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Rupert Everett, Really Into Dead Victorian Dreamboats
July 4, 2013 2:02 PM   Subscribe

In 2008 the actor Rupert Everett hosted (seemingly from his apartment) a rather strange documentary: The Victorian Sex Explorer ( 2 3 4 5 ), an attempt to follow in the footsteps of famed Explorer, translator, and author Sir Richard Burton and convince us of Sir Burton's passion for sexual experimentation while laying in lots of bathhouses and visiting brothels. posted by The Whelk (52 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite

 
I demand Byron/Burton slashfic PRONTO
posted by shakespeherian at 2:08 PM on July 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


My only exposure to Sir Richard Burton was via Philip Jose Farmer. I seem to remember some strangeness, but that could have been just because Riverworld was pretty strange, what with the lack of pubes and all.

I look forward to more Burtony weirdness!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:12 PM on July 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Okay, I'm two minutes in and this is really, really weird. And exactly what metafilter is for. Good find, Whelkie!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:14 PM on July 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


He also played Oscar Wilde in The Judas Kiss in the West End just recently.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:34 PM on July 4, 2013


I get the feeling that Rupert Everett, having been as flip, diffident, and often superficial as he liked in the first half of his career, has decided he wants to be taken Seriously now.
posted by C.A.S. at 2:34 PM on July 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


While reading this I was confusing Rupert Everett with Rupert Grint and wondering how the hell this got made and why we'd never heard of it before now.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:34 PM on July 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


huh. Blocked in the UK based on it using content from Channel 4, who filed a claim w/ youtube.
posted by EricGjerde at 2:35 PM on July 4, 2013


While reading this I was confusing Rupert Everett with Rupert Grint and wondering how the hell this got made and why we'd never heard of it before now.

Rupert Giles.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:36 PM on July 4, 2013


Despite some of the really awful crap that can come out of Everett's mouth, I still find him charming, engaging, erudite, and interesting. I also quite like his fiction.

What I'm saying is: this doesn't surprise and I look forward to watching it.
posted by Kitteh at 2:36 PM on July 4, 2013


Rupert Giles.

You shut your mouth prince of lies.
posted by The Whelk at 2:40 PM on July 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


There now needs to be a Ron Weasley-hosted documentary about the sex life of Elizabeth Taylor's fifth husband.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:43 PM on July 4, 2013 [15 favorites]


The biography of Ali Pasha is strewn with roasting rebels, heads rotting on the city gates, and a court harem of 300 boys and girls on call. Into this deadly capricious Alabanian horror show strolls Lord Byron, charming the despot and making himself at home.

Byron wrote a poem about it, and in his letters to his mother he says he finds the rebel-roasting to be regrettable. However he enjoyed the harem and his lustiness endeared him to the crazed tyrant. What a strange adventure that must have been.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:45 PM on July 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


I been mad at Rupert Everett since about 2006 when he stopped my girlfriend at the time at Sushi Samba and told her she had "smashing hair". Encouraged by this she decided to become a hair model and was soon hair modeling for Bumble and Bumble.

Needless to say, pretty soon her life was an endless whirlwind of shampooing, coloring and styling. You know how it goes, she became dependent on high end shampoos and conditioners, working tortuous hours to acquire more, and indulging in ever more Byzantine hair care regimes.

In the end the strain was too much on our relationship. I'm glad that the world gets to enjoy her hair, but rue the day Rupert had to meddle.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:59 PM on July 4, 2013 [15 favorites]


>> While reading this I was confusing Rupert Everett with Rupert Grint and wondering how the hell this got made and why we'd never heard of it before now.

> Rupert Giles.

Kenny Everett.
posted by Pinback at 3:14 PM on July 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


ZOMG. I just finished this book wherein Burton ins the protagonist. It was so trashy bad that I now have ALL THE FEELS about it. I mean, I'm all in favor of a NaNo novel that actually gets published. I know it's a NaNo because at every chance the author uses "the famous explorer" or "the King's agent" or "Sir Richard Francis Burton" instead of "he" in dialog so as to boost word count. Plus there's a shift of POV about 2/3rds through the book.

It's a disjointed steampunk mess, an airbrushed van of a novel. It has the Renaissance Festival approach to history with random famous people showing up for REASONS (seriously, Oscar Wilde as a newsboy nicknamed "Quips" is only the second worst attempt at humor behind the parakeets). But like the airburshed van, there is a certain beauty to the novel, a shambling mess of genres and skill that typifies all steampunk.

So if you want more Burton, especially a Burton fighting werewolves that explode for some reason and famous scientists who are now either barrel robots or cojoined Elephantman/Hector Hammond big heads, pick it up. I wouldn't recommend buying the book itself as it does serious damage when you throw it across the room. Better to get the Audible version, even though it means you will want to build your own time machine to punch the little poet Swinburne right in the face for ever and ever.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:23 PM on July 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


>> While reading this I was confusing Rupert Everett with Rupert Grint and wondering how the hell this got made and why we'd never heard of it before now.

