Liz Smith, the veteran gossip columnist known as the ‘doyenne of dish’, has died aged 94. Continue reading
The gorgeous sepia cover of Art Decades 11, out now, features model Belladonna photographed by Ian Preston Cinnamon, with an extended layout inside. This issue is dedicated to author and filmmaker William Peter Blatty. Elsewhere, Marcelline Block talks to fashion photographer Miles Ladin about his recent exhibition, Supermodels at the End of Time. Editors Jeremy Richey and Kelley Avery list their cultural highlights of 2016, and celebrate their recent move to Denver with a trip to the Fancy Tiger Crafts store. There’s also a profile of hip-hop collective Loyal-T, and another instalment in the popular ‘readers and pets’ series, starring Abigail Evans and her black cat, Boo.
Finally, I’ve been lucky enough to interview one of my busiest writer friends, Michelle Morgan, who has published biographies of Thelma Todd, Carole Lombard, Marilyn Monroe and Madonna. Art Decades 11 is available now via Amazon, priced at £9.60 (UK) or $13 (USA.)
The cover shoot for Art Decades‘ tenth issue, out now, has a Log Lady meets Readers’ Wives vibe, and the green font gives a nod to the upcoming return of Twin Peaks. ‘Puyallup Suburban Chic’ is shot by filmmaker Kimberly Kane, starring actress Lily LaBeau. Their collaboration evokes memories of Bunny Yeager’s 1950s work with Bettie Page.
Dedicated to the late Leonard Cohen, Volume 10 features two more striking pictorials. John Levy’s ethereal ‘Veiled Valentine’ is accompanied by lines from ‘Dance Me to the End of Time.’ Kelley Richey’s ‘A Well-Read Woman is a Dangerous Creature’, shot at Black Swan Books in Lexington, reminded me of the bookstore scene from The Big Sleep.
‘Keep All the Animals Warm’ is the first in a new series of layouts celebrating readers and their pets. Elsewhere, there’s ‘Famous People Dead’, a short story from Les Bohem, set in Pere LaChaise cemetery in Paris; conversations with filmmakers Nick Hunt, whose debut horror, Safe Place, will be released this fall; and the writer and director of acclaimed Italian satire, Pecore in Erba. Marcio Lima talks about his Los Angeles-based clothing line, The Sellout, and Jeremy Richey interviews Bill Ackerman, whose Supporting Characters podcast is a regular on the Now Playing Network. In my favourite article this time around, Jeremy explores the underrated ‘blaxploitation’ films of Gordon Parks Jr., son of the great American photographer.
As 2015 draws to a close – and this blog approaches her eighth birthday – I’ve been reflecting on a milestone year: from the reissue of The Mmm Girl and my inclusion in Fan Phenomena: Marilyn Monroe, to the publication of Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed, and my continuing association with Art Decades magazine.
But before I head back to the salt mines, I’d like to thank all my readers for supporting me. Wishing you all a wonderful 2016: and don’t forget to check out my annual picks in music, books, movies and TV.
This latest edition also includes a twenty-page interview with Miranda Lee Richards, and two photo-shoots inspired by her music; a look back at Elvis Presley’s last movie, Change of Habit, and 10cc’s How Dare You; and Marcelline Block’s interviews with author Mikita Brottman, and filmmaker Zach Weintraub.
A portion of this issue’s proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood. If you’d like to subscribe to Art Decades, click here.
Out now, the third issue of Art Decades magazine is the best yet. Highlights include interviews with two of music’s outliers. Viv Albertine, former guitarist of all-girl punk band The Slits, is now a solo artist. She published a widely-praised memoir in 2014. Maria McKee is a Californian singer-songwriter, who fronted country rock band Lone Justice, and topped the UK charts with ‘Show Me Heaven’ in 1990. She now makes music for film with her partner, director Jim Akin.
