Category Archives: Movies

Marilyn Monroe and the Cult of the Quote

By now we’re all aware that Facebook is part-life update and part-affirmative feel-good quote generator. If you’re not sure what I mean, just check where you’ll find where the quote-in-picture fad began. (Or lolcatz, the Ryan Gosling Hey Girl meme, or any other picture-based meme for that matter.) Since those cheeky bastards came along, Facebook began to capitalize on their success by allowing people to post photos from websites that they find clever. And so a new era of misquoted and misspelled spam dawned.

Source: Uploaded by user via kadiebee on Pinterest (Also? Not a real Marilyn quote.)

This week I’ve been thinking about Marilyn Monroe, who is a familiar face on the quote-in-picture scene. For a deeply unhappy woman who was tranquilized to death, her belief in feminism and the capacity for a pair of shoes to empower a woman are impressively forward thinking. Last week Phill and I watched My Week with Marilyn, a sumptuous, well-written, acted and composed homage to the blonde bombshell. It’s not rare that a biopic is often well-written. The Holywood industry is especially fond of recollecting their idols in soft tones and sympathetic chords

The film made me think about Marilyn’s context in the female dialogue—her strength, her ambition, and what her charisma and natural “talents” (yes, her beauty and personality) did for her and women who idolize her.

She suffered from a severe inferiority complex, was handled by a variety of people who thought they “knew her best.” This may, or may not have led to her untimely death. The film made it very clear that she took pills because others wanted her medicated, but she also drank to take the pain away. Unfortunately, she surrounded herself with the type of people who could only tell her nice things. Perhaps this was a failing on her own part—she just couldn’t take criticism with a grain of salt. What I gathered from the film was that she was a deeply unhappy woman whose only bit of happiness existed when she was stroked and coddled into thinking that she was the best. She was a woman-child and watching that depiction of her was infuriating to me.

That’s the thing, you see. She wasn’t a woman who knew anything about being a woman. She was a woman who knew how to act like a child to get her way. She pouted. She cried. She guilt-tripped and made people trip over themselves to make things better for her. Is that really the kind of woman you want to idolize?

I would much rather idolize a woman like Jane Russell, Marilyn’s co-star from GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES. Now, Ms. Russell was a Republican with a Capital R. She had some crazy things to say in her day, and she was not nearly as popular as Marilyn, but she was a woman who stood up for her beliefs and acted like an adult. Even in the film, which I’ve seen and I loved, she was the woman that I much preferred to be rather than Marilyn. Her lines were spot-on funny and sardonic. Whereas Marilyn’s were based on her child-like innocence and naivete. (That and her voracious appetite for money and security.)

Source: via Brie on Pinterest

If you want to use Marilyn as your icon, then you should remember that the quotes you most often see are not real ones. They’re not attributed to her, there are no historical references to when they’ve said them. And you should probably stop using them, because they’re flawed. If you’re really interested in Marilyn’s bon mots, there are plenty of them out there, and they’re quite good! She was a sassy woman. For instance, when asked what she wears to bed? Her response was simply, “Chanel No. 5.”

Now that’s something to emulate.


As Johnny Cash croons on in the background

You know who my favourite actor is right now?

Guy Pearce.

You know, this guy:

Why? Well, aside from the chiselled jaw, the tousled hair and the piercing eyes (haha, no pun intended…it’s a bad one anyway), I have stumbled upon him in two, not one, TWO movies this year. Before this year, I hadn’t seen him in anything since Memento.

And the best part? He’s played the most interesting characters in both of them.

I’m debating whether or not to tell you which movies they were, Dear Reader. I want you to experience the same thing I did, but I have a sneaking suspicion you just won’t. So what the hey, here’s where I seen him:

1.The Hurt Locker—Valentine’s Day. Movie number two into the I-Hate-Boys-I-Ain’t-Going-Out marathon. After his explosive end FIVE MINUTES INTO THE MOVIE we spend the rest of the thing nursing our third bottle of wine and pacing the room because the movie’s too intense. Now I seem to own it.

2.The Road—not a full week ago. Down-hearted and full of regret and anguish, I take to the streets and come home, tired and defeated. I look up at the Fox marquee, as I always do on my walk home, then look at my watch. Ten minutes until showtime. I let myself cry at the movie. I watched a horrifying scene that I’m proud I watched, despite the disturbance it has no doubt caused me, and then Guy Pearce came along. He came along in his…bad false teeth and stringy wig…came and talked over those teeth, and made me smile.

Thanks, Guy Pearce. You’re the best actor of 2009.

Ode to a Friendship

“You can always come by during the day to pick up your ticket at the box office.”

I looked at her blankly for a moment before replying, “I have a job.”

With that, Kiki and I left the cinemas, once again turned away from the prospect of seeing a free sneak preview.   Sneak previews are mellifluous temptations, but I have yet to actually see a free film.  There’s something wrong in this equation.  Perhaps I ought to give it up entirely, but there’s something that prevents me.  I will get there one day.

No matter. We were in the heart of Yorkville with the entire evening stretching out in front of us. Neither of us really wanted to see anything else (although I have yet to see the spectacle that is Avatar) so we headed across the street and into Hemingway’s.

We ordered appetizers and beer and proceeded to shoot the shit for the next three hours, reveling in each other’s company, reminiscing about spent days and strange nights.  In general, reminding each other why we’re friends.

Both of us have been so busy, and the weather has been so miserable, that it’s not hard to see why we’ve lost touch despite working only a scant twenty feet away from each other.  So it was hard to say goodbye last night and return to the everyday drudgery. The same in-and-out (there’s a joke in there somewhere.)

The good news is that it’s not the last time. Sure, these nights may be few and far between right now, but neither of us is going anywhere. Kiki and I? We’re friends for life.