June 18, 2006

South Korea 1, France 1: Park ji-sung became the third Man Utd. player in as many days to play the hero, scoring in the 82nd minute as the Koreans rallied to tie Les Bleus. Thierry Henry of Arsenal had earlier put the French into the lead, notching their first goal in World Cup since the 1998 Final. More referreeing controversies occurred in the first half, when an apparent French goal was not called, and in the second half, when Zinedine Zidane received a yellow card that will keep him out of France's final group game (and may end his career), and marred the game. It will be difficult for anyone watching the game to get that ditty the Korean fans were singing out of his head.

One of the stars for France is their bald goalkeeper, Fabien Barthez. Barthez, who at one time was romantically involved with former supermodel Linda Evangelista, bears an uncanny resemblance to the late character actor, and original "Dr. Evil", Donald Pleasance, whose perhaps most famous for his recurring roles in the Halloween movies. But Pleasance earned a special place in movie lore for starring in films featuring two of my favorite actresses. In Cul de Sac (1966), directed by Roman Polanski, he played the owner of a castle who is visited by a mobster on the lam, along with his girlfriend, who is played by Francoise Dorleac. Ms. Dorleac was on the cusp of stardom when she was killed in an auto accident the following year, at the age of 25, and she was, almost impossible to believe, the prettier older sister of Catherine Deneuve. And of course, Pleasance also played the father of Smythe's World icon Phoebe Nicholls in Blade on the Feather (1980), a deliciously tawdry spy thriller in which my blogmuse, playing a spoiled young adult version of Varuca Salt, gets nekkid with co-star Tom Conti. Neither Dorleac or Nicholls really have anything to do with Fabien Barthez, Dorleac having died the year before Barthez was born, and there being no evidence that the infrequently-working Engish character actress has ever met the French goalkeeper, but as Nicholls' character would say in the above movie, "come on daddy, play the game...."

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