The opening scene of Beware of a Holy Whore is an ensemble piece shot in a hotel lobby, which cuts between groups of twos and threes to build up a picture of listlessness and impassivity. The characters are in fact all ludicrous and isolated, and generally petty; but my favourite is Marquard Bohm who is playing the part of the young actor being hit on by an older man, and is uncomfortable with it. For one so young he seems so bitter, and well he should be, as he plays the lover of the film’s director Jeff.

 

No sooner has one seducer excused himself, than another moves in. And it’s his character’s patience that you begin to admire, and that which probably makes him the most interesting character in the film. Ricky is at the pinnacle of all the indolence and lethargy of the movie production; because he’s the director’s lover; or the main one at least; the most faithful one; the bitch; certainly in bed.

On set Ricky finds his place as having the quickest reactions in a hand slapping game the cast and crew play; I understand that like Chinese Roulette this might have been the sort of game to be played to pass the waiting time drinking after work. Castle says to him ; ’you little ass-peddler’; but he won’t play him.

The great thing about Beware of a Holy Whore is that all of the cast are pulling in the same direction, and recreating what it is like to be themselves as movie actors. It isn’t glamorous, they suggest, and in the case of Marquard Bohm, it can be a downright drag. There is the suggestion also that they may be in the business for social reasons, and because they can’t do anything else.

Whatever it is, Bohm is the star of this show.   As the director’s lover everything falls on his shoulders and he does nothing to try and escape this position; after all, everyone is in the same hellish boat here, and all must get to the end of the shoot as best they can.

This is the background to that tired and lackadaisical look that Marquard Bohm had in such great measure. At times he’s like a one man walking 1970s, with his lax looks and clothes; and at other times he’s staring right into the future, bored as hell of the sadness, and the high, high art that decade crammed on screen.