> Rupert Giles.

Kenny Everett.


Rupert Murdoch

THREAD OVER
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:28 PM on July 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I get the feeling that Rupert Everett, having been as flip, diffident, and often superficial as he liked in the first half of his career, has decided he wants to be taken Seriously now.

Which is why he spends most of that documentary in a white T-shirt showing off his biceps. Not that I have anything against eye candy in documentaries.

Rupert is an interesting name in popular culture, arguably Rupert Bear and the Daily Express have infected it with a sort of little Englander tweeness that it's hard to disregard. I've never known a Rupert in real life. Terry Pratchett used it as a generic disparagement of the officer class in general - in Monstrous Regiment, the troops have to look after their 'Rupert' who wouldn't otherwise be able to walk and swallow at the same time .

But then there's Diana Wynn-Jones's Rupert Venables, a character whose priggish tendencies are more than compensated for by his obviously looking exactly like the improbably beautiful Ben Whishaw. So, um, yay for Ruperts and the name's rehabilitation?
posted by glasseyes at 3:42 PM on July 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I want a steampunk airbrushed van now.

And I think there'd be more mileage in Burton/Polidori slash.

Metafilter: a shambling mess of genres and skill.
posted by glasseyes at 3:46 PM on July 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Polidori breaks his ankle in the first act.

And every act.
posted by The Whelk at 3:50 PM on July 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I used to get Rupert Everett and Rupert Graves confused and could never remember which was the one I disliked. (Everett because he wrote a bad novel.)
posted by betweenthebars at 3:50 PM on July 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rupert Murdoch

THREAD OVER


ORLY?

posted by Sys Rq at 4:17 PM on July 4, 2013


This Rupert seems to be uh, into the bear bit quite a lot....
posted by The Whelk at 4:30 PM on July 4, 2013


Rupert/Rupert slash?
posted by Chuckles at 4:45 PM on July 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


You are all my favorite kind of people.

Byron/Burton orgy, Polidori/Byron hatesex, then jealous Polidori writes a series of terrible orientalist potboilers with thinly-veiled Burton as, oh, an evil opium-pushing man-stealing djinn or something, and in the process accidentally popularizes Sexy Genie Romance as a literary genre.

Rupert Grint would make a masterful Polidori despite looking nothing like him because as Ron he perfected that plaintive whiiiiine.
posted by nicebookrack at 5:02 PM on July 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also I need to remind everyone of the existence of the loosely-historical period romcom Hysteria, in which Will from "Hannibal" is a awkward young doctor who invents the vibrator to spare his aching wrists all the taxing manual stimulation of ladyparts, and Rupert Everett is his debauched rich friend who eggs him on. Because you couldn't make a Victorian sex comedy and NOT put Rupert Everett in it.
posted by nicebookrack at 5:14 PM on July 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Didn't we talk about this before? A Showtime series about the Early Romantics where Mary Shelly is the only sane one and the soundtrack is all glam era David Bowie?

Cause I'd watch that so hard I'd hurt myself.
posted by The Whelk at 5:15 PM on July 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


( in my ideal world there exists a hybrid murder mystery/ queer cinema mystical fantasia version of A Portrait Of Dorian Grey with a Velvet Goldmine soundtrack and an opening sequence mimicking Dexters' and the squalor of the period sits right next to all the lovely things.)

( Dear God that most recent adapatation was like Lesson 304 in How To Waste Your Colin Firth.)
posted by The Whelk at 5:20 PM on July 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


And ya, the OP documentary is a little weird, but also fascinating. Well worth watching.
posted by Chuckles at 5:34 PM on July 4, 2013


It's like he's decided to explore his issues with sex and sexuality via a well-budgeted TV documentary with lots of travel.
posted by The Whelk at 5:37 PM on July 4, 2013


SPORTIVE EPIGRAMS ON PRIAPUS [1890]

translation by Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton [Despite the disclaimer in the Introduction, it can be established fairly easily that Burton authored the 'Notes explanatory and Illustrative and Excursus'; it bears his unique style and knowledge of erotology, as well as numerous shameless 'plugs' for his other books.]
NOTES EXPLANATORY AND ILLUSTRATIVE AND EXCURSUS
List of terms used in the Priapeia as designations of Priapus
List of term used in the Priapeia to designate the virile member of Priapus
Alphabetical list of additional terms used by Latin authors in designation of the male sexual organ
List of terms used in the Priapeia to designate the female sexual organ
Alphabetical list of additional terms used by Latin authors in designation of the female sexual organ
Sodomy with Women
Erotic Classical Writers
List of agricultural and horticultural terms used tropically in a venereal sense
Sodomy
Irrumation
The Supine Posture in Coition
Dancing Girls
Masturbation
Depilation by Catamites
Braccae
Bestiality
Postures of Coition
Infibulation
The Cunnilinges
posted by ohshenandoah at 5:45 PM on July 4, 2013


