As most art lovers will know, Andy Warhol’s Marilyn was created – and endlessly reproduced – after her death in 1962, from a publicity still by Frank Powolny. Despite all outward appearances, however, the image shown above is not a Warhol but a 1965 ‘remake’ by the artist Elaine Sturtevant. In a new book, Sturtevant: Warhol Marilyn, Patricia Lee examines the concepts of artistic originality, authorship and celebrity (both Marilyn’s, and Warhol’s.)
“There is an almost studious infidelity to the results of Sturtevant’s recreations, even while the processes of their production may be rigorous in the extreme. For her Warhol Flowers, Warhol himself lent her the very screen he had used to print from. In the case of her Warhol Marilyn, the original screen was lost but Sturtevant successfully tracked down the original publicity still that it was made from and took it to Andy’s own silkscreen guy to make the stencil. In later years, when people asked Warhol how he made his silkscreens he would simply answer, ‘Ask Elaine.’
‘Everyone says, So, Andy really understood!‘ Lee quotes Sturtevant in the book, ‘Well I don’t think so. I think he didn’t give a f***. Which is a very big difference, isn’t it?'”
Goodnight Marilyn, the internet radio show which explores unanswered questions about Marilyn’s death, has returned for a third season. In the opening episode, an expert panel including biographer Gary Vitacco-Robles and Immortal Marilyn staffers Leslie Kasperowicz and Marijane Gray joins regular host Nina Boski in a discussion of the District Attorney’s report following the re-opening of Marilyn’s case in 1982.
This month’s updates on the Immortal Marilyn website include ‘Why I Love My Highbrow Husband‘, a 1959 cover story for Liberty magazine, in which Marilyn spoke about her life with Arthur Miller. And in ‘An Intimate Portrait of Linda Kerridge‘, Fraser Penney interviews one of the first, and most striking Marilyn lookalikes, who found fame as a teenager in the 1970s.
A misleading and tasteless cover story about Marilyn’s death is published in the current issue of US supermarket tabloid, the National Examiner. So just in case you were wondering – no, her body has NOTbeen exhumed, and no new autopsy has been conducted.
In the 53 years since her untimely death, countless exploiters have jumped on the Marilyn bandwagon. The latest is Paul Huehl, described as ‘a former Chicago cop turned Hollywood private eye,’ who is ‘demanding’ that Marilyn’s case be re-opened and her body exhumed from Westwood Memorial Park.
To give you an idea of how utterly disrespectful this article really is, it also includes an item with the sub-heading, ‘Expert Declares Marilyn Was Crazy!’ The spread features a highly sensitive police photo of the deceased MM in bed, and her autopsy photo.
Most damning of all, a colour photo shows a casket being carried into a mortuary. This was not even taken in 1962, or at Westwood. So to all Marilyn fans, don’t be duped into buying this vile rag – read a good book or watch a movie, and celebrate her life instead.
Although made long after the genre’s 1930s heyday, Some Like it Hot is ‘arguably the best screwball comedy ever’, Nathaniel Cerf writes for Movie Fanfare.
“For a great example of nearly every line being a joke and building on the next line: When Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis dress up as dames to join an all-girl jazz band and avoid the mob in Some Like It Hot (1959), they try to pass themselves off as society girls who attended the Sheboygan Conservatory of Music, a silly-sounding institute they made up on the spot. A few scenes later, Curtis is now dressed as a millionaire trying to win over Marilyn Monroe, who doesn’t recognize him from their band. Monroe’s character tries to impress him by stealing his earlier line about attending the SCM. It is a funny moment topped by Curtis coolly acknowledging, ‘Good school.'”
Marking Marilyn’s 90th year, Ted Stampfer‘s extensive collection of her personal property and memorabilia will be on display at De Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, from October 1st, 2016 until February 5, 2017.
George Burgtorf of Saramac, Michigan, has shared his memories – and photos – of meeting Marilyn as a young sergeant stationed in Korea during her morale-boosting 1954 visit, in an interview with the Ionia Sentinel-Standard.
“George Burgtorf of Saranac was a 20-year-old sergeant in the United States Army’s 2nd Infantry on a cold day in February 1954 when Marilyn Monroe performed in the Chorwon Valley during the Korean War. He carried with him a small Brownie camera and a pass that granted him access to everywhere, except the top secret code room, that is.
He was nearby when she landed by helicopter at the camp and later he ate lunch with the movie star and dozens of other service men in the mess hall. In the afternoon, he was near the front when she went on stage and performed several songs.
‘She spoke to most of us, she just said, Hi,’ Burgtorf said. ‘She seemed very nice.’
‘The food was generally very good at the mess hall. She seemed to enjoy herself.’
Burgtorf’s job was taking care of telephone communications for the army. It brought him close to generals, movie stars and future president Gerald Ford.
‘I could get into any building because of the telephone,’ Burgtorf said. ‘The mess hall was really just a tent, and I was the only one with a camera that day.’
He said he saw one or two other USO performances with the 2nd Infantry at the Bulldozer Bowl, but he doesn’t remember who performed other than Monroe, which stands out in his mind.
‘It was many years ago,’ Burgtorf said. ‘It was very, very cold that day. I think they must have had a heater blowing towards the stage, because she was in some skimpy clothes.’
‘We were right in the valley, there were mountains on both sides of everything.’
Burgtorf said after Monroe performed she quickly got onto a helicopter and went to perform another show.’She was on a very tight schedule,’ he said.”