WEIRDLAND: October 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Marilyn Monroe and Jean Harlow ("She's my best friend")

"To Marilyn, Jean Harlow was more than a hero: Harlow's life was in many ways a blueprint of her own.
Born on March 3, 1911 in Kansas City, Harlean Carpenter was known simply as "The Baby" when growing up with her maternal grandparents. Like so many of Hollywood's most memorable sex symbols, Harlow often played the parts of dangerous, sexually charged women with flaws that mirrored her own nature and history.
Harlow's break into the movies came in 1928, when she began to pick up roles as an extra. Then in 1930, Howard Hughes put her in "Hell's Angels", in which Harlow stole the show with her sly and assured sexuality. Frank Capra made history when his lingering shots of her body in "Platinum Blonde" (1931). During the brief period when young Norma Jeane lived with her mother, and best friend Grace Goddard she was often taken to see her screen idol Harlow in movies like; Dinner at Eight (1933), Bombshell (1933), and The Girl From Missouri (1934). Harlow's last movie, opposite Clark Gable, was Saratoga (1937). She died on June 7, 1937, aged just twenty-six, from complications of uremic poisoning (acute nephritis).
The parallels in the lives of Monroe and Harlow are overwhelming: both were brought up by strict Christian Scientists (in Norma Jeane's case, her beloved foster parent, Ana Lower); both were married three times; both left school at sixteen to marry their first husbands (Harlow eloped with a millionaire); both spent their lives seeking out their father; and both died in tragic and some say suspicious circumstances. They both acted opposite Clark Gable in the last film they ever made. Intrigingly, Gable once said of Harlow, "She didn't want to be famous, she wanted to be happy," a quote that can be equally applied to Marilyn.
Both of them tested the morals of their days by posing nude, flaunting their bodies, and eschewing underwear; both of them acted under their mother's maiden names. Each lived on North Palm Drive at one point in their lives. Marilyn, like Harlow, had to go on a one woman strike to improve her extremely unfavorable contract terms and payment rates at the height of her popularity. The parallels continue even at the end of their lives; both actresses were regularly prescribed sedatives by their doctors; just months before both actresses died, they went to a presidential birthday celebration (Harlow went to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's birthday ball, Marilyn to President John Kennedy's), for which they were reprimanded by their studios.After she had become a star, Marilyn became ruefully aware of the striking similarities in their lives. In 1957 she told Milton Greene: "I kept thinking of her, rolling over the facts of her life in my mind. It was kind of spooky, and sometimes I thought, am I making this happen? But I don't think so. We just seemed to have the same spirit or something, I don't know. I kept wondering if I would die young like her, too."
Although Marilyn never managed to fulfil her long-held dream of playing Harlow on screen, she did pose as her hero for photographer Richard Avedon in 1958, as part of a screen goddesses series. In his commentary on the photographs, Arthur Miller expressed his own personal preference for her homage to Harlow, which she portrayed "not so much by wit, as by her deep sympathy for that actress's tragic life."
Clark Gable, who acted opposite Jean Harlow in five films, compared the two actresses after working with Marilyn on The Misfits (1961): "Harlow was always very relaxed, but this girl is high-strung, and she worries more - about her lines, her appearance, her performance. She is constantly trying to improve as an actress."Even in death Marilyn emulated her heroine. The flowers delivered every week to her grave by Joe DiMaggio were the fulfillment of a promise he had made to Marilyn that he would be as devoted to her as William Powell had been to Harlow. Powell regularly sent flowers to his love's resting place in Forrest Lawn". Source:

A video dedicated to Marilyn Monroe, with an intro of the original platinum bombshell: Jean Harlow.

Songs "She's my best friend" by Lou Reed and "Flowers of memory" by Lambchop.

Michelle Williams characterized as Marilyn Monroe on the set of "My week with Marilyn" (2011) Michelle Williams in Grazia french magazine (2010)

Happy Halloween 2010!

