The Actress and the Goddess: Joan Copeland and Marilyn

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Joan Maxine Miller was born to Augusta Barnett, a schoolteacher and housewife, and Isidore Miller, a Polish immigrant and clothing manufacturer, in Manhattan in 1922. She was their youngest child and only daughter, joining her older brothers, nine-year-old Kermit and six-year-old Arthur. While Arthur was his mother’s favourite, Isidore doted on little Joan. “After waiting so long for a girl,” she recalled, “there I was, this pretty angel … I was like a doll.” Continue reading

Peter Bogdanovich: From Marilyn’s Classmate to Hollywood Auteur

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Peter Bogdanovich, the filmmaker, actor and historian, has died of natural causes at home in Los Angeles, aged 82. He was born in Kingston, New York in 1939, to immigrant parents who had recently fled Nazi-occupied Europe. Herma, his mother, was an Austrian-born Jew; while his father Borislav, a painter and pianist, was a Serbian Orthodox Christian. Peter attended classes at the Actors Studio as a teenager, and later studied acting at the Stella Adler Conservatory. Continue reading

2021: A Year in Books

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Among all the great new writing and reissues I’ve found this year, it’s clear that the world of books, like film, is becoming ever more diverse and we are all richer for it. After a long absence, Gayl Jones returned with the monumental Palmares, following a woman’s epic journey from slavery to an embattled free settlement and beyond. Set in 17th century Brazil, this story contains multitudes, offering an extraordinary meditation on the cost of freedom. Continue reading

2021: A Year in Film and TV

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After Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins triumphs again with his serial adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s historical fantasy, The Underground Railroad. As fugitive Cora, actress Thuso Mbedu is a guiding light, with able support from Joel Edgerton and Chase Dillon as her relentless pursuers. This small-screen masterwork is the cinematic event of the year. Continue reading

2021: A Year in Music

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As the world’s big sleep entered its second year, Lana Del Rey turned away from social media and gave us not just one, but two albums: Chemtrails Over the Country Club and Blue Banisters. Continue reading