A Toast on July 4th

George Barris, 1962

The ongoing movie retrospective, Marilyn! at Brooklyn Academy of Music, has attracted rave reviews for MM, as an actress and American icon.

“BAMcinématek’s 14-film tribute to cinema’s most iconic blonde reminds us why we couldn’t take our eyes off her: She generates a charisma, often sexual but sometimes beyond sex, so uncontainable and unclassifiable that it eclipses everything else around her.”

Village Voice

The L Magazine praises Marilyn’s performance in Some Like it Hot:

“Monroe’s exaggerated, Betty Boop sensuality finds perhaps its most comfortable home in this comedy of sexual manners. So does her crack comic timing. (‘I don’t want you to think I’m a drinker. I can stop any time I want to,’ she says, before the briefest of pauses and the whispery kicker: ‘Only I don’t want to.’) But the biggest gift she brings to Some Like It Hot is her heart-melting vulnerability and apparent sincerity, which turned what could easily have been just another cross-dressing farce into the American Film Institute’s best movie comedy of all time and one of Out magazine’s 50 essential gay films.”

Over at AltScreen, Dan Callahan looks at MM’s screen career in depth, concluding with his own thoughts about what she might be doing now:

“I don’t see a star movie career continuing for much longer if she hadn’t died in 1962, but it is possible to imagine her leaving Hollywood, going to New York, maybe mixing in feminist circles (what a bra she could have burned!), maybe doing some theater (Marilyn in The Bald Soprano?), maybe teaching some acting classes herself. She might have looked around her and made a film like Barbara Loden’s Wanda (1970), or she might have just contented herself with having once been ‘Marilyn Monroe’ as she taught her acting students how to be open and sensitive in their work and in their lives. I can just about picture Monroe circa 1982, maybe living as Norma Jeane again, not worried about her weight, wearing glasses and a cardigan sweater, talking about acting with her Strasberg studio kids and leading a semi-reclusive but happy life in some modest East Side apartment. I’m probably just being sentimental about her. But if that’s true, I’m hardly the first to succumb to that urge, nor will I be the last.”

MM Film Season in NYC

Filming ‘The Seven Year Itch’, New York, 1954

Fourteen of Marilyn’s films will screen next month at New York’s BAM Rose Cinema, reports the New York Post

July 1: The Asphalt Jungle, Don’t Bother to Knock

July 2: The Seven Year Itch

July 3-4: Some Like it Hot

July 5: Bus Stop

July 6: Monkey Business

July 7: How to Marry a Millionaire

July 8: Niagara

July 10: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

July 14: River of No Return

July 15: The Prince and the Showgirl, Let’s Make Love

July 16: All About Eve

July 17: The Misfits