win the Senior TT at the Isle of Man TT three years in succession. In 1960, at the age of 26, Surtees switched from motorcycles to cars full-time, making his Formula 1 debut racing for Lotus in the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo. He made an immediate impact with a second-place finish in only his second Formula One World Championship race, at the 1960 British Grand Prix, and a pole position at his third, the 1960 Portuguese Grand Prix. He moved to Scuderia Ferrari in 1963 and won the World Championship for the Italian team in 1964. In December 1966, Surtees signed for Honda. He finished fourth in the 1967 drivers’ championship. In 1970, Surtees formed his own race team, the Surtees Racing Organisation, and spent nine seasons competing in Formula 5000, Formula 2 and Formula 1 as a constructor. He retired from competitive driving in 1972, the same year the team had their greatest success when Mike Hailwood won the European Formula 2 Championship. The team was finally disbanded at the end of 1978.
During his remarkable racing career Surtees won 290 of the 621 races he entered and claimed a further 103 podium finishes, recording 48 fastest laps and 100 record laps along the way.
In 1996, Surtees was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. In the 2016 New Year Honours, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to motorsport.
Sources / More to Read:
John Surtees Official site
Wikipedia: John Surtees
MBike: Photo Album
Primotipo: Lotus 25 – Jim Clark – Monaco 1963…
Στα Ελληνικά:
ΜotoGP Legends: John Surtees

Tourist Trophy Races, Isle of Man, 1958 (National Motor Museum, UK)

Castro, Sartre and de Beauvoir, Cuba, 1960

Colorization & Restoration by Manos Athanasiadis

Fidel Castro, Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir with Celia Sanchez and Juan Arcocha in the Cienaga de Zapata, Cuba. (Photo by Alberto Korda) October 1960

Fidel Castro (middle), Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir (front) with Juan Arcocha (left) and Celia Sanchez (behind) cruising the Cienaga de Zapata, Cuba in October 1960 (Photo by Alberto Korda)

