Thursday, 11 October 2012

On "My week with Marilyn", Marilyn Monroe and Colin Clark

1/ I haven't watched "The prince and the showgirl". But last night I watched "Some like it hot", the successful comedy film of Marilyn Monroe that came out 2 years after "The prince and the showgirl", which was, as I remember, mentioned at the end of "My week with Marilyn". 
The film is hilarious. I am myself not a fan of comedies, but it's hilarious. And Marilyn Monroe? I guess any comparison is lame and pointless, but I can't help comparing her with Vivien Leigh in "That Hamilton woman" and Rita Hayworth in "Down to earth", the 2 films I watched last night and the night before*, I can't help acknowledging the fact that both Vivien and Rita were magnificent and amazing, both were better at acting and, actually, also more gorgeous. I said it already and now say it again, I like Marilyn very much, but she, albeit better than Kristen Stewart, was never a good actress, and on the screen she's not as gorgeous as in photos. On 1 hand I feel somewhat sorry for her, she didn't really enjoy being called a sex symbol (a sex symbol becomes a thing), but on the other hand producers and film directors had no choice, she didn't act very well. 
"Just try to be sexy. Isn't that what you do?" A humiliation? But isn't that correct? That's all she ever did. People are drawn to her vulnerability, but that's another thing. She's not a good actress. That's a fact. 

2/ "My week with Marilyn" the film is based on a book- a memoir by Colin Clark. 
Is it a true story? Who knows. 
I came across these 2 articles: 
And certainly there are more articles about it. One might say, we're too cynical, too sceptical. But there are some points: a, I don't think many people know who Colin Clark is, and in my case I know about him only because of "My week with Marilyn", whereas Marilyn Monroe, no matter what, has become an icon, a legend, a part of American culture and a face most people recognise, and it's not uncommon that some people take advantage of being with some celebrity, even for a short while, like a fleeting relationship or a 1-night stand, by writing books, doing interviews, appearing in TV shows, earning money and pathetically sharing some little fame. b, memoirs are not as authentic as diaries, especially when written for the purpose of publishing, because the authors might unintentionally have a distorted memory or intentionally paint themselves in a good light and describe other people, especially those they don't like, negatively. It's obvious that here Colin Clark, despite depicting Marilyn's fragility, sensitivity and personal problems, also described her as being ugly, difficult, inconsiderate, irresponsible, full of herself, other people as being insensitive, demanding and not very understanding, and himself as a sort of hero, nice, caring, understanding, forgiving. In short I don't discard the whole story as some trash, fantasy or lie, but simply can't trust 100% of it. 

* "Down to earth" is a ridiculously meaningless film. In retrospect I have no idea what they wanted to say after all. However, if you like Rita Hayworth as much as I do, I recommend it nevertheless, because it's in this film that she's indeed a goddess. A divine beauty. "That Hamilton woman" is better, much better, and I can understand why Churchill loved it and claimed to have seen it more than 80 times. 1 of the 3 films in which Vivien paired with her husband Laurence Olivier, too, who was also good-looking and good. Not only pulchritudinous, but Vivien also acted beautifully and brilliantly here, and personally I particularly love the scenes of her, as Emma Lady Hamilton, impersonating other people. 

Update on 16/4/2014: 
I wrote "on the screen she's not as gorgeous as in photos". That was wrong. 
Marilyn Monroe's pulchritudinous in "The 7-year itch",  "Gentlemen prefer blondes", "Niagara"... "Some like it hot" is a later film, and I suspect that B&W doesn't do her justice. In technicolor (the term used at the time), she's a diamond.

1 comment:

  1. Like this new font that you used...