Marilyn: The Face of Cannes, 2012

This photo of Marilyn – taken on her 30th birthday – adorns promotional posters for the Cannes Film Festival, coming in May. It seems fitting that the ultimate movie actress should be chosen to represent the world’s pre-eminent celebration of cinema (and no, I don’t mean the Oscars!)

An official statement explains, “Fifty years after her death, Marilyn remains one of the most important figures of the cinema world with her eternal grace, mystery and seductiveness.”

‘Smash’, Episode 4: ‘The Cost of Art’

Cinema Blend singles out Megan Hilty’s big Marilyn number for praise this week:

“This week’s big musical number, ‘I Never Met a Wolf Who Didn’t Love to Howl’, is a standard Marilyn sexpot song…with a twist. I think what I like most about how the musical within Smash is shaping up is that yes, the creative team is remembering that the story of Marilyn is both sexy and heartbreaking…but Marilyn Monroe was also FUNNY. The willingness to flirt with humor and fun in some of these songs really makes me look forward to seeing how the show-within-a-show pans out. It’s a quality move.”

Women on Film: Marilyn Redux

Gabriella Apicella has contributed an insightful article for the Bitch Flicks blog, comparing recent screen portrayals of Marilyn and Margaret Thatcher, and discussing why film-makers sometimes misrepresent powerful women:

“Although devastatingly insecure about her talent and notoriously late on set Marilyn Monroe was no victim – especially at this point in her career. Known to moments of rage, and fiercely passionate about her craft, the depiction of her as a weeping child-woman too frail to articulate her emotions is to undermine the complexity of an actress who has continued to captivate audiences five decades after her passing. That she would find solace in the arms of any young man that found himself captivated by her, is to assume not only her complete disregard for the new husband for whom she converted to Judaism to wed, but serves to perpetuate myths about her sexual promiscuity.”

‘Fragments’ of Inspiration

New York-based singer-songwriter St Vincent (aka Annie Clark) talked to Drowned in Sound about how Marilyn’s writing – collected in Fragments – inspired the song, ‘Surgeon’, on her new album, Strange Mercy:

‘Clark mentioned that she “was reading Marilyn Monroe’s diary, and Marilyn wrote about working with Lee Strasberg at the Actors’ Studio. She wrote ‘best find a surgeon; Lee Strasberg, please cut me open.’ That’s such a sentiment that resonates with me, and Marilyn was such a bright and intuitive person – she gets penned as this ditzy blonde or something, but she’s quite the opposite.”‘

Marilyn: Obsession Overload?

Marilyn by Ben Ross, 1953

Over at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Clint O’Connor looks at Marilyn’s enduring appeal:

“We are eternally obsessed with dead movie stars…But Monroe reached beyond the limitations of film stardom by injecting herself into the social zeitgeist.

Baseball god. Broadway lion. President. Maybe … Once your pop-culture legacy has cross-pollinated with the Kennedys, you’re branded forever.

There are dozens of tales of Monroe being late to the set … But some directors were willing to wait her out. They knew the magic that would be delivered on the other side. The effervescence. The unhinged electricity.

Monroe’s great trump card for her professional shortcomings was her fiery sexuality … What’s most astonishing is not the obsession with Monroe, it’s the fact that no one has replaced her in that No. 1 slot.”

Marilyn Exhibit in Santa Cruz

The collection of Scott Fortner will feature in Marilyn Monroe: The Exhibit, at the Chaminade Resort & Spa, Santa Cruz County, Central California on March 16-17. Scott will also present An Evening with Marilyn: An Intimate Look at The Legend, a gala on March 17. Both events are fundraisers for The United Way of Santa Cruz County, supporting families and schools in the region.

More details via MM Collection Blog or at the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Kate Upton’s Monroe Muse

After some truly terrifying MM-inspired photo shoots in recent days (yes, Courtney Stodden and Angela ‘Big Ang’ Raiola, I mean you), it was a pleasant surprise to see this superior effort featuring glamour model Kate Upton, photographed by Sebastien Faena for Muse magazine.

There are also elements of Bardot, Mansfield, Anna Nicole in Kate’s look. Faena seems to have taken his inspiration from Bert Stern, Sam Shaw and Ed Feingersh’s work with Monroe.

Celebrating Michelle’s Indie Spirit

Michelle Williams won last night’s Film Independent Spirit Award as Best Female Lead for her role in My Week With Marilyn. The ceremony was held at one of Monroe’s childhood haunts, Santa Monica Beach.

“My friend was joking that until now I have been the Susan Lucci {star of TV soap All My Children, Emmy-nominated 18 times before finally winning in 1999} of the Indie Spirit Awards! I have been luckier and luckier to be working with better and better people. I still can’t even believe I did it, playing Marilyn. There wasn’t a direct path to playing her. The only way is was time and letting her dictate it instead of me controlling it.”