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (born August 13, 1926) is a Cuban politician and revolutionary who served as Prime Minister of the Republic of Cuba from 1959 to 1976 and then President from 1976 to 2008. Politically a Marxist–Leninist and Cuban nationalist, he also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 until 2011. Under his administration Cuba became a one-party socialist state; industry and business were nationalized, and state socialist reforms were implemented throughout society. Internationally, Castro was the Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1979 to 1983 and from 2006 to 2008.
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (1905-1980) was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism and phenomenology, and one of the leading figures in 20th-century French philosophy and Marxism. His work has also influenced sociology, critical theory, post-colonial theory, and literary studies, and continues to influence these disciplines. Sartre has also been noted for his open relationship with the prominent feminist theorist Simone de Beauvoir.
He was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature but refused it, saying that he always declined official honours and that “a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution”.
Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir (1908-1986), was a French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist and social theorist. Though she did not consider herself a philosopher, she had a significant influence on both feminist existentialism and feminist theory. De Beauvoir wrote novels, essays, biographies, autobiography and monographs on philosophy, politics and social issues. She is known for her 1949 treatise “The Second Sex”, a detailed analysis of women’s oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism; and for her novels, including “She Came to Stay” and “The Mandarins”. She is also known for her open relationship with French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.
Alberto Diaz Gutiérrez, better known as Alberto Korda (1928-2001) was a Cuban photographer, remembered for his famous image “Guerrillero Heroico” of Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.
Juan Arcocha (1927-2010) was a Cuban intellectual; lawyer, writer, journalist, translator and interpreter. He wrote numerous novels that have been translated into several languages.
Celia Sánchez Manduley (1920–1980) was a Cuban revolutionary, politician, researcher and archivist. She was a close friend of Fidel Castro. Her face appears in the watermark on Cuban peso banknotes.
–  Excerpts from Eugene Wolters’ article in Critical Theory
In 1960, during the afterglow of the Cuban revolution, Simone de Beauvoir, the famous feminist philosopher took a trip with her long-time companion Sartre to Havana. They were part of a larger flock of leftist intellectuals who were invited to Cuba to attend cultural congresses. When they arrived in February, they met with Che Guevara and talked for hours. Photos were taken by Cuban photographer Alberto Korda. Korda is often known for his iconic photo of Che that has since become the basis for the image plastered on t-shirts, buttons and posters. Incidentally, that image shares the same reel of film as many images featuring Sartre and de Beauvoir in Havana.
De Beauvoir later wrote: “Well-known performers danced or sang in the squares to swell the fund; pretty girls in their carnival fancy dresses, led by a band, went through the streets making collections.”It’s the honeymoon of the Revolution,” Sartre said to me. No machinery, no bureaucracy, but a direct contact between leaders and people, and a mass of seething and slightly confused hopes. It wouldn’t last forever, but it was a comforting sight. For the first time in our lives, we were witnessing happiness that had been attained by violence.”
Later that year in October, Sartre and de Beauvoir returned to Cuba, but were somewhat disappointed. Fidel invited Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir to visit Cuba again, and they did, but this time they weren’t so entranced. “Havana had changed; no more nightclubs, no more gambling, and no more American tourists; in the half empty Nacional Hotel, some very young members of the militia, boys and girls, were holding a conference. On every side, in the streets, the militia was drilling,” de Beauvoir wrote. The atmosphere was tense with rumors of invasion, and a notable air of repressive uniformity was seeping into Cuban life. When Sartre and de Beauvoir asked workers at clothing mill how their lives had benefited from the revolution, a union leader quickly stepped forward to speak on their behalf, parroting the government’s dogma.
Later, Sartre’s relation with Castro soured. In 1971, after Sartre had taken up the case of the imprisoned Cuban poet Herberto Padilla, he found himself being denounced by his erstwhile comrade Castro as being among the “bourgeois liberal gentleman…two bit agents of colonialism…agents of the CIA and intelligence services of imperialism” who had dared to criticize Cuba. Sartre responded with a plea to Castro to ‘spare Cuba the dogmatic obscurantism, the cultural xenophobia and the repressive system which Stalinism imposed in the socialist countries.
Sources/More to Read:
Critical Theory: Incredible Candid Photos of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir in Cuba
Wikipedia: Fidel Castro
Wikipedia: Jean-Paul Sartre
Wikipedia: Simone de Beauvoir
Wikipedia: Alberto Korda
Wikipedia: Juan Arcocha
Wikipedia: Celia Sánchez

Watts Riots, Los Angeles, 1965

Colorization Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization Manos Athanasiadis

Aug. 17, 1965: A. Z. Smith, left, begins the task of getting Smitty's Barber Shop on Beach St. back in shape following the Watts Riots. Business establishments owned by whites were the usual targets of looters and arsonists. Smith was one of the few blacks caught up in the turmoil. (photo: R. L. Oliver / Los Angeles Times)

Aug. 17, 1965: A. Z. Smith, left, begins the task of getting Smitty’s Barber Shop on Beach St. back in shape following the Watts Riots. Business establishments owned by whites were the usual targets of looters and arsonists. Smith was one of the few blacks caught up in the turmoil. (photo: R. L. Oliver / Los Angeles Times)

