Thursday, October 17, 2013

10-17-13: Legendary

I previously mentioned a movie musical that, fine, maybe would have been better left unmentioned. But in my defense, it was a guilty pleasure.

Today, I redeem myself, I think. That same day I was driven to turn back the hands of time, I was enjoying a glass of wine and perusing iBooks, doing a little online shopping as is my way (I should learn from Jen Lancaster that mood-altering substances and online shopping don't mix, but--knock wood!--I haven't yet crossed the line and ordered a Barbie styling head. Yet.), and I came across this particular very cool Marilyn Monroe book. And I adore her.

She's the quintessential super star enigma. A total rock star.

Marilyn Monroe continues to capture our attention all these many years after her passing. Her back story, her life, her death all mysterious. Marilyn Monroe: Metamorphosis by David Wills has been out for a while in hardcover, and even this made for iBooks version has been out for about a year--but what's awesome about the ebook version is that it contains video clips that you can't find in a standard book.

As a gift, I received Marilyn by Lois Banner in hardcover and we've long had Norman Mailer's biography of Marilyn on the shelf at my house. I've read the Joyce Carol Oates novelization of the icon, watched the movies both starring Monroe and dramatizing her story. Just like millions of others, I've been smitten.

Marilyn reminds us that none of us are as simple as we seem. As Dolly Parton once said, it takes a pretty smart woman to play a dumb girl (paraphrasing).

A collection of Marilyn memorabilia. Movies, Mailer's biography (open to
my favorite Marilyn photo),
Metamorphosis (on iPad), Banner's book.
I can't help but feel that Marilyn died before she was meant to. But who am I to say? Maybe she was done; maybe it was her time. She seemed a person free of ulterior motives; she wanted to love and be loved, and I think that's the greatest good a person can achieve. I'll continue to celebrate her legacy, the woman and the intelligence inside the iconic performer.

I watched How to Marry a Millionaire, not a musical but also starring Lauren Bacall (points for the moment when Bacall talks about that handsome older man in The African Queen, which, fun fact! was the first movie I saw in 3D because they played it on TV in the 80s. You had to get your 3d glasses at Open Pantry. Anyone else remember that?) and Betty Grable. Then it was Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with Jane Russell, featuring the iconic "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" performance that so inspired Madonna's "Material Girl" in the 80s. And since I found I only have Some Like it Hot on VHS (and alas; me with no VCR!), I'm off to find a suitable replacement.

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