Korea has a unique resonance in Marilyn’s history, so it’s fitting that both Niagara and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes are among twelve classic films featured in ‘The History of Visual Magic in Technology Pt. 2: Technicolor’, a special program starting tomorrow (July 18) at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul.
Shelley Niro, a Mohawk visual artist and filmmaker born in Niagara Falls in 1954, is the subject of a current exhibition at the Ryerson Image Center in Toronto until August 5, Blouin Artinfo reports.
“This retrospective includes both seminal projects and never-before-shown photographs, along with some of the artist’s most recent works. A member of the Six Nations Reserve, Bay of Quinte Mohawk, Turtle Clan, Niro combines beadwork designs, archival images, family pictures, videos, and installation to question traditional representations of Indigenous peoples, with a particular focus on womanhood. Challenging stereotypes, Niro’s portraits explore notions of culture and identity with sensitivity and humor.
She is most noted for her photographs using herself and female family members cast in contemporary positions to challenge the stereotypes and cliches of Native American women. Niro explored the oral history of the Iroquois people in general and the diaspora of Mohawk people in particular. She is known for her photography, which often combines portraits of contemporary Native women with traditional Mohawk imagery. She uses herself, friends, and family members as models. Her 1992 photographic series, ‘This Land Is Mime Land’ and ‘500 Year Itch’ employ humorous pop culture references, such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Niro often works in diptychs and triptychs, using photographic processes such as photo montage, hand tints, and sepia tones.
Shelly Niro is often compared to the artist Cindy Sherman because they both cast themselves in different roles in an attempt to break down various stereotypes. Niro, however never fully disguises herself. ‘She wants the viewer to recognize her within her manifestations.'”
‘Spotlight on Marilyn‘ is an upcoming mini-series of events in the Jeanne Rimsky Theatre at Landmark on Main Street in Port Washington, NY, with screenings of Niagara and Some Like It Hot in August, and ‘Marilyn Monroe: The Girl, the Woman, the Legend’, a multimedia lecture by Marilyn Carminio, in September.
Recently seen in Palo Alto, Niagara moves back east with three showings (May 12 and 15 at 7:30, and May 16 at midday) at the Screening Room cinema and cafe in the Boulevard Mall in Amherst, Upstate New York.
‘Hey, get out the fire hose!’ Marilyn is heating up the screen in Niagara as part of a ‘Hitchcock and Other Masters of Suspense’ series at the Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto next Wednesday and Thursday (May 9-10) at 7:30 pm.
As part of an ongoing series for The Guardian, Wendy Ide names the 1950s as her favourite decade in film.
“Marilyn Monroe was the blond bombshell of choice – although for a while it looked as though Judy Holliday (Born Yesterday) might be a contender – and became a global icon. Hers was a career that played out almost entirely during the 50s. A supporting role in All About Eve led to a studio contract and a star-making double whammy of Niagara and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Highlights of her decade, The Seven Year Itch and Some Like It Hot, saw her teamed with director Billy Wilder …”
And over at Film School Rejects, Will DiGravio argues that the comedy classic, alongside other greats like Hitchcock’s North by Northwest and Hawks’ Rio Bravo, makes 1959 the best year in movies.
“Today, it seems as though many know Monroe only for her beauty, not as the greatest comedic actress of all time. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are hilarious in the film as two musicians pretending to be women in order to play with a female band in Florida and escape the Chicago mob after they witness a murder. Yet, their performances pale in comparison to Monroe’s, whose comedic timing and delivery is so effortless it is easy to under-appreciate her brilliance.”
Marilyn is the latest cover girl for Noir City, a digital quarterly published by the Film Noir Foundation. Inside, there’s an eight-page illustrated article, with Jake Hinkson analysing her diverse roles in The Asphalt Jungle, Clash by Night, Don’t Bother to Knock and Niagara. Fellow bombshells Diana Dors and Gloria Grahame are also profiled in this issue. To subscribe to Noir City, join their mailing list and donate $20 or more to the foundation, who host regular screenings across the US and a yearly film festival, and also publish an annual print round-up of the best features.
Niagara will be screened Monday, April 2 at 7:30 pm in the Spaghetti Warehouse on North Clinton Street, Syracuse, as part of a 14-week spring season of classic movies hosted by the Syracuse Cinephile Society, now in its 51st year.
Niagara was released in the US sixty-five years ago this week, on January 21, 1953. This red jacket, designed by Dorothy Jeakins for the scene dubbed the ‘longest walk in history’ – in which Marilyn walked away from the camera, over 116 feet of film – is one of the prized pieces in the Star Collection of the Western Costume Company, North Hollywood.
Pencil skirts are back in style, according to The Guardian‘s Hannah Marriott (although I was unaware that they ever weren’t), proclaiming Marilyn – along with Marlene Dietrich, Meghan Markle and others – a ‘pencil skirt icon.’
“Marilyn Monroe’s walk down a steamy train platform in Some Like it Hot is the archetypal pencil skirt fashion reference, harking back to a time when form-fitting skirts were pretty shocking. (So tightly did they cling to curves that they are said to have inspired ‘the twist’, the only dance move women could do while wearing them.) The modern equivalent of the va-va-voom look is the stretchy pencil skirt favoured by Kim Kardashian and the Instagram set, usually paired with a crop top.”