The Watts riots (or, Watts rebellion), took place in the Watts, Los Angeles neighbourhood in 1965.
On the evening of Wednesday, August 11, 1965, 21-year-old Marquette Frye, an African American man behind the wheel of his mother’s 1955 Buick, was pulled over for reckless driving by white California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer Lee Minikus. After administering a field sobriety test, Minikus placed Frye under arrest and radioed for his vehicle to be impounded. Marquette’s brother Ronald, a passenger in the vehicle, walked to their house nearby, bringing their mother, Rena Price, back with him.
The situation quickly escalated: Someone shoved Price, Frye was struck, Price jumped an officer, and another officer pulled out a shotgun. Backup police officers attempted to arrest Frye by using physical force to subdue him. After rumours spread that the police had roughed Frye up and kicked a pregnant woman, angry mobs formed. As the situation intensified, growing crowds of local residents watching the exchange began yelling and throwing objects at the police officers. After the arrests of Price and the Frye brothers, the crowd continued to grow. Police came to the scene to break up the crowd several times that night but were attacked by rocks and concrete.
After a night of increasing unrest, police and local black community leaders held a community meeting on Thursday, August 12, to discuss an action plan and to urge calm; the meeting failed. The rioting intensified and on Friday, August 13, about 2,300 National Guardsmen joined the police trying to maintain order on the streets. That number increased to 3,900 by midnight on Saturday, August 14. In addition to the guardsmen, 934 Los Angeles Police officers and 718 officers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were deployed during the rioting.
White Americans were fearful of the breakdown of social order in Watts; many in the black community, however, saw the rioters as taking part in an “uprising against an oppressive system.” Between 31,000 and 35,000 adults participated in the riots over the course of six days, while about 70,000 people were “sympathetic, but not active.” Those actively participating in the riots started physical fights with police, blocked fire-fighters of the Los Angeles Fire Department from their safety duties, or beat white motorists. Arson and looting were largely confined to white-owned stores and businesses that were said to have caused resentment in the neighbourhood due to perceived unfairness. Over the six days, there were 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries, 3,438 arrests, and over €35 million in property damage. The riots were blamed principally on unemployment, although a later investigation also highlighted police racism. It was the city’s worst unrest until the Rodney King riots of 1992.
Marquette Frye, who smoked and drank heavily, died of pneumonia on December 20, 1986; he was 42. His mother, Rena Price, died on June 10, 2013, at 97. She never recovered the impounded 1955 Buick in which her son had been pulled over for driving while intoxicated on that fateful night of August 11, 1965, because the storage fees exceeded the car’s value.
Sources/More to Read:
Wikipedia: Watts riots
L.A.Times: 50 years later, images from the Watts riots still startle
Vintage Every Day: Life in Watts a Year After the 1965 Riots
Στα Ελληνικά:
Soft magazine: Wattstax Music Festival – Το Μαύρο Woodstock

Santo vs. la invasión de los marcianos, 1967

-Santo vs. the Martian invasion-

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Santo with Gilda Miros & Belinda Corel in "Santo vs The Martian Invasion", 1967

Santo with Gilda Miros & Belinda Corel in “Santo vs The Martian Invasion”, 1967

Luchador films are Mexican professional wrestling/action/science-fiction/horror films starring some of the most popular masked luchadores (wrestlers) in Lucha Libre (Free Wrestling). The luchadores are portrayed as superheroes engaging in battles against a range of characters from spies, to vampires and martians. These films were low-budget and produced quickly. Nearly all lucha films included fist-fighting and wrestling action sequences which were choreographed and performed by the stars without the aid of stunt doubles. The genre’s popularity peaked during the mid-1960s to early-1970s.
One of the most well-known Mexican superheros / luchador action film stars was Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta (1917 – 1984), more widely known as El Santo (The Saint) who starred in 52 films. He was one of the most famous and iconic of all Mexican luchadores, and has been referred to as one of “the greatest legends in Mexican sports.” He started wrestling competitively in 1934 and 8 years later he used the name “El Santo” for the first time. His wrestling career spanned nearly five decades, during which he became a folk hero and a symbol of justice for the common man through his appearances in comic books and movies.

Santo, el enmascarado de plata (México: Ediciones José G. Cruz) Wednesday 3 September 1952, page 4

Santo, el enmascarado de plata (Ed. José G. Cruz) Sept. 1952, page 4. Mixed technique: hand-drawn illustration with photo-montage.

