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Gary Vitacco-Robles: Icon: The Life, Times, & Films of Marilyn Monroe, Vol 1–2 (books)

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Queen Elizabeth II met Marilyn Monroe on 29 October 1956 at the Royal Command Performance of The Battle of the River Plate directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Both queens were 30 years old. Marilyn Monroe visited the set of El ángel exterminador at the Churubusco Studios on 1 March 1962. She met Luis Buñuel but there does not seem to exist a photograph of the two together. http://www.infobibliotecas.com/es/blog/el-angel-exterminador-bibliotecario-ii/ Gary Vitacco-Robles: Icon: The Life, Times, and Films of Marilyn Monroe: Volume 1 – 1926 to 1956 . Albany, GA: BearManor Media, 2015. 712 p. ISBN: 9781593937942. Gary Vitacco-Robles: Icon: The Life, Times, and Films of Marilyn Monroe: Volume 2 – 1956 to 1962 . Duncan, Oklahoma: Bear Manor Media, 2014. 884 s. ISBN: 9781593937782. Where others read detective fiction I read Marilyn Monroe books. Because of their wildly incompatible approaches they have to be taken with a Rashomon attitude. (The screenwriter of Rashomon, Shinobu Hashimoto, just died at the age of 100). But I have not been diligent recently and thus have missed the best, Gary Vitacco-Robles's Icon, in two volumes and almost 1600 pages. It is by far the best Marilyn Monroe biography ever, but for her career as an actress I would recommend Barbara Leaming and Carl Rollyson, and for her star image, Sarah Churchwell. I started from Volume 2 and register here a few points that I did not know or had forgotten. BRIGITTE BARDOT In the Royal Command Performance of The Battle of the River Plate in London in 1956 Brigitte Bardot, who had just become world famous thanks to ...And God Created Woman met Marilyn Monroe for the first and only time. Her remark: "That evening was one of the most important ones in my life, above all, because I was finally able to see Marilyn in the flesh and blood. She wasn't as I had imagined her; you could see that she was fragile besides being very beautiful. I've never seen an ethereal beauty like hers again. She actually looked luminous, her sheer presence made you hold your breath". LUIS BUÑUEL In March 1962, during her visit to Mexico, she met Luis Buñuel on the set of The Exterminating Angel. "Marilyn stood behind the camera as Buñuel took over from an animal handler and taught the bear to emit a growl while it perched on a swinging chandelier. The director seemed more patient coaching the beast than his human actors" (Vitacco-Robles II, p. 425). "Marilyn told Buñuel the scene was superb and jokingly asked if he had whispered into the bear's ear for motivation for the scene". Vitacco-Robles is quoting Marsha Kinder's account of their dialogue as they talked about the meaning of the scene. "It means that the growls a bear makes while hanging on a chandelier make more sense than all the noise of the tiresome, uncaring people trapped in the room", said Monroe. "They embraced; it was a meeting of the minds. 'Now you tell me,' Buñuel said, 'how do you see life?' 'I see life as long, meaningless...' Marilyn began as the sound of a plane roared overhead. 'Talking, everybody just talking... obviously.'" ANDY WARHOL On Saturday, 4 August 1962, Andy Warhol was in Los Angeles for his first solo show of Pop Art, displaying his Campbell's Soup silkscreens. Next morning he woke up to hear the news of Monroe's death. AYN RAND Ayn Rand was quick to comment on Monroe's death. "She preserved her vision of life through a nightmare struggle, fighting her way to the top. What broke her was the discovery, at the top, of as sordid an evil as the one she had left behind – worse, perhaps, because it was incomprehensible. She had expected to reach the sunlight; she found, instead, a limitless swamp of malice... An actress, dedicated to her art with passionate earnestness... who went through hell to make her own boundaries, to offer people the sunlit universe of her own vision... but who was ridiculed for her desire to play serious parts... " (Ayn Rand: "Through Your Most Grievous Fault", Los Angeles Times, 19 August 1962, excerpted by Vitacco-Robles). Ayn Rand had Hollywood experience since the 1920s. Her first book, published in the Soviet Union in 1925, was a monograph on Pola Negri.

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