Marilyn’s extenstive personal library is mentioned in Alex Johnson’s A Book of Book Lists: A Bibliophile’s Compendium. “We all look at people’s bookshelves when we go into homes, don’t we,” he tells the York Press, “or more interestingly if they have no books, either way it always tells you something about the person.” You can read my list of Marilyn’s books here.
Alicia Malone is the Australian-born author of Backwards in Heels: The Past, Present and Future of Women Working in Film. She is also a host at Filmstruck, a US-only streaming service run by the Criterion Collection (who released a special edition of The Asphalt Jungle in 2016.) In an interview with Broadway World, Alicia talks about her favourite classic movies – and Marilyn.
“When you were watching these films as a child, which quotable lines did you try reciting?
I am the worst at doing impressions and accents, but it doesn’t stop me from trying! Because of my love of Marilyn Monroe, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was a favorite film of mine. I used to try both Marilyn, ‘Thank you ever so!’ and Jane Russell. For Jane, I’d convince my sister to say, ‘You’ll find that I mean business!’ just so I could retort in my best Jane Russell voice, ‘Oh, really? Then why are you wearing that hat!’ I’m sure it was quite annoying to everyone involved.
If you were a grown-up and a working host when you saw some of your classic films as a child, who would you have wanted to interview and what would your lead question have been?
This is a great question! I know I’ve mentioned Marilyn Monroe a lot, but she really did fascinate me, so I’ll pick her. As I said, I loved her glam persona, but when I started reading books about her, I was shocked at how tough her life was, and how at odds that was with who she seemed on screen. It breaks my heart that she just wanted to be taken seriously as an actress, but was constantly placed as the ditzy blonde. So I would have loved to interview Marilyn, get a sense of what she was really like under that whispered voice and platinum blonde hair… and I would have asked her which role she really wanted to play.”
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes will be screened at the Washington Carnegie Public Library at 2 pm on January 19, 2018 (weather permitting), accompanying a gem-themed winter reading program, reports the Times-Herald.
This photo of Marilyn chatting with photographer Richard Avedon at a 1961 Actors Studio benefit at New York’s Roseland Ballroom is published in Avedon: Something Personal, a new biography by Norma Stevens and Steven M.L. Aronson. Marilyn is mentioned in the introduction, where Norma Stevens describes her first meeting with Avedon. A photo of Marilyn and Avedon, taken by Sam Shaw in 1954, is also featured. It’s unclear whether the book includes any further material on their iconic collaborations, but this preview looks very promising.
And as a bonus, here’s the Roseland photo in colour…
“If you want to go Hollywood while visiting Los Angeles, you can of course sign on to a tour of studios or the stars’ homes. But why bother when the darker side of Hollywood is so much more fascinating? Instead there’s the Tragical History Tour which ferries you to the sites of celebrity crimes, scandals and tragedies, from the starlet who threw herself to her death from the Hollywood sign in 1932 to the sad tales of talents like Marilyn Monroe, Janis Joplin and Whitney Houston who all died much too young.”
‘Golden Marilyn’, a hyper-realist portrait of Marilyn created in 2010 by the Tulsa-based artist Otto Duecker (after the iconic Ben Ross photo), is featured in Fool the Eye, a new exhibition at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Arbor, New York until March 2018, as Deidre Geben reports for Newsday.
“At a time when the word ‘fake’ is dominating conversation, the Nassau County Museum of Art presents ‘Fool the Eye,’ an ambitious examination of truth and illusion comprising more than 150 paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the past two centuries.
‘Whether realist or abstract, all the works in the show play with perceptual effects,’ says Franklin Hill Perrell, who, along with Debbie Wells, guest-curated the exhibition. To be sure, Perrell and Wells have gathered a delightfully mixed bag of visual tricks. Prominent among the optical devices on view is trompe l’oeil, a technique that upends rules of linear perspective to convince viewers they are looking at actual objects instead of two-dimensional representations of them.
Museumgoers are likely to be tempted to peel off the pieces of torn and curling tape seeming to secure Otto Duecker’s black-and-white photographic rendering of Marilyn Monroe to a wall — that is, until they realize it’s all a pictorial ruse.”
The Milton Greene Archive has begun its holiday sale. Each copy of the new book, The Essential Marilyn Monroe, will come, while stocks last, with a vintage Marilyn calendar – printed in 1983 and overseen by Milton himself, the last before he died. Also, all art prints are on a ‘Buy One Get One Free’ offer – full details here.
Several Marilyn-related items are on offer, including a 1950 memo from Twentieth Century Fox to filmmaker Joseph L. Mankiewicz, confirming her casting as Claudia Caswell in All About Eve; and her contract for Horns of the Devil, a property she purchased in 1954.
There is also a group of rare photographs, including some taken by amateur photographer Janice Sargent at a children’s hospital benefit in 1953, and one photo from the 1962 Golden Globes. Two photos of a visibly pregnant Marilyn with husband Arthur Miller, taken by Sargent during filming of Some Like It Hot in 1958, are also featured.
Another lot contains several photos taken during filming of Bus Stop, and an interesting photo of Marilyn and Arthur visiting Montgomery Clift on the set of his 1958 film, Lonelyhearts. Marilyn was working on Some Like It Hot at the time, also on the Samuel Goldwyn Studio lot.