Marilyn Monroe: Auction of a Lifetime


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These rare stills are taken from amateur footage filmed in July 1960 by Frieda Hull, one of the fabled ‘Monroe Six’, as Marilyn arrived in New York to make test shots for The Misfits. Miss Hull’s vast archive of candid images went under the hammer at Julien’s Auctions last November, alongside never-seen items from the Lee Strasberg estate and movie costumes collected by David Gainsborough Roberts, in the largest dedicated sale since the Christie’s auction of 1999. This one-off event – raising $11 million in total bids – was the subject of a recent Channel 4 documentary, Marilyn Monroe: Auction of a Lifetime, which I’ve reviewed at Immortal Marilyn.

At the time of writing, the programme is still available to watch online. And if you’re looking for a more detailed view of the sale, I also wrote a series of reports on my Marilyn-only blog, ES Updates.


Art Decades 10: Lana’s ‘Honeymoon’ and More


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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.


Finally, my review of Lana Del Rey’s third album, Honeymoon, comes right on time as her fourth is due this year. Art Decades 10 is available from Amazon (UK price £12.17, or $15 in the US.)

Merry Christmas to All My Readers!


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Thanks to my readers for your continued support and have a very happy holiday, whether you’re at home, at work or far away. (And if all you want for Christmas is to settle down with a good book, Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed is now available on Kindle.)

2016: A Year in Fiction


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This extraordinary second novel from Eimear McBride charts the unlikely romance of a young Irish drama student and a world-weary actor, set in gritty, hedonistic North London during the 1990s. Together the lovers confront their demons, and the narrative is both emotionally brutal and often highly erotic. Continue reading

2016: A Year In Non-Fiction


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British journalist Gary Younge has a sharp eye for how political events impact on ordinary lives. While living in Chicago, he investigated the stories behind the blunt statistics of ten children and teenagers shot dead in a single day. Never intrusive, but quietly devastating, Another Day in the Death of America illuminates with rare power. Continue reading

2016: A Year On Film


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My favourite films this year were homegrown, showcasing what British cinema does best – not plummy period pieces, half-baked gangster flicks or corny rom-coms, but cutting-edge dramas with true grit. Continue reading

2016: A Year In Music


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2016 has been a year marked by loss: David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen, to name but three giants who have left the stage. Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, spoke directly to our troubled times. Continue reading

So Long, Leonard Cohen…


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I first heard his music while watching Robert Altman’s anti-Western, McCabe and Mrs Miller, in Camden during the late eighties. That cinema is now long-gone, but the film – made not long before I was born – left a lasting impression. Continue reading