Marilyn, Queen Featured on Proof Coin

Marilyn and Queen Elizabeth II – who were both born in 1926, and met in 1956 – will appear on this limited edition, 2012 Marilyn Monroe™ 1 oz Silver Proof Coin, soon to be released by The Perth Mint of Australia, reports Coin Update.

2012 marks 60 years since the Queen’s coronation, and 50 years since Marilyn died.

‘The Marilyn Monroe of Biography’

Carl Rollyson, author of Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress, reviews Lois Banner’s upcoming biography, Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox, on BiblioBuffet.

‘With one word, [Banner] helps explains why I was so taken with the actress and so certain she was a genius. Banner calls Monroe a “clown,” a clown in the same sense that Chaplin was a clown. She studied with the best mimes and acting teachers in the business. “Marilyn Monroe” was her creation, her creation, but that fact was not generally recognized. Directors like Howard Hawks (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) thought she was their creation. And even directors like Henry Hathaway (Niagara), who understood otherwise, could never convince Darryl Zanuck, the head of 20th Century-Fox, to permit Marilyn to do the great dramatic roles, to cast her, for example, in Of Human Bondage, the film Hathaway wanted to direct.

Because Marilyn Monroe became a sex object, because sex came to define her image, the idea that she was clowning never seemed to occur to the men who made pictures. Milton Greene, one of the few men who did understand, and who helped Marilyn form her own production company, used to cheer her up by saying, “One day we will do a picture with Chaplin.” The trouble for Marilyn was that unlike Chaplin, she could never really jettison her costume save for appearing as a fish cannery worker in Fritz Lang’s Clash by Night and portraying her alter ego, Roslyn, in The Misfits, Arthur Miller’s botched tribute. She rejected Miller when he refused, in his art, to show her dark side, the demons that contributed to the dissolution of their marriage.

Marilyn never could do without male adulation, without the desire to prostitute herself—a desire Banner traces back to the sexual abuse Marilyn suffered as a child. She made herself available for the world to fondle. It dismayed Banner to discover that Marilyn really did like the catcalls and whistles of men in the street. She was, as the maligned Norman Mailer argued, many selves, a truly protean personality and artist we are just beginning to take the full measure of in Lois Banner’s brilliant biography.’

Franck Trebillac’s Marilyn

 “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents.”
– Marilyn Monroe

This famous quote, taken from Marilyn’s 1954 memoir, My Story,  inspired London artist Franck Trebillac to create a new screenprint.

Schiller Talks Marilyn With CBS

This preview shot from the upcoming Vanity Fair special (June issue) is featured on the CBS website, alongside an interview with photographer Larry Schiller.

‘”I start shooting her from the dressing room,” he recalls. “And she says, ‘You know, you’re not going to get a good picture from there. But if you go over there you’re going to get something really nice.’ And so I go over there and she turns over her shoulder, and she looks at me and she’s just a different woman. She’s Marilyn Monroe.

“But basically I lifted another camera and I shot just one frame. It’s just an extraordinary first real portrait I ever did of her.”

The Xs on Schiller’s proof sheet are from Marilyn’s own hand. Of all of his shots that day, she only approve done. “That was the moment that I knew that Marilyn knew more about photography at that moment than I did,” Schiller said.

But he would learn.’

Schiller’s photography will also be the subject of an exhibition at New York’s Steven Kasher Gallery in June. Check the website for rare photos of Marilyn!

Marilyn Movie Season in Columbus, Ohio

Marilyn filming ‘Some Like It Hot’

Ohio State University’s Wexner Arts Center will host a film festival this summer marking the 50th anniversary of Marilyn’s death, reports the Columbus Dispatch

“Thirteen feature films will be screened over nine nights in “Marilyn Monroe: The Actress,” the center’s indoor summer film series in July and August. The series is timed to overlap with the 50th anniversary of the death (on Aug. 5, 1962) of the blond icon.

Among the fan favorites in the series are Niagara (1953), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), River of No Return (1954) and Some Like It Hot(1959).

The series also includes The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) with Laurence Olivier, which inspired the recent film My Week With Marilyn; and The Legend of Marilyn (1966), a documentary directed by John Huston, who worked with Monroe on The Misfits.”

Scarlett Johansson on Monroe Comparisons

Actress Scarlett Johansson has never made any secret of bing a Monroe fan, and has often drawn on her image – but she has no desire to play her onscreen, she tells The Independent:

‘”I never wanted to play Marilyn Monroe [Johansson was reportedly in the running to play the actress in last year’s ‘My Week with Marilyn’.] I don’t know. It’s just a job – I didn’t have the passion for that. I love Marilyn Monroe. She’s a very underrated actor but it just seemed exhausting in a way that I couldn’t wrap my head around.”‘

Interestingly, her thoughts on fame, and worries about being typecast as a sex symbol echo Marilyn’s…

‘I never wanted to be a sex symbol I wanted to be a character actor. Those are the actors I mostly admire. I think women that are curvy can be pigeonholed in that bombshell thing. It’s not like I actively look for sexy roles. It’s not a requirement that my character be pretty and delicate. I never think about my character being sexy, unless that’s written in.

It’s weird to be a recognisable face I’m not traumatised [by it] but I find it can bring out the worst in humanity sometimes. I’m constantly surprised by how rude people are. You’ll be having an intimate dinner with a friend and there’s somebody on the table behind with a cameraphone pointing at your face. I think, “I would never take a photo of someone without asking.”‘

‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ in Boston

The new, digitally-restored print of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes will be screened at Arts Emerson in Boston on May 4-6, as part of their ‘Gotta Dance: The American Film Musical 1929-1953.’

“Never again in her career will Monroe look so sexually perfect, no never. Her physical coordination is never more vigorous and athletically quick; she dances with all the grace she is ever going to need, all the grace and all the pizzazz — she is a musical comedy star with panache! … She must be the first embodiment of Camp, for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a perfect film in the way early Connery-James Bond films were perfect…The first film which enables us to speak of her as a great comedian.” – Norman Mailer