Jack Cardiff Documentary on DVD

Marilyn-signed photo, given to Jack Cardiff

Cameraman: The Life and Works of Jack Cardiff is a new documentary about the Englishman who became Marilyn’s favourite cinematographer after they collaborated on The Prince and the Showgirl in 1956.

Cardiff went on to direct his own movies. Had he directed Marilyn instead of Olivier (with whom she famously clashed), filming of Showgirl might have been a very different experience. Nonetheless, Marilyn did some of her finest acting in this gentle period comedy, and she never looked lovelier.

My tribute to Jack Cardiff, who died in 2009 – over here

Feng Shui at Marilyn’s Final Home

A more spiritual perspective on Marilyn’s last home, currently up for sale, from feng shui expert Dana Claudat.

“Is it little coincidence that this house appears to be missing vital areas of the bagua? The fastest way I can explain the bagua is to say that in feng shui, certain areas of a home can be placed within a geometric grid that encompasses every area of existence — physically, spiritually, emotionally and even monetarily, assigning certain significance to every area. When areas are ‘missing’ it is not the end of the world, but it certainly raises eyebrows that such a coincidence has occurred. Though I can’t see a complete floor plan, it seems that the ‘Self’ and ‘Wisdom’ areas are absent totally from the floor plan of the property.

Even more concerning is that this house is replete with such devastatingly powerful and aggressive beams slicing the energy through every room that I feel no holistic life stands a chance here without some real work on the space. The beams are really intense. Look at every room, nearly each one (including the living room — the main gathering area, and the kitchen — the area of nurture and nourishment in the home) has been bisected by really large beams.”

I must admit to having mixed feelings about this property. While it is a beautiful house, where Marilyn once lived, it is also the place where her life ended. Whoever finally buys it will have to accept that it will always carry these associations with MM, and it inspires a sometimes morbid curiosity in people.

The house is located in a tiny cul-de-sac in Brentwood, a quiet, upmarket residential suburb of Los Angeles. Some of its more recent occupants and neighbours have not been happy about the constant visits by sightseers, and I can understand that.

However, public interest shows no sign of waning. Ideally I would like to see this house restored to its 1962 form as a national heritage site, in the way that John Lennon’s childhood home in Liverpool, UK is now maintained.

But while Monroe is fast becoming one of America’s greatest icons, historians have been slow to recognise this. The endless auctions of recent years, where Marilyn’s personal property has been dispersed among private collectors, are a similar example of opportunities squandered.

And with no surviving relatives to protect Marilyn’s legacy, I can’t see a sea-change occurring anytime soon. In death, as in life, Monroe seems to be alone and unprotected.

Norma Jeane: A ‘Last-Born’ Child

‘Lastborns are usually rebellious, risk takers, confident, caring, creative, charming, affectionate and “the life of the party”. Lastborns can also be immature, self-centered, spoiled, manipulative and irresponsible. Youngests seem to be more observant and have more diverse interests than their older siblings. They also take more risks, travel more, and are more liberal. Youngest brothers are the most fearless of men. Youngest females are the most feminine and flirtatious of women. Younger sisters of brothers are magnets to men. Examples of younger sisters of brothers include Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor. They often find that they have more men attracted to them than other girls. The best match for a youngest male is a firstborn female and the best match for a youngest female is an oldest male of sisters. Two lastborns in a relationship can be fun but firstborn children bring stability to a relationship.’

Source

This is an interesting take on how Marilyn’s character was formed, though given her unstable childhood, it is hard to place her as a ‘lastborn’ at any period. Norma Jeane had an older half-brother and sister from her mother’s first marriage, but she never met her step-brother, who tragically died at just 13. At the same age, Norma would learn that she had a ‘sister’, and first met Berniece Baker Miracle, then married with a young daughter, six years later. Marilyn remained in contact with Berniece throughout her life.

The young Norma Jeane was also close to another foster child, Lester Bolender, and later Eleanor ‘Bebe’ Goddard. But Marilyn always considered herself a ‘waif’, passed between relatives, friends and an orphanage, and in some ways was more like an only child. One of her closest friends at the end of her life was masseur Ralph Roberts, whom she nicknamed ‘Brother’.

Marilyn Coffee Mosaic in Sydney

“As thousands sipped lattes at The Rocks Aroma Festival yesterday, a small team tried to break the Guinness World Record.

Over four hours, a team of 12 filled 5200 cups with 680 litres of milk and 780 litres of coffee to varying levels to make the world’s largest coffee mosaic of the screen siren at the Overseas Passenger Terminal Forecourt.

Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority’s Head of Design Michael Donohue said the blonde bombshell was a natural choice after their 2009 record-breaking Mona Lisa montage.

More than 115,000 people turned out for the festival.”

Source

A Lesson from Marilyn

Jon Dosa of Palm Springs, former TV talk show producer, will forever remember what Marilyn Monroe taught him about sex. Well, who wouldn’t?

Monroe was 35. Dosa was 19 when he snuck onto the set at Harrah’s in Reno, Nev. “The Misfits” was shooting.

The most beautiful creature he had ever seen was on a slant board awaiting her next scene, unblinking and staring straight ahead.

Nervously, young Dosa edged toward Monroe. “Standing within inches of her luminescent face,” Dosa said, “her lovely, vacant, blue-green eyes made contact with my soul.”

He told the blonde goddess the usual pronouncements about enjoying her work. Then trying for more sophisticated and intimate conversation, he said in a chummy voice, “You know, I think Jayne Mansfield depends too much on sex.”

Monroe looked at him and said, “Well, don’t discount it.”

So that was Marilyn Monroe’s advice about sex. Don’t discount it. And Dosa never has.’

Summer at the Movies with Marilyn

On the WowOwow (Women on the Web) site today, ‘Mr Wow’ enjoys some classic movies – starting with Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Heat Wave’ from There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954), as what song could be more apt in the heat of July?

Two other Monroe movies are also mentioned: Don’t Bother to Knock (1952), not really a ‘summer movie’ but a great film noir with one of Marilyn’s most affecting performances as the disturbed babysitter, Nell Forbes.

An interesting observation is made on the scene in Niagara (1953), where Marilyn, as the trampy Rose Loomis, requests her favourite song, ‘Kiss’. (Monroe had recorded her own version, which was deemed too sensuous for the movie but can found on most MM compilation albums today.)

“She wears a tight, blazing red dress, and when she walks toward the camera, pelvis thrust out, a bit of a womanly belly obvious, it is her most erotic screen moment. (Later, she would look sexy – all butt and bust – but not be sexy.)”

However, surely the ideal Monroe vehicle to watch right now is The Seven Year Itch (1955), as the comic storyline hinges on the unbearable heat of Manhattan in July, and a middle-aged man’s existential crisis when his wife and son leave the city and he attempts to seduce his gorgeous neighbour (Marilyn, of course), via the wonder of air conditioning.

Marilyn, Lindsay Lohan and ‘6126’

Before her latest misadventure (a stint in jail), actress Lindsay Lohan took time out to talk about her admiration for Marilyn Monroe and her clothing line, 6126, at Stylelist.com

“SL: 6126 is named for Marilyn Monroe’s birthday, and you’ve recreated Monroe’s famous portrait sessions for famed photographer Bert Stern. Why is she such a strong influence?

LL: She is an icon. I love her sense of self. She is glamorous and represents a time in Hollywood that was a changing point for women. I also think she was misunderstood.”

Whatever one may think of Lindsay’s current situation, few people understood the pressures of fame better than Monroe, and I think she would get a kick out of knowing that she continues to inspire today’s young starlets – especially in troubled times.