Jake Gyllenhaal on the cover of Esquire magazine, December 2010 issue

Jake Gyllenhaal having lunch with Busy Phillips in Beverly Hills on 29th October 2010. Pictures by

"On a recent JetBlue flight from L.A. to Boston, a source says a female flight attendant slipped single Gyllenhaal a note on a napkin, inviting him to hang out with the crew. "He came back to chat with everyone for the rest of the flight", says the source. They were shocked!" -US Weekly

"French costume designer Jean Louis was known for dressing Hollywood royalty -- from Rita Hayworth to Marilyn Monroe -- but he also dressed flight attendants for United Airlines.
Mejia said many airlines had physical requirements and weight restrictions for its flight attendants. One went so far as to insist that its stewardesses keep identical hairstyles, wear the same brand of makeup and matching nail polish.
"They had to be single, they had to be gorgeous", Mejia said. "Some airlines required you to have good legs. There were very physical requirements."
Jet Setter Sexy Adult Flight Attendant Halloween Costume

The sexist rules changed with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Stewardesses challenged the industry and were successful in removing discriminatory policies based on sex, race, age, weight and marital status.Leonardo DiCaprio surrounded by flight attendants in "Catch me if you can" (2002)

It was during the '70s that the term "stewardess" was changed to "flight attendant" as men began joining the profession". Source:

"This Halloween, forget dressing up as a buxom bunny or tempting tigress.Those animal outfits have nothing on transforming yourself into a sex kitten like Marilyn Monroe. But how do you bring 1960s starlet style to 2010? Mad Men Costume designer Janie Bryant, whose style guide, The Fashion File , was released October 25th , offers some advice". Source:

More ideas for Halloween:
Marilyn Monroe with pumpkinsVeronica LakeBetty GrableScott Pilgrim Pumpkin

Some celebrities in their Halloween customes:
Judd Apatow, Leslie Mann and Will Ferrell.Jamie Lee CurtisAnne HathawayAmanda SeyfriedMichelle TrachtenbergAlyssa MilanoKate BeckinsaleMolly SimsParis Hilton

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal/Natalie Portman: Love and other drugs/impossible pursuits

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Jamie Randall in "Love and other drugs" (2010)

"In the romantic comedy, which opens Nov. 24, Jake Gyllenhaal goes to great lengths to sell pharmaceuticals, including sleeping with a medical office receptionist, stealing a competitor's samples and lining up dates for doctors. His career gets a boost when he begins to sell Viagra, Pfizer's famous blue pill.The movie, directed by Ed Zwick ("Glory," TV's "Thirtysomething"), is based on a memoir by Jamie Reidy called "Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman."
Mr. Zwick said the love story in the movie is invented, but that the setting is based on fact. The filmmaker said he consulted doctors and pharmaceutical salespeople to get the details right. "Love & Other Drugs" takes place in the 1990s, around the time that the Food and Drug Administration both approved Viagra and relaxed policies on advertising to consumers. "Suddenly the amount of money spent in drug advertising, and the amount made in sales, skyrocketed," Mr. Zwick said.
In the film, sales reps discuss pushing products for unapproved, or off-label, uses. In 2009, Pfizer pleaded guilty to improperly marketing its products and agreed to pay a $2.3 billion penalty. "Some of those abuses are detailed in the movie," Mr. Zwick said.A Pfizer spokesperson said that the company hadn't viewed "Love & Other Drugs" and therefore couldn't comment on its content. "That said, we do not condone the sales practices portrayed in the movie trailer," the spokesperson said. "They do not conform to our policies and procedures, which hold our employees to high ethical standards." Source:

Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal as Grace Cahill and Tommy Cahill in "Brothers" (2009)

Natalie Portman as Emilia Greenleaf in "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits" (2009)

"Based on the novel by Ayelet Waldman, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits casts Natalie Portman as Emelia Greenleaf - a successful thirtysomething attorney who attempts to cope with a staggering personal loss while also attempting to mend her fractured relationship with her precocious stepson (Charlie Tahan's William). Filmmaker Don Roos does a consistently superb job of adapting Waldman's book for the big screen, yet there's little doubt that the writer/director's reliance on flashbacks initially wreaks a fair amount of havoc on the movie's momentum. It's not until the backstory has been dealt with that Love and Other Impossible Pursuits really gets going, with Portman's affecting and downright compelling performance ensuring that Emelia inevitably becomes an undeniably sympathetic figure - which, given the character's prickly demeanor at the outset, is certainly no small feat". Source: