Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Date with Judy (1948)

A Date with Judy is a fun, late 40's MGM musical starring Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Powell, among others. The trials of Judy, played by Powell, and her friend, played by Taylor, first came alive through radio programming, according to Imdb. I also stumbled upon an original broadcast via You Tube. It's adorbs! I need more radio stories and girly drama in my life. I also need a boyfriend named Oogie who I call "cad" and who calls me "pearl." Then we can see the "new Tyrone Power picture" together, yadaydayada. 

The film version most likely did its predecessor justice. The music and surprise technicolor (I missed the whole "MGM musical" aspect when I stuck it in my NetFlix queue) aside, I found a small detail delightful:

Carmen Miranda's shoes.

Seriously. They're sick. Wonderbar. You can see them in the trailer below around the two minute mark. Strappy platforms galore! 

Monday, October 10, 2011


I am probably a late viewer, but I totally love both of these! Fashion should always be fun.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Blonde (2001)

While pursuing my English undergraduate degree, I read Joyce Carol Oates' short story "Three Girls." The idea of spotting Marilyn Monroe perusing a used bookstore, clad in menswear, enchanted me. I never forgot the story, and respected Oates' interpretation of a generally oversimplified woman. This oversimplification became more clear to me after I read Marilyn's autobiography, and the much-publisized Fragments earlier this year. Like "Three Girls," these books transformed Marilyn from the "sex-symbol," and the "cute blonde," to someone I wanted to have coffee and discuss Michael Chekhov with. Or we could explicate poetry. I don't know. I just wanted inside her brain. This remains one reason "Three Girls" still counts as my favorite short story.

However, Oates did not leave Marilyn there. She also wrote a novel, Blonde, which I have not read. It seems to further chronicle Oates' interpretation of Marilyn. While not a biography, I have read it attempts to "get inside" Norma Jean Baker, even as she continues the transformation into Marilyn Monroe.  This novel also became a miniseries in 2001, starring Poppy Montgomery as Norma Jean Baker, Patricia Richardson as her mother, Ann-Margret, and Patrick Dempsey. I do not know if many would consider it an "excellent" film, but I appreciate it.

The film begins with a blonde woman in a red dress sprawled across an empty beach, the waves lapping against her. Viewers learn later she is, in fact, "washed up" at this point. But just at that moment, the contrast of her peroxide hair against the dull sand colors caught my attention. She seems so beautiful and out of place. I love visuals like this.

Montgomery fills the image. I find it scary how much she looks and talks like Marilyn. This film excludes scenes of her blown-up skirt during The Seven Year Itch, and instead shows her seeking affection from various characters: her mother (Richardson was also great), Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Miller, and Patrick Dempsey's bizarre, friend-like, character. I like these tender moments. I like seeing Marilyn in a cardigan, black pants, and ballet flats. I like her desperation for motherhood.

Just ... like, and love.

Blonde makes me more curious about My Week with Marilyn, which will release soon. Michelle Williams will probably give a decent performance, but now, I almost do not want a more biographical approach.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Danish, Diamonds, Holly, and Cat

"If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany's, well, I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name!"

One of my favorite movies, Breakfast at Tiffany's, turns 50 years old today. I found out via this NPR article, which, sadly, does not do the film justice, in my opinion. I feel the author oversimplified the film, but whatev. I always found it a wonderful look at how love and relationships develop, among other qualities. Not to mention Holly Golightly remains such a complex (and fabulous) character.

I will give the author credit, though. That girl who hangs the poster above her bed? It was TOTALLY me! Oh hell, it is still me. The poster lives above my dining room table now.

It also has one of the best endings, as well. I cry every time.

I apologize for the short post. Honestly, after writing two college papers, a short story reference, and several film and book reviews, and several more blog posts on the subject, I am not sure what else to write about Breakfast at Tiffany's --- the book or movie. I feel I exhausted it. Fabulous thing, though. I am happy it exists.

I mean, could I have gotten these babies without Holly's influence? I love that woman. She did everything first.