Happy birthday, Marilyn Monroe. The iconic sex symbol would have been 88 years old today. In the years since Monroe’s death in 1962, candid photos of the blonde bombshell have surfaced that reveal a different side to the glamorous starlet who seemed to adore the cameras. Tousled, intimate portraits of Marilyn without her familiar sheen of lipstick, deeply engrossed in books and allowing us a glimmer of her everyday life suggested the actress was much more than her “dumb blonde” persona. Marilyn was doing the no makeup selfie before Gwyneth. She showed a passion for good food and felt comfortable in her own body (most of the time) before Hollywood’s current everywoman Jennifer Lawrence made a show of it. The actress craved respect, but she was unafraid to be playful and goofy. And sometimes she just didn’t give a damn. We have the photo evidence to prove it.
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Nostalgia’s a strange habit for an undead creature, but that doesn’t stop Adam, a vampire rocker in Jarmusch’s latest, from keeping a curmudgeonly lament on permanent simmer. People—i.e., humans—just never learn when it comes to preserving culture, or the Earth. His pale partner, Eve, retains a sense of wonder, and patience, and she knows how to flick gently at his pessimism: “How can you have lived so long and still not get it?” Yet theirs is still a “marriage of true minds,” to quote Shakespeare, or Marlowe, as Jarmusch playfully has it, in this tender, and perhaps personal, romance.
Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) belong to each other but they also belong to a rare breed, revived. If Jarmusch filters the West through Blake in Dead Man and remixes samurai codes in Ghost Dog, here he taps the conceit of the vampire as oldest-of-old-school hipster, communing with artists across the ages. When the nocturnal film begins, drone rocker Adam is laying low in the photographically popular ruin of Detroit. Eve leaves bohemian Tangier to join him in his crumbling mansion pad, crammed with rare guitars and vinyl. Adam knew Byron; he and Eve were dead before it was cool. For bloodwork, the couple drinks only “the good stuff” with druggie abandon; a hypnotic opening overhead shot is a ringer for a scene of post-high bliss. The biggest downer is when Eve’s kid sister visits from (shudder) LA and wrecks everything.
In a recent article for The A.V. Club, writer Jesse Hassenger argues that the Johnny Depp backlash is “nonsense,” because for the past decade, since he’s been a big movie star with a brand like Pirates of the Caribbean as his focal point, he’s had the same ratio of hits to duds.
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“Do women have to be naked to get into U.S museums?” When the feminist group Guerilla Girls asked this question in 1989, they pointed to an obvious but oddly glossed-over fact: history of art is full of naked people, most of them women. And if it weren’t for an art-historical tradition of viewing the unclothed figure as artfully, aesthetically, unerotically “nude”—rather than plain naked—the lofty halls of the Met would fall afoul of obscenity laws. Actually, why hasn’t it? On the occasion of No Clothes, Grace Coddington’s curated auction of nudes, we explore the difference between naked and nude and take a look at the history of the unclothed body.