On October 20, Craig Harvey, the recently retired Chief Coroner for Los Angeles County, will speak about Marilyn’s death and take questions from the audience, as part of a day-long ‘Through the Valley of Death‘ tour, visiting sites associated with Hollywood tragedies, and hosted by Scott Michaels (Dearly Departed Tours) and Elisa Jordan of LA Woman Tours, who commented today…
“Craig is the recently retired lead investigator for the Los Angeles County Coroners Office and the leading authority on Marilyn’s passing. Because there have been so many investigations, news stories, books and questions (from people like me!), it has been Craig’s job to consult the actual case records, both coroner and police, to answer any and all questions accurately. Because of his position in the coroners office, he is also (obviously) an expert on procedure, including procedures that were in place in 1962. Craig isn’t a Marilyn fan and doesn’t have an agenda. He just happens to be the guy who ended up with this job. This may be our only chance to ask a person of this caliber questions about Marilyn so I wanted to make sure everyone knows.
Disclaimer 1: This is part of an *all day* event that is also filled with non-Marilyn stuff. So if you want to hear Craig, you have to attend the other stuff too (but the other stuff is really fun so you’ll want to go!)
Disclaimer 2: I helped plan this event, which means there will be no disrespect of Marilyn.”
San Francisco artist Jason Mecier makes mosaics from junk – pills, candy, macaroni, and much more. Mecier’s portrait of Marilyn (based on a photo by Richard Avedon) is featured in his new book, Pop Trash, alongside a young Madonna during her Monroe wannabe period.
Jemima Kirke, the New York-based artist and actress (best-known as Jessa Johansson in TV’s Girls) has revealed some of her favourite books in an interview for Vulture.
“André De Dienes: Marilyn by André De Dienes
Some of the most important pictures taken of Marilyn Monroe throughout her career with a memoir to go along with it. She and De Dienes were lovers and longtime friends. She would often visit him and take pictures purely for the catharsis of it.”
In Cold War, the new film from Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski, Joanna Kulig plays Zula, a folk singer who begins a doomed love affair with a pianist in the aftermath of World War II. In an interview for The Guardian, Joanna reveals the inspirations behind her acclaimed performance.
“In Cold War, the narrative is fragmented, the actors more than unusually responsible for the film’s emotional continuity as the action leaps forward several years at a time. ‘With each instalment she is different: sometimes she’s a street urchin and bad girl, sometimes she’s melancholy and then she can be sarcastic with dry wit,’ Pawlikowski says. ‘Joanna has wit but she’s not sarcastic, she’s got a very kind disposition. It was a huge challenge and it didn’t come easily, but I knew she had all these different colours in her.’
Indeed, Cold War requires a dizzying range of emotions to play across that mutable face, which can switch from blunt and defiant one moment to pinched and wounded the next. Kulig is a fine-grained actor, never more so than in those instances when she is conveying layers of contradictory feelings from beneath a showbiz veneer. One scene in particular, in which she must register from the stage her recognition of a familiar face in the audience, and then, after the interval, react to the shock of the now-vacated seat, all while persevering cheerfully with her musical number, is an unbeatable example of the performer as plate-spinner or high-wire walker.
What is she thinking of when she sings? ‘It depends,’ she says. ‘Sometimes I thought about Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller, how theirs was maybe a similar relationship. Or it helped to think about Amy Winehouse and her personality. I feel Zula has something of that: she is so nice and talented but at the same time she wants to destroy something.’ Whatever the situation, Kulig feels at her most charged when she is singing. ‘The emotions are closer to the surface. It is all there. Agata Trzebuchowska, who played Ida, told me: “Joanna, I love your acting, but you act the most wonderfully when you are singing.”‘”
Silvano Campeggi, considered one of the great poster artists of Hollywood’s golden age, has died aged 95. After studying art in Florence, he was commissioned by the American Red Cross to paint portraits of U.S. soldiers serving in Europe during World War II.
While living in Rome, he created an iconic poster for MGM’s Gone With the Wind. He moved to Hollywood, making posters for films like Gigi andBreakfast at Tifffany’s. ‘Nano’ was a friend to stars like Ava Gardner, and described Marilyn as “my icon and surely the most enchanting woman I have ever met.” However, his portraits mostly date from after her passing.
Campeggi returned to Florence in the 1970s, and remained active both in the commercial field and as an exhibiting artist.
An original negative of Marilyn and co-star Dame Sybil Thorndike in a still photo taken by Milton Greene for The Prince and the Showgirl will go under the hammer at London Gallery Auctions in Westlake Village, California this Saturday, September 1. Bids open at $1,800, with an estimate of $10,500-16,500.
Marilyn’s tragic death shocked the world in 1962, and over fifty years later, the rumours are still coming. In a new book, Murder Orthodoxies: A Non-Conspiracist’s View of Marilyn Monroe’s Death, author Donald McGovern unpicks the myths and searches for the truth. You can read my review at Immortal Marilyn.
Marilyn takes centre-stage in a new LIFE special, Deaths That Shocked the World, available via Amazon.
She also makes a rather odd appearance in this week’s National Enquirer, with the bizarre claim that Frank Sinatra was her killer. Fake news, anyone?
And on a lighter note, the latest issue of Take a Break’s Wordsearches Collection puts a Seven Year Itch spin on their regular cover character – although the brown bob and baseball cap are an unexpected twist on Marilyn’s bombshell style!
It’s a testament to the enduring popularity of Some Like It Hot that this is my third consecutive post about a public screening. This time its on the outskirts of Chicago – where the movie is partly set – at the North Riverside Public Library next Wednesday, September 5, at 2 pm. No need to book in advance, and refreshments are provided.