Marilyn, Through a Glass Darkly

Marilyn by Earl Gustie, 1959

Film-maker Joseph Lally (The Murder of Jean Seberg) argues that the many representations of Marilyn – in film and literature – can never match the original:

“The greater reality of Monroe was her talent, otherwise she be just another sad case, or one of many starlets. The soul of Monroe is in performance: that combination of comic timing, vulnerability as well as strength, and her precise body language, a grammar yet to be duplicated.”

Underlying Lally’s point about the latest wave of Marilyn mania, The Smoking Jacket features a montage of 13 celebrities in 81 Monroe-inspired poses. (In my opinion, the most appealing work comes from models who may not resemble MM exactly , but have clearly studied her essence while retaining their own.)

TrendHunter looks at Brigitte Lacombe’s portraits of Michelle Williams as Marilyn (in my view, more succesful than the movie she starred in.)

‘“Michelle was as close as you can get to becoming Marilyn; aware of my presence, but really in Marilyn’s world,” says the photographer who has worked on films with Martin Scorsese, Spike Jonze and Quentin Tarantino. “I was there for the very last scene on the very last night of filming, in this tiny pub just outside of London,” says Lacombe. “It was very intense and taut, [the crew was] almost delirious with fatigue—it was a smokey, crowded and elated atmosphere.”’

 

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