On the subject of women in music, my review of Lana Del Rey’s latest album, Ultraviolence, is also featured. There is something of a David Bowie theme to this issue, which can never be a bad thing. Edward Bell, who designed several of Bowie’s album covers – from Scary Monsters to the ill-fated Tin Machine – is interviewed, and there is also a stunning pictorial inspired by Bowie’s 1999 song, ‘The Pretty Things Are Going to Hell.’
A short interview with myself is included in an article about Marcelline Block’s new book, Fan Phenomena: Marilyn Monroe. Superfans Megan Owen and Marco van der Munnik share their stories, and a long, fascinating interview with Los Angeles-based impersonator Holly Beavon is also included. Marilyn is also mentioned elsewhere, as an influence on Serena Czarnecki, an adult film star of the 1970s who has re-emerged as an artist and author.
While £15.48 (the current price on Amazon UK) may seem like a lot, Art Decades is filled with beautiful imagery and unique insights about music, film and artists who are mostly ignored, or (as in Marilyn and Lana’s case) misunderstood, and yet have inspired so many of us. Published quarterly, it is both a niche publication, and truly egalitarian. Unlike other, mass-market magazines, it is purely content-driven and doesn’t rely on copious advertising. It also has more to offer than a lot of similarly-priced books.
You can buy single issues on Amazon worldwide, or buy direct from the Art Decades website, with options to subscribe. A portion of the proceeds from sales of this issue will be donated to Belongto.org, a charity supporting young LGBTs – so you know it’s all in a good cause.
‘Fan Phenomena’ is an ongoing series from Intellect Books, a Bristol-based publisher with an international outlook. Since 2013, they have covered a variety of subjects with huge fan followings – including sci-fi movie franchises and TV shows, as well as more cultish offerings like Twin Peaks and The Big Lebowski. Fictional characters, such as Sherlock Holmes, and celebrities including Audrey Hepburn, have also been re-examined – with figures as diverse as Jane Austen and James Dean projected as future titles.
Marcelline Block, who has edited numerous books related to film, approached me in 2012 – a year which marked the fiftieth anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death, reviving public interest in her life and personality. From the outset, Marcelline showed the utmost respect for both Marilyn and her admirers. In contrast to many in the mainstream media, she understands that fans are not just ‘geeks’, and their knowledge and creativity helps to keep art alive. The result is a quirkier, more intimate look at the icon than is generally depicted.
Fan Phenomena: Marilyn Monroe combines academic essays about how Marilyn is being represented today – including her Youtube presence, influence on contemporary fashion, and recent portrayals in the biopic My Week With Marilyn, and the TV series Smash – and interviews with fans, including collectors Scott Fortner and Melinda Mason, impersonator Suzie Kennedy, memorabilia expert Marijane Gray, and fan-club owner Mary Sims. These personal testimonies were a highlight for me, partly because over the years, we have all supported each other in different ways.
My own contribution is an extract from The Mmm Girl, focusing on Marilyn’s love affair with the camera. I have also been interviewed for an article about Fan Phenomena, published in the latest issue of Art Decades (of which more later.) While Fan Phenomena: Marilyn Monroe is not a biography, it brings new insight to Marilyn’s undying appeal, and provides an up-to-date companion piece for earlier cultural studies like American Monroe and The Immortal Marilyn.
Art Decades is a new print magazine featuring a variety of perspectives on everything from film to music to fashion, and beyond, from a large number of writers from all over the world. I’m delighted that my article, ‘Pauline Boty: Pop Artist and Woman’, is featured in the second issue.
Created by Kelley and Jeremy Richey (who runs the Moon in the Gutter blog), Art Decades also includes a cover story on The Raveonettes; an interview with Mary Woronov, and a profile of Cannon Films’ Menahem Golan; tributes to Lou Reed and Joy Division; art by Jeanie Laub, and photography by Whitley Brandenburg and Dylan Staley.
It’s a beautiful magazine, and I’m proud to be a part of it. Buy now from Amazon UK for £9.33; on Amazon US; or direct via Paypal, from the Art Decades website. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, in memory of actress Marie Dubois.