Marilyn 60 years: the real mystery remains her eternal beauty

Marilyn Monroe (Photo: Elliot Erwitt)

There is something in the beauty of marilyn monroe that seems to escape the logic of the domesticable, of the rational. A kind of metaphysical charm? It is not very clear what it is, and perhaps it is even an illusion, but I insist: there is something that seems not to adapt to the assembly line of stereotypical and massifiable beauties. Something that came up with her and never repeated in the same way. Something that dribbles the algorithms and hits the sensitive viewers squarely. Could it be that overflowing sexuality that never crossed the line of vulgarity? Or that sympathy that whirled in the air and turned to sweetness in a fit? Perhaps the elegance that always remained earthy in her, miles away from solemnity? They are all subjective hypotheses. Each one will have their own. Surely there is something in the beauty of marilyn monroe that persists irrevocably, insurmountable, unalterable, even today, sixty years after his death. Her myth grows bigger every time she appears on the scene, but time plays her trick and takes her away from our present as an image trapped in her time. “I guess I’m a fantasy,” she once said.

In the teaser for BlondeWe see the movie that Netflix will premiere on September 23 in the privacy of the dressing room. He cries in front of the mirror, joins his hands in the form of a prayer and says: “Come, please. Do not leave me”. A bearded man puts makeup on her and comforts her: “She will come.” Directed and adapted by andrew dominicthe film is based on the novel Blond of Joyce Carol Oates published in 2000. The leading actress, the one who gives voice and skin to Marilyn, is the Cuban Anne of Arms. Just a few moving images is enough to say that the choice is almost perfect. The teaser scene takes place in black and white, she looks up, looks at herself in the mirror and something changes, something transforms: from tears and sadness to laughter and joy. As if she remembered who she really is. As a mage herself she can change moods in a snap. We don’t know why she cries or who she waits for; Nor why does she prepare, produce herself, put on makeup, beautify herself. There is something in those seconds of intimacy that portray how the intensity of feelings that this woman emanated reverberated inside her.

"While the city sleeps" (1950)
“While the City Sleeps” (1950)

During the early hours of Saturday, August 4, 1962 marilyn monroe lose life. The autopsy revealed an overdose of sleeping pills. It is unclear if it was suicide or an accident. In The mystery of Marilyn Monroe: the unreleased tapes either. This documentary, also produced by Netflix, directed by Emma Cooper and based on research anthony summers for the 1985 book titled Goddessilluminates the final zone – the people who saw her lying on the bed, some say that she was already lifeless, others that they put her in an ambulance in a coma, the schedules change, the names are modified, nobody wants to talk about more – and the conclusion is that it was the FBI who hid the evidence that would help clarify the fact. Why? Well, at that time Marilyn was having an affair with the Kennedy brothers: one President of the United States, another Attorney General of the Nation. Lately, she had been associated with expatriate communists and, due to her intimate relationship with both of them, she had accessed certain information regarding nuclear tests. The film whispers the idea that the empire wanted her dead.

The classic dress scene in "The seventh year itch" (1955)
The classic dress scene in “The Seventh Year Itch” (1955)

“It didn’t look like his body,” he says. Allan Abbottone of the gravediggers marilyn monroein the book published in 2015. They are, more than chronicles, memories. There she recounts stories, experiences, postcards of famous celebrities. We could translate the title as Sorry about my hearse: a colorful portrait of the meeting between the funeral industry and the entertainment industry in Hollywood. When Abbott talks about her, he is not referring to the mundane condition of having to make up a cold and motionless corpse, no; when he narrates that the body she saw did not resemble marilyn monroe he is saying that beauty can only be appreciated alive, that in death there is no beauty, there is no charm, there is nothing. Perhaps the task that Abbott set for himself in his story has been to deidealize it, to elaborate sensory epigraphs of what it meant for him to see in the presence of what many saw in the postmortem photos. Perhaps his intention behind the morbid game was to explain that beauty materializes in a body and that when that body dies, beauty extinguishes with it.

“She looked like a very old normal woman. Her hair hadn’t been dyed in a while, she hadn’t shaved her legs in at least a week, her lips were badly chapped, and she needed a manicure and pedicure,” she reads in the book. She also: “She was not wearing any underwear and she had small fake breasts, much smaller than the ones she had seen up to that point. She also had false teeth.” that morning, Allan Abbott received a call. He was to go to a mansion in Brentwood and pick up the body of marilyn monroe then take it to the morgue and later bury it. He was in charge of the funeral service, he did this job daily, even with several Hollywood celebrities, what could be different about this case? What was surprising that he had never seen before? 43 years passed before he decided to tell it in a book. Surely the reason was money, but it does not seem to be a sufficient explanation. What side effects will seeing the corpse have in the initial instance of decomposition of the most beautiful woman in the world?

"Someone has to concede" (1964)
“Somebody’s Gotta Give” (1964)

The documentary about “the unreleased tapes” —whose novelty is to reproduce the interviews that Summers did in the mid-eighties and put actors to interpret those voices— emphasizes two traits in Marilyn’s personality that could determine her final depression. On the one hand, the loneliness of childhood. She didn’t know her father; her mother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and she was unable to take care of her upbringing, so she lived most of her childhood between orphanages and foster parents. In the documentary, a friend tells an anecdote about her. He talks about a game at a party —there were several, they were probably drunk—: saying “what they wanted most in the world”. She said they wanted to put on a black wig, pick up her father at a bar and have sex with him. Then she tell him: “How does it feel to have a daughter you’ve made love to?” The other feature, clearly related, is her failed love: the boredom caused by her first husband, the violence of the second, the disappointment of the third and the sadness that caused her. John and Robert Kennedy. The pregnancies that she lost also appear as determinants. Everything is a cocktail.

But the mystery is not only in his death. In the end, marilyn monroe He was a star that faded early, at the age of 36, in an abrupt and colossal way. One of the last iconic images she left on film was in the 1964 film Someone has to concedethat could not be finished, that was left unfinished. She is at night and she is naked at the edge of the pool. She dries her hair spontaneously. A man arrives with a hat, a brown suit, a briefcase; he eats an apple absorbed in her thoughts—probably financial—when he sees her. The word that defines it is: stupefied. So much beauty together, so much charm, he freezes him: first he feels surprise, then a sudden shame that forces him to flee. She laughs, takes her time, then puts on a light blue robe, and dances. Who would have thought that this would be her farewell? It’s the last llama on the big screen. Then: death. She was at the height of her career, in the glare of her eroticism, at a nodal point of experience. Everything that would come after had to be better. The true mystery, that of his beauty, has yet to be revealed by anyone.


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