The Seven Year Itch is being screened at the Eye FilmMuseum in Amsterdam on selected dates from now through August, as part of ‘Sweet & Sour’, a Billy Wilder retrospective. The new restored print of Some Like It Hot (also mentioned here) will follow in September.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes will be screened tonight at 7 pm at the Rialto Film Theatre in Amsterdam.
“‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,’ as the blond showgirl Lorelei Lee sings in this particularly successful comedy / musical, which is based on the equally popular Broadway musical. Lorelei is played by Marilyn Monroe, who sings this song in a silly, seductive way. Director Hawks, who had trouble with Monroe anyway, wanted to have it spoken by a professional singer, but she rejected this resolutely. The now iconic song, for example, inspired Madonna to become a ‘Material Girl’.”
If you’re in Amsterdam this Christmas, don’t miss the Happy Birthday Marilyn: 90 Years Ms Monroe exhibit (featuring the Ted Stampfer collection), on display at De Nieuwe Kerk until next February. And from next Thursday (December 22), the city’s EYE Film Institute will be screening seven of Marilyn’s best movies: Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Seven Year Itch, Bus Stop, Some Like It Hot and The Misfits.
Also coming from the Netherlands in October is Marilyn and Audrey: The Battle, a children’s book by Hanneke Groenteman, about two girls studying MM and Audrey Hepburn for a school project – and as they dig into the stars’ lives the girls learn about friendship, love and jealousy.
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.
Following the opening of an exhibition in Amsterdam featuring Milton Greene’s and Douglas Kirkland’s photos of Marilyn, there is more good news for our Dutch readers. ‘Magnum on Set‘, a retrospective of the legendary agency’s cinematic photojournalism (including coverage of The Seven Year Itch and The Misfits) is now on display at the Boscotondohal in Gemeentemuseum Helmond until March 27.
Milton Greene’s 1955 portrait of Marilyn – posing with a girl’s best friend, her dog – graces the January 2016 cover of Focus, a Dutch photography magazine. Inside is a short item about Marilyn Monroe: The Woman Who Made Love to the Camera, an exhibition of images by Greene and Douglas Kirkland, on display at the Eduard Planting Gallery in Amsterdam from January 9-March 5.
Robin De Raaff’s opera, Waiting For Miss Monroe, was staged at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam in 2012, starring Laura Aikin as Marilyn. A CD recording is now available, with a 4-star review from The Guardian‘s Andrew Clements.
“In Waiting for Miss Monroe, De Raaff and his librettist Janine Brogt concentrate on the last few months of the star’s life in 1962, including her famous appearance at President Kennedy’s birthday party, the problems surrounding her final film, and her lonely death, when she is confronted by memories of her former self, Norma Jean, and rejected by all the men who formerly worshipped her. De Raaff and Brogt are emphatic that what they devised is not a biopic but a fictionalised work that attempts to explore Monroe’s inner world, as revealed in her conversations with a young woman, Eve, who arrives to take photographs of her, which are intercut with the film studio confrontations and the Kennedy party.
It all works convincingly enough up to a point. The text is sung in English and some of Raaff’s vocal writing, wide-ranging but fundamentally tonal, curiously echoes passages in the later work of Michael Tippett, The Ice Break especially, though Raaff’s orchestral writing is much more unbuttoned and eclectic. Yet the passages of melodrama, when the characters resort to spoken dialogue, somehow breaks the operatic spell; it’s as if the music is abdicating its expressive responsibilities in a work that otherwise doesn’t flinch from the having the most commonplace exchanges sung. The score is haunted by the ghosts of songs associated with Monroe, especially I Wanna Be Loved By You, though the references are never too explicit. It is an intelligent if not entirely successful attempt on a tempting but, perhaps in the end, a dramatically intractable subject.”
Fifteen images of Marilyn – taken throughout her career – are on display at Dundee’s art24sevenmedia gallery, and will be auctioned, reports The Courier.
“The collection of 15 pictures have been taken from vintage negatives shot by infamous Hollywood photographers Gerry Franks and Earl Leaf, among others. The candid images include Marilyn in a drama class with coach Natasha Lytess and relaxing in the garden of Johnny Hyde who is credited with discovering her.
There are also test shots taken early in her career for publicity and to see if she was photogenic.
Gallery owner Fiona Henzie said: “The photographs are taken from vintage negatives and some are very collectible items.
‘They are totally unique and have only been seen once before in a museum in Holland.
‘They have all been in the hands of some quite famous people.
‘One was owned by Elizabeth Montgomery, also known as Samantha in Bewitched, before she sold it on.'”
I contacted Fiona via the gallery’s Facebook page, and she gave me further information about the collection:
“The 15 Marilyn pics will remain on show along with the other great photography during March…Everyone seems to have their own favourite – in the meantime if anyone would like to place an offer or request further information they can send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is a silent auction so all the information will be collated and the highest bids will be contacted… They have a very fair estimated value of £1500 (in today’s market) and we can guarantee that these are originals taken from the original vintage negative at the present time as a one off but sole exclusivity may be available. I will be posting details of where they can all be seen more clearly. The Scotsman newspaper are interested in doing a feature for this coming weekend .. the actual interview still has to be confirmed so I will try and post the news on our FB page if I believe it is happening.”
All photos on this post were taken by Fraser Penney – my fellow Immortal Marilyn staffer and longtime friend of ES Updates. He visited the gallery this weekend. (Click on the images below to enlarge.)
The New York Timesreports on ‘Waiting for Miss Monroe’, an opera starring Laura Aikin which has just opened in Amsterdam. (As ES Updates noted in April, it is said to be loosely based on the highly dubious Miner transcripts.)
“After about 15 minutes one grasped the extent of Mr. de Raaff’s musical palette and sensed that Marilyn’s personality and the opera’s ambiance generally needed more variety. Only in fleeting moments did Mr. de Raaff break with austerity, as when rumblings of jazz announced the Kennedys or a quotation from Shakespeare brought a hint of something Elizabethan.
Originally conceived at 90 minutes without a break, the opera lasted two and a half hours, with one intermission. The original idea might have been better.
Fortunately, the vocal lines are well conceived for the voices — a decisive factor in Laura Aikin’s tour-de-force portrayal of the title role. She soars in the vocal stratosphere, shaping phrases expressively and with purpose. And her resemblance to the real Marilyn — figure and all — as dressed in the star’s familiar fashions (recreated by Clement & Sandôu, also responsible for the realistic décor) was uncanny.”