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    Christina Newland


    Blonde is an extremely dense novel. What brought you to it, and how can you begin thinking about how to structure its adaptation for screen?

    Andrew Dominik It was not my idea of turning it into a movie when I first heard about it back in 2002. I wasn’t particularly interested in the book. There was a story I was keen to tell that dealt with the way that childhood drama influences the perception of an adult of the world. I could see the same thing in Blonde. I’m not sure even whether I was aware of it.

    When the idea was to modify it, it was all about this. I do this things intuitively. It’s like looking through a shattering mirror. It’s small fragments of glass that it recurs and back to specific memories. It’s like being inside someone’s anxiety-ridden thinking process. This is why I had to straighten the situation a bit.

    What can you tell me about the process of re-creating in such detail like the color photographs of Milton Greene [who shot Monroe more than 50 timesin a row]? What are the best way to do it from a technical standpoint?

    There’s a total of 28 addresses for her that we are aware of. Therefore, I went to all these addresses to determine whether they still exist to find out what photographs were shot there. The idea behind the film is to refer back to memories of the entire world. It’s like a strange experience but the meaning of the images differs. The image that she with Arthur Miller at the window is a romantic one however in the film the film, it’s pretty ugly. We are entrapped in our memories of her, and is trying to get out. It’s a film on the unconscious. We can only learn how much she knows because she’s basically living a life that isn’t being examined.

    In terms of Ana de Armas’ incredible transformation, which went beyond makeup and hair What was your method of lighting her up and making sure she looked like Monroe?

    We had all sorts of rules. Ana is more like Marilyn when you’ve got your camera in the upper. If you have an f/50 lens, her facial features – is more like Marilyn’s. We’ve always tried to make her appear like particular pictures of Marilyn. It’s well thought out. I’m not really interested in reality I’m more attracted by the pictures. So I chose every picture from Marilyn I could locate and then set up scenes around these images. You’re constantly talking about them.

    Another major feature of the movie is that it swaps aspect ratios often and change between black and white often, as well. What’s the reasoning behind this?

    There’s no narrative to it. It’s simply based on photos. If a photo was, like it was four by three, then we’ll do it in three dimensions. There’s no logic behind it, except trying to comprehend her lifein a visual way.

    What kind of conversation you had with Ana about embodied Monroe physically as well as psychologically?

    She understood that there’s two tasks The first is humanistic, meaning that they sound and look similar to this. This involves showing people photos and asking, “How can we make her look like this?” Then Ana is trying to learn her habits of speech, her mannerisms. A lot of it changed over the time. When she was first starting out, she would emphasize every syllable. When she’s had acting coach LeeStrasberg] Strasberg and was given the Method It’s a completely different way of acting. Between them, we get that 1950s-style cartoonish way of presenting. Also, there are a few interviews. That’s why Ana is going through all that information. We’re discussing which character is which. We’d then do the scenes with each other; I would go through the different characters and she’d play her role.

    A large portion performances in her film are made up of single takes, much more than I’d ever typically do. In the past] I ended in shaping the performance more than I was able to work with her. The actress was absolutely amazing.

    To be loved by so many women, we do not see Monroe in the movie with numerous close female friendships or relationships. There’s no Jane Russell, or anyone like her.

    That’s how the book reads and I believe that’s exactly as it should be. I believe Marilyn was a man’s girl. I don’t believe she had many female acquaintances. However, I believe she was a woman who did not have many friends. There’s a feeling that we’d like to re-invent her in line with the current political climate. She was, however, someone who was extremely self-destructive.

    My impression is that there’s an space between empowerment and victimhood.

    I believe she was certainly a strong person. However, I don’t think she was destined to be successful in the manner we see it now. With everyone, there are moments of strength and some would like to say that she was in control in her personal life. But she wanted to wreck her life.

    Do you think that in this tale you consider Monroe as a metaphorical vessel for a tale of abuse or trauma in childhood?

    I’ve read all there is to learn concerning Marilyn Monroe. I’ve had conversations with people who had known Marilyn Monroe. I’ve done a ton of research. However, in the end it’s all an issue of the novel. It’s in essence about adjusting the emotions that the book evoked in me. The film is, in a certain way as Joyce’s interpretation of Marilyn and Marilyn, which is in reality Joyce. The movie is about the significance that is Marilyn Monroe. Or perhaps a deeper interpretation. She was a symbol of something. It was believed to be the Aphrodite in the 20th century and the American Goddess of Love. She even killed herself. What is that a reference to?

    Joyce seeks to figure out how she expresses a specific female experience, or specific human experience. It is essential to be able to play loose and fast with the truth to create a narrative driving. There are plenty of psychological processes explored in Blonde as well as a variety in the form of Lacanian and Freudian concepts. It was for me the scenes that I was drawn to. I just went with my gut and wrote it fairly quickly. It wasn’t changed all that much even though it had been being sat over 14 years. I’m aware of the ways this differs from what most people believe was the case. There’s no way to be certain. There’s no way to know what the mess occurred. Therefore, it’s all fiction I believe.

    Do you think that the film helps to dispel or rethink the notion of Monroe being a liar or difficult?

    I’m thinking… it’s the reason the reason. Everyone’s crazy. When we’re discussing Marilyn or reading a book written by Gloria Steinem [Marilyn: Norma Jeane 1988] or Norman Mailer [Marilyn: A Biography, 1973 – the book that Steinem’s book was written as a response totwo of Mailer’s books] Both are fantasies and projections. Marilyn is a type of fantasy that is a rescue. The film is no any different. It’s a fantasy of rescue. We feel an intimate connection to Marilyn’s character. This is the reason we love Marilyn the feeling as if we’re only ones to know. The idea that we could have helped her in some way. Maybe the flip side of this is that it’s a punishment fantasy or sexual fantasy.

    Could you provide more information on the matter?

    She was a strange sex icon since she didn’t need to die at the