I am totally willing to explore my psychological flaws at length via sexy film tourism.
posted by nicebookrack at 5:46 PM on July 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I been trying to get a series where I travel the globe and eat steak for like 10 years. I mean if I gotta spice it up I can eat steak in bed.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:46 PM on July 4, 2013


Ad hominem: pitch it to Animal Planet, vow to chase down, slaughter, and butcher the wily international cows yourself. PASTURE MONSTERS
posted by nicebookrack at 5:49 PM on July 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I will do anything for fame and/or steak.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:53 PM on July 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


But I won't do that.
posted by The Whelk at 5:55 PM on July 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


WhoaOHoh, no can do.
posted by nicebookrack at 6:03 PM on July 4, 2013


Ricard Burton's book on swords is required reading for fantasy writers.

Unless this is a different Burton, then ignore me.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:06 PM on July 4, 2013


Richard Burton also had the WORST TRIP EVER to find the source of the Nile. Like saddled with the worst flower of Imperalism as a partner and a spear through the cheeks.
posted by The Whelk at 6:20 PM on July 4, 2013


It's like he's decided to explore his issues with sex and sexuality via a well-budgeted TV documentary with lots of travel.

Story of my life. Well, without the TV cameras. And a shitty budget. And not as much sex as I'd like. But the general idea is there!
posted by Meatbomb at 7:44 PM on July 4, 2013


Lesson 304 in How To Waste Your Colin Firth

I've always thought this was Lesson 101 in How To Waste Your Colin Firth.
posted by maudlin at 7:49 PM on July 4, 2013


cjorgensen, thanks for the pointer. Book of the Sword at Archive.org for free download. (They have quite a few books written by Sir Richard Burton.)
posted by fings at 7:56 PM on July 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


OMG, thank you, fings (and cjorgensen)! I started reading Book of the Sword in the back seat of a van on the way to Pennsic one year, but gave it back to the owner at the end of the trip and never got the chance to finish it. Acquired!
posted by maudlin at 8:04 PM on July 4, 2013


robocop is bleeding, you just convinced me to move that book to the top of my list.

If you're interested in Burton and other Victorian naughtiness, i recommend giving this book a gander. (And I wish I were alone so I could watch the youtubery.)
posted by immlass at 9:10 PM on July 4, 2013


Navelgazer: "While reading this I was confusing Rupert Everett with Rupert Grint and wondering how the hell this got made and why we'd never heard of it before now."

That's way better than what I thought/read which was "Rupert Murdock". The cognitive dissonance almost tossed me from my chair.
posted by dejah420 at 9:41 PM on July 4, 2013


Maybe my priorities are off, but I always thought Burton was rightly famous for a bunch of other stuff, and the sexual adventuring was just the icing on the cake?
posted by sneebler at 9:42 PM on July 4, 2013


nicebookrack eponysterically wrote:

...Sexy Genie Romance as a literary genre...

If that's what you're into, have I got a book for you! It's a book of fairy tales with a postmodern twist, and the final story has exactly what you're looking for. It's The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye, by A. S. Byatt; it also happens to be one of the shorter and more accessible books by an amazing writer, and as such a great entry into her body of work (so to speak.)
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 10:04 PM on July 4, 2013


Robocop, wasn't that book a hunk of badly thrown together rubbish? I bought it off a good review and was so disappointed.he's written like three more, too. also they were super boysy.
posted by smoke at 10:16 PM on July 4, 2013


That dude is making me want to go to the gym right now at one in the morning. I am not a member and it is certainly closed but maybe I can do some pullups around the house.
posted by El Mariachi at 12:57 AM on July 5, 2013


Richard Burton also had the WORST TRIP EVER to find the source of the Nile. Like saddled with the worst flower of Imperalism as a partner and a spear through the cheeks.

But he came out of it with some absolutely bitchin' scars to add to his already formidable appearance.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:36 AM on July 5, 2013


I have not yet seen the documentary (work and all that), but I do own this book and it's pretty awesome.
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:43 PM on July 5, 2013


Foolishly, I went to bed Thursday night and missed the rest of this thread.

But if anyone wants to know more about Wurst Xplorer Evar they could worse than look up R. Gordon Laing.
posted by glasseyes at 1:05 PM on July 6, 2013


I picked up The Devil Drives: A Life of Sir Richard Burton (Amazon; Goodreads; Google books preview) at a used bookstore on a whim. It's interesting, in that the rakish "hyperglot" is portrayed as a tortured, educated soul who loves to tweak high society snobs yet longs for broad approval. His interests in the sexual practices of other cultures was painted as an effort to accurately portray other cultures in all aspects, instead of shying away from sensitive subjects or broadly painting non-western cultures as a bunch of hedonistic pagans.

Here's a long write-up on Burton, for those wishing to know more in 10 minutes. Then again, the Wikipedia entry appears to be quite thorough.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:59 PM on July 6, 2013


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