Tanya Van Graan: Naked and in Heat

2008-08-22 13:10
Tanya, perhaps bizarrely, is furious. Speaking to News24, she said "I am not a wild girl and I'm not a stripper," and expressed concerns over the fact that models who appear nude in movies are dismissed as "desperate" for a real role.

Of course showing nude stills, which takes the nudity out of the movie's context, could be seen as salacious, even exploitative. After all, who can do without this kind of dialogue when justifying close shots of pert breasts and sashaying naked asses during a rather ritualised "cleansing" scene, prefaced by a leisurely "undressing" scene.

Dialogue follows:
Teammate One to Tanya: Home? What's that?
Tanya, removing top: Peace and quiet. Remember?
Teammate Two to Tanya: Ya, that's all I want when this is over.
Tanya: Ya, I just can't wait for it to be over. Can start living again.
Captain guy to Tanya: Hasn’t anyone told you, Sergeant. Mobile infantry is only good for dying.
Teammate Two: What they need to do is come up with a bigger weapon, so they can finish this thing, and we can go home. For good.
Topless Foreign Girl Teammate One: Yeah. Bye-bye [inaudible word]. What will you do when the war is over, Sir?
Captain guy: What are you people talking about? This war is never gonna end!
All topless: Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Watch the video here Ja. I don't care either. My guess: It wouldn't matter to most people if the nude actors were talking about peanut butter or jam. To test this theory, I played the video to a male colleague without any sound at all - ostensibly to check that I had correctly identified Tanya as the topless one bending over to untie her shoelaces - and he didn't even request the headphones.

So is it exploitation? Or is this just what Heat does, and the reason why people buy the mag? It's not called "Serious Cinema Lover's Weekly Critique", now is it?

Heat Editor Melinda Shaw confirms that the context of the movie isn't that important here: "Heat Magazine is a magazine. We can't put the words in. That's not relevant." She's very supportive of Tanya, saying she's "a good actress", and that everyone knows she's an actress, but that the news value was - yes - in the nudity.

So is this a set up? We all know SA celebs oil the publicity machine with tip-offs all the time: "Hey, I'm Danny's agent, and he's having lunch with so 'n so, who I just happen to be representing too, at this restaurant at 1.45... send a photographer?"

Melinda Shaw denies any plot. "It actually wasn't set up. I can promise you that, with my hand on my heart... but it wouldn't have been so big if she didn't take objection to it."

Well if there really is no such thing as bad publicity, then everyone's getting what they want here. You too. Check out the video, and then let us know what you think.

- Jean Barker

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