Tag Archives: Victoria

Fox Brings Marilyn to Australia

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After recent reports that touring exhibition Marilyn: Celebrating an American Icon is heading to Australia in 2016, comes news of a second, original exhibition. Marilyn Monroe, presented in association with Twentieth Century-Fox, will have its world premiere at the Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria, and includes items from the collection of Scott Fortner, such as the black cocktail dress worn by Marilyn when she accompanied Arthur Miller to an awards ceremony in 1959.

Here’s the blurb:

“Marilyn Monroe remains one of the most celebrated and enigmatic film stars in history, she transformed herself from ordinary girl next door, Norma Jeane Baker into a glamorous and universally-recognised screen goddess. This comprehensive exhibition brings together authentic artefacts, clothing and other objects belonging to Marilyn. More than 20 original film costumes from some of Marilyn’s greatest films such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire and Love Nest feature alongside numerous dresses and accessories from Marilyn’s personal wardrobe. The ground-breaking collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox will allow unprecedented access to the 12 films Marilyn completed with the studio, including glamorous studio portraits, wardrobe test photographs, lobby cards and film posters. Curated by Bendigo Art Gallery, the costumes, personal clothing and artefacts have been drawn from private collections around the world and have never been seen before in Australia.

To complement the exhibition, Bendigo Art Gallery has secured Seward Johnson’s iconic eight metre high sculpture of Marilyn Monroe, Forever Marilyn. This sculpture has been seen in Chicago and Palm Springs, USA and makes its international debut in Bendigo.”

More details in The Age:

“The gallery has worked with film studio Twentieth Century Fox to bring together items from collections around the world, including a pleated gold lame gown seen in Gentleman Prefer Blondes, costumes from films including How to Marry a Millionaire, accessories and even the star’s personal address book.

Curator Tansy Curtin has been hunting for pieces across the US and Europe, particularly some sold at a large auction of items owned by the actress Debbie Reynolds in 2012. On her wish list is a version of the famed white dress from Some Like it Hot, also designed by William Travilla. A request for a dress has been made (there are multiple versions, part of the ‘mystery and falsehoods’ surrounding Monroe’s costumes, Curtin said), and the Bendigo Art Gallery hopes to lock in its final inventory within weeks.”

Stolen Marilyn Mural Returns

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Artist Paul Archer with his Marilyn mural

Public art featuring Marilyn always seems to cause a stir. Just two weeks ago, a mural by Paul Archer, depicting Marilyn between the sheets (inspired by an iconic photo session with Andre de Dienes), was stolen from the wall outside Floyd’s Diner in downtown Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada. But as the Times Colonist reports today, the mural has now been found in a nearby alleyway, with only minor damage.

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Marilyn by Andre de Dienes, 1953

‘Marilyn Forever’: An Opera

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Marilyn Forever, an opera, will be staged this weekend at the McPherson Playhouse in Victoria, British Columbia, reports the Times-Colonist. Starring the Faroese singer, Eivor Palsdottir, it features a libretto by poet Marilyn Bowering, based on her 1987 book, Anyone Can See I Love You, set to music by the British composer, Gavin Bryars. An earlier version of the show was produced in 2010.

“Pálsdóttir, chatting between rehearsals, said Marilyn Forever commences unconventionally with the movie star’s death. ‘She’s lying dead in her bed and she kind of wakes up. And her thoughts go back,’ the 30-year-old said.

She worked with Bryars five years ago, performing a piece called Tróndur i Gotu. In Marilyn Forever, aside from a couple of sequences, she makes no attempt to replicate Monroe’s breathy delivery. Pálsdóttir deliberately sings in her own voice, which at times sounds ethereal — somewhat reminiscent of Björk and Kate Bush.

‘My biggest challenge is probably [Monroe’s] body language. And the link between not trying to sound like her, but still being her. That’s quite a challenge, actually. It’s Marilyn with a different voice,’ she said.

Bryars…recalls obsessively watching her 1961 film The Misfits for an entire week.

Back then, British cinema-goers typically saw two films in a row — an ‘A’ and ‘B’ feature. Bryars would watch The Misfits, read the movie’s script while the second feature played, then watch The Misfits once more.

‘There was a sense it was the end of a whole group. And the film itself was about the end of a world, this world of rounding up horses and so forth, this whole neo-cowboy world,’ Bryars said.

Most of all, there was that intangible something about Marilyn Monroe. Bryars’ interest was rekindled when he read Bowering’s 1987 book of poems about Monroe, Anyone Can See I Love You. Bowering also created a stage and a radio version — the latter was broadcast by the CBC and the BBC.

She says Marilyn Forever is intended to reflect the experience of life flashing before one’s eyes, as is said to happen when death looms. There are ‘psychological moments, reflections, reminiscences and so on,’ she said, adding: ‘Basically, she’s discovering and saying who she is through this night.’

Bryars says there’s something ‘Shakespearean’ in the way Marilyn Forever presents Monroe at a moment of tragedy.”