In 1952, the artist and editor José G. Cruz started a Santo comic book, turning Santo into the first and foremost character in Mexican popular literature. The Santo comic book series ran continuously for 35 years, ending in 1987.
Santo’s film career really took off in 1961, with his third movie “Santo vs The Zombies.” Santo was given the starring role with this film, and was shown for the first time as a professional wrestler moonlighting as a superhero. Santo eventually appeared in 52 films until 1982.
El Santo was known to never remove his mask, even in private company. When travelling on flights, he made sure to take a different flight from his crew to avoid having them see his face when he was required to remove his mask to get through customs. Since his regular mask did not allow him to eat, he had a special “mealtime” variation made with the mouth cut away.
Just over a year after his retirement (in late January 1984), El Santo was a guest on Contrapunto, a Mexican television program and, completely without warning, removed his mask just enough to expose his face, in effect bidding his fans goodbye. It is the only documented case of Santo ever removing his mask in public. He died from a heart attack, a week later. As per his wishes, he was buried wearing his famous silver mask. His funeral is considered one of the biggest in Mexican history as fans and friends flocked to see “el Enmascarado de Plata” (The Silver-Masked One) for last time.
Santo, el enmascarado de plata, vs. la invasión de los marcianos
(Santo, the silver masked man, vs. the Martian invasion) Mexico, 1967 (35mm, b/w, 85 min.)
Extraterrestrials invade Earth seeking human specimens. Announcing themselves in apocalyptic television broadcasts, then tele-transporting themselves to private homes and public sporting events, the platinum-bewigged, mylar-clad, macho Martians, backed by scantly dressed female beauties as counterparts, kidnap select humans, obliterating others with vaporizing rays. But heroic masked wrestler “Santo” neutralizes the invaders with his incredible wrestling prowess, after respectfully consulting a famous scientist and the local priest—thus mediating between Mexico’s high-tech future and its traditional past to restore peace and order to the nation. ¡Bien hecho, luchador!
Wikipedia: Santo
Wikipedia: Luchador films
Hammer Screenings: ¡Aztec Mummies & Martian Invaders!
IMDb: Santo el Enmascarado de Plata vs la invasión de los marcianos
Read More:
(re)search my Trash: Santo, from King of the Ring to B-Horror Icon
The Comics Grid: “¡Santo!”: The Stuff of Legend

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, 1965

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Tura Satana & Porsche 356 in Russ Meyer's movie: "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!", 1965

Tura Satana & Porsche 356 in Russ Meyer’s movie: “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!”, 1965

Russell Albion “Russ” Meyer (1922 – 2004) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, film editor, actor and photographer. Meyer is known primarily for writing and directing a series of successful low-budget sexploitation films that featured campy humor, sly satire and large-breasted women, such as Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!. Russ Meyer’s lifelong unabashed fixation on large breasts featured prominently in all his films and is his best-known character trait both as an artist and as a person. His discoveries include Kitten Natividad, Erica Gavin, Lorna Maitland, Tura Satana, and Uschi Digard among many others. The majority of them were naturally large breasted and he occasionally cast women in their first trimesters of pregnancy as it enhanced their breast size even further.

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is a 1965 American exploitation film directed by Russ Meyer. It follows three go-go dancers who embark on a spree of kidnapping and murder in the California desert.
The movie is known for its violence, provocative gender roles, and its eminently quotable “dialogue to shame Raymond Chandler.” Faster, Pussycat! was a commercial and critical failure upon its initial release, but it has since become widely regarded as an important and influential film.
Tura Satana (1938 – 2011) was an American actress and former exotic dancer. From 13 film and television credits, some of her work includes the exploitation film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, and the science fiction horror film The Astro-Zombies (1968).
Satana’s starred as “Varla” in the 1965 film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!—a very aggressive and sexual female character for which she did all of her own stunts and fight scenes. Renowned film critic Richard Corliss called her performance “…the most honest, maybe the one honest portrayal in the Meyer canon and certainly the scariest”. Originally titled The Leather Girls, the film is an ode to female violence, based on a concept created by Russ Meyer and screenwriter Jack Moran. Both felt at her first audition that Satana was “definitely Varla.” The film was shot on location in the desert outside Los Angeles during days when the weather was more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and freezing nights, with Satana clashing regularly with teenage co-star Susan Bernard due to Bernard’s mother’s reportedly disruptive behavior on the set. Meyer said Satana was “extremely capable. She knew how to handle herself. Don’t fuck with her! And if you have to fuck her, do it well! She might turn on you!” Satana was responsible for adding key elements to the visual style and energy of the production, including her costume, makeup, usage of martial arts, dialogue and the use of spinning tires in the death scene of the main male character. She came up with many of the film’s best lines. At one point the gas station attendant was ogling her extraordinary cleavage while confessing to a desire to see America. Varla replied “You won’t find it down there, Columbus!” Meyer cited Satana as the primary reason for the film’s lasting fame. “She and I made the movie”, said Meyer. Tura Satana’s performance as Varla in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! was Meyer’s only true portrayal of the large, strong and aggressive Amazonian archetype in the classic visual sense.
The Porsche 356 is a luxury sports car which was first produced in 1948 and continued until April 1965. It was Porsche’s first production automobile. Like its cousin, the Volkswagen Beetle, the 356 was a four-cylinder, air-cooled, rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive car utilizing unitized pan and body construction. The chassis was a completely new design as was the 356’s body which was designed by Porsche employee Erwin Komenda, while certain mechanical components including the engine case and some suspension components were based on and initially sourced from Volkswagen.
The last revision of the 356 was the 356C introduced for the 1964 model year. It featured disc brakes all round, as well as an option for the most powerful pushrod engine Porsche had ever produced, the 95 hp (71 kW) “SC”. 356 production peaked at 14,151 cars in 1964, the year that its successor, the new 911, was introduced to the US market.
In 2004, Sports Car International ranked the 356C tenth on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s. Today, the Porsche 356 is a highly regarded collector car.

