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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in Marilyn Monroe (30)


Curio: Thanksgiving Ready

Alexa here, anticipating Thanksgiving. Every year I imagine hosting a dream Thanksgiving feast, with a table filled with friends, movie marathons instead of football, and Marilyn's stuffing recipe. Someday, perhaps my dreams will come true, but in the reality we will just blast Adele and hope for the best.

Here are some movie-loving serving items I've bookmarked in the meantime after the jump...

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Beauty Break: It's World Egg Day !

Today is World Egg Day. For real. The Film Experience's official preference order:

  • Burnt alien eggs prepared by Lt. Ellen Ripley
  • Baby Munchkin birthing eggs in the merry old land of Oz
  • Jurassic Park eggs when Laura Dern stares at them

Nathaniel's official preference order: Scrambled, poached, over easy, fried, boiled but whichever way you prepare them, they're wholly delicious. To celebrate this important occassion, here are some movie star photos...

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Interview: Gillian Armstrong on Her Orry-Kelly Documentary and Why the Film Industry Needs Affirmative Action 

Jose interviews the director of a new costume design documentary at TIFF 

Orry-Kelly with Kay Francis. Photo courtesy of Scotty Bowers

In Women He’s Undressed, the extraordinary Gillian Armstrong paints a delightful portrait of Australian costume designer Orry-Kelly whose bold designs changed Hollywood forever (he was the first costume designer to draw the actors' faces on his designs!). The brilliant man behind Ingrid Bergman’s tasteful suits in Casablanca, Rosalind Russell’s larger than life gowns in Auntie Mame, and Marilyn Monroe’s nude dress from Some Like It Hot (he did Jack and Tony’s dresses too) had an exciting life that had him leave his small hometown to find a career in a budding industry across the world. From gangsters and plays with an unknown Katharine Hepburn, to affairs with Cary Grant and uprisings with Bette Davis, Orry-Kelly’s life was so rich that one wonders why no one had done a film about him before.

In typical Armstrong fashion, the documentary is told with whimsical flourishes (Darren Gilshenan plays Orry who reads from letters and adds commentary) and features interviews with Colleen Armstrong, Michael Wilkinson, Jane Fonda, Catherine Martin, Angela Lansbury and the legendary Ann Roth, all of whom express their admiration for Orry, and share anecdotes about working with him. The film played at the Toronto Film Festival, and I had the opportunity to talk with Ms. Armstrong about discovering Orry’s work, working with Ann Roth (“someone should do a documentary on her next, she’s extraordinary”) and her thoughts on the way the industry treats women.

Orry-Kelly, Australian Oscar winners, and artists as film subjects after the jump...

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News of the Century: "Bombshell" From Smash Is Happening. June 15th, 2015


That's right show queens, "Bombshell" is finally getting a stage production. [src] It's a one night only benefit event in NYC so who knows if it will be way above our pay grade but you have to start somewhere.

The Film Experience's troubled marriage to "Smash" the ill fated NBC series about the making of a Marilyn Monroe musical named "Bombshell" lives on! It's impossible to get a full divorce actually from that show and especially the show within the show because social media has guaranteed that all TV series with a devout following remain somehow in the pop culture conversation like they're still on the air.  I can't tell you how many times someone mentions Smash in my twitterfeed (#notcomplaining) and my eyes always flash a bit, like an ocular exclamation point. 

There's no word yet on casting but if Megan Hilty isn't playing Marilyn at this one night only event there's really no point in that day in the world's timeline even existing. This is our only mandatory requirement*. Otherwise proceed, producers. Our hearty gratitude and possible our dollars, depending on ticket prices, await you.

*Requirements are different than wants but we got a string of those too if you need 'em.


The Honoraries: Harry Belafonte, Beetlejuice (1988)... and Selma (2014)?

In our miniseries "The Honoraries" we're celebrating the four talents that'll be honored by the Academy at the Governor's Awards this year. Here's Nathaniel...

Or, rather, here's soon to be Jean Hersholt Humanitarian winner Harry Belafonte's immeasurable contribution to Tim Burton's Beetlejuice (1988) - included below since it seemed appropriate for Halloween. When I was a kid these Belafonte songs weren't new to me since my parents had a few of his records but I imagine for a whole swath of young moviegoers in the 1980s this was quite an introduction. Two of the movie's key scenes were basically handed over to his joyful voice and catchy songs.

"Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" was originally from Harry Belafonte's "Calypso" album, his third, in 1956. The song was a top five hit but the album was an even bigger sensation spending over half a year as the #1 selling LP in the country. "Jump in the Line" the Belafonte number that closes the film through Noni's floating dance was a cover recorded for his 1961 album "Jump Up Calypso".

Beetlejuice (1988) and political activism after the jump...

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Film on Film: 5 Classics That Deserve a Film of Their Own

[Editor's Note: Here's abstew with 5 Hollywood on Hollywood pitches. Co-sign!]

It's no secret that one of Film's favorite subject matters is, well, itself. The past two Best Picture winners (The Artist and Argo) have had Hollywood and the art of film-making at their core. And this weekend another film-on-film, Saving Mr. Banks, about Walt Disney's decades long struggle to bring Mary Poppins to the big screen expands across the country in its quest to join those previous films in Oscar glory. The story seems ready-made for the movies - beloved source material, larger-than-life characters/personalities, and, just because it can, a hard-knock-life childhood back-story thrown into the mix. (If the old Hollywood angle doesn't win them over why not add the Academy's other irresistible allure: the biopic. It's two films for the price of one!)

I'm sure many people were unaware what went into trying to convince author P.L.Travers to sign over the rights to Disney and I'm sure even fewer people knew about Travers' back-story. But so many classic films have equally fascinating behind-the-scenes stories that would make just as compelling films. In honor of Saving Mr. Banks, here are 5 other classic films that deserve their own film treatment. So, quiet on the set...Action! 

The Wizard of Oz 

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I link for the applause, plause

The Backlot has an interesting thing to say about Marilyn Monroe. Interesting Monroe thoughts are rare!
The Playlist the new project Nasty Baby from Sebastian Silva sounds fun. With and Kristen Wiig and Tunde Adebimpe 
In Contention on the supporting/leading category placement decisions of upcoming performances. I'm really hoping Amy Adams (American Hustle) goes lead since that would be a nice change of pace.
Pop Blend Sigh. People still care about Jennifer Aniston's feelings about Angelina Jolie!

Kveller lol. the best use of Christina Aguilera's "Burlesque" since Burlesque itself. That's one pricey flamboyant Bar Mitzvah celebration
Pajiba writes an open letter to Showtime since they're still airing Dexter. (I'm SO glad I quit that show. I only wish I had quit it a couple of seasons before I did.
The Advocate terrific op-ed about waning enthusiasm for Lady Gaga and gay man + diva love affairs

I’ve heard other gay gripes about Gaga and wondered if it had less to do with Mother Monster and more with an approaching expiration date with the gay man/diva treaty (signed around 1900 between Sarah Bernhardt and Oscar Wilde, possibly). 


Pajiba cast changes at Orange is the New Black. Thrilled that Lorraine Toussaint (Middle of Nowhere) is joining!
New York Times a revival of the musical adaptation of The Color Purple (for the stage) is winning raves in London - I didn't know there was a new one so that's not why we were talking about it. I guess it's in the ether. 
The Dissolve "shocker" critics more critical than general moviegoers