Wikipedia: Russ Meyer
Wikipedia: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
IMDb: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Wikipedia: Tura Satana
Wikipedia: Porsche 356
Στα ελληνικά:
Reel.gr: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Gocar.gr: Porsche 356, Από δω άρχισαν όλα

Madame Nhu, the “Dragon Lady”, 1962


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Madame Nhu, the "Dragon Lady" (Larry Burrows - LIFE /Getty Images), 1962

Madame Nhu, the “Dragon Lady” (Larry Burrows – LIFE /Getty Images), 1962

Trần Lệ Xuân (22 August 1924 – 24 April 2011), known as Madame Nhu, was wife of Ngo Dinh Nhu, brother of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, and the de facto First Lady of South Vietnam from 1955 to 1963.
Raised a Buddhist, Madame Nhu had converted to Catholicism when she married, and took to it with a convert’s zeal. She rammed a bill through parliament that outlawed divorce, abortion and contraception. Describing the craze for dancing the twist as an “unhealthy activity”, she had it banned as well. Wrestling, cock fighting and boxing soon followed on the list of forbidden activities. She had laws passed that ended concubinage and polygamy. Divorce was only allowed by presidential decree, but that ended the power Vietnamese men had held to shed their wives on a whim. During Diem’s rule, women achieved something close to parity with men.
To aid South Vietnam’s fight against the communist insurgency, she founded a women’s paramilitary, known as the Women’s Solidarity Movement. In this picture she fires a pistol during a visit to an officer training session.
Madame Nhu was frequently mocked by the media for her ostentatious flaunting of power, and called the “Dragon Lady”. She once stated “Power is wonderful. Total power is totally wonderful.”
When a Buddhist monk burned himself alive protesting the Diem regime’s corruption and repression of Buddhists, she wrote in a letter to the New York Times “I would clap hands at seeing another monk barbecue show, for one cannot be responsible for the madness of others”. She further offered to provide more fuel and matches for the Buddhists.
On 2 November 1963 when she was in USA on a public relations tour, looking political and financial support for the dictatorship, her husband and Diem were assassinated in a coup d’état led by General Dương Văn Minh. Her children were allowed to leave Saigon and join her in Paris, where she began her exile.  She soon disappeared from the limelight only to make a brief reappearance in 1975, when South Vietnam finally fell to the communist North. She claimed none of that would have happened if the Ngo clan had remained in power.
The Guardian

Η Trần Lệ Xuân, γνωστή και ως Madame Nhu, προερχόταν από μια πλούσια και αριστοκρατική οικογένεια με μεγάλη πολιτική ισχύ, από την εποχή που το Βιετνάμ ήταν ακόμα αποικία της Γαλλίας.
Ενώ γεννήθηκε Βουδίστρια, έγινε Καθολική όταν παντρεύτηκε τον Ngo Dinh Nhu, αδελφό του προέδρου του Βιετνάμ, Ngo Dinh Diem. Καθώς ο πρόεδρος ήταν ανύπαντρος, αυτή θεωρούνταν η de facto πρώτη κυρία της χώρας.
Η θέση και η άκρατη φιλοδοξία της την έκαναν την πιο ισχυρή γυναίκα της Ασίας από το 1955 ως το 1963. Χαρακτηριστική ήταν η δήλωση της: “Η εξουσία είναι υπέροχη. Η απόλυτη εξουσία είναι απόλυτα υπέροχη.”
Οι ακραίες της θέσεις και απόψεις, που δεν έχανε ευκαιρία να τις εκφράζει δημόσια χωρίς να υπολογίζει τις συνέπειες, την έφερναν συχνά αντιμέτωπη με φίλους και εχθρούς. Έτσι, σύντομα απέκτησε το παρωνύμιο “Γυναίκα Δράκος”.
Ως φανατική Καθολική, πέρασε νόμους που απαγόρευαν την άμβλωση, το διαζύγιο, την αντισύλληψη, τη συμβίωση και την πολυγαμία. Επίσης, ανάμεσα στ’ άλλα, απαγόρευσε το χορό “τουίστ”, την πάλη, το μποξ και τις κοκορομαχίες. Ωστόσο, χάρη σ’ αυτήν, η θέση της γυναίκας αναβαθμίστηκε σημαντικά στην αυστηρά ανδροκρατούμενη κοινωνία του Βιετνάμ.
Η απέχθεια της για τους Βουδιστές και τους Κομμουνιστές, δεν ήταν κάτι που προσπάθησε να κρύψει. Δημιούργησε μια γυναικεία παραστρατιωτική οργάνωση, το Κίνημα Αλληλεγγύης Γυναικών, για την αντιμετώπιση του κομμουνιστικού κινδύνου. Στη φωτογραφία ρίχνει μια βολή με πιστόλι, κατά τη διάρκεια της επίσκεψης της στο στρατόπεδο εκπαίδευσης της οργάνωσης.
Όταν το 1963 ένας Βουδιστής μοναχός, αυτοπυρπολήθηκε ως ένδειξη διαμαρτυρίας για το καταπιεστικό και διεφθαρμένο καθεστώς, δήλωσε “πρόθυμη να χειροκροτήσει ακόμα ένα μπάρμπεκιου σόου” και προσφέρθηκε να προμηθεύσει τους μοναχούς βενζίνη και σπίρτα.
Οι προκλητικές της δηλώσεις συχνά άγγιζαν και τους πολιτικούς “φίλους” του καθεστώτος, δημιουργώντας διπλωματικά επεισόδια. Οι Αμερικάνοι ζητούσαν να σωπάσει επιτέλους και απειλούσαν να διακόψουν την οικονομική βοήθεια αν δεν φύγει από την πολιτική ζωή.
Το 1963, όταν η Μαντάμ Νου, βρισκόταν σε περιοδεία στις Η.Π.Α. για την πολιτική και οικονομική υποστήριξη του καθεστώτος, έγινε πραξικόπημα στο Βιετνάμ. Ο πρόεδρος Ντιέμ και ο άντρας της δολοφονήθηκαν. Κατηγόρησε ευθέως τις Η.Π.Α.: “Όποιος έχει φίλους τους Αμερικάνους δεν χρειάζεται εχθρούς”.
Μη μπορώντας πλέον να γυρίσει στη χώρα της, πέρασε τα χρόνια της εξορίας στην Ευρώπη.
Ξεχασμένη πλέον από την Ιστορία, η “Γυναίκα Δράκος” πέθανε το 2011 στη Ρώμη, .

Η Monique Brinson Demery έγραψε ένα ενδιαφέρον βιβλίο γι αυτήν: “Finding the Dragon Lady: The Mystery of Vietnam’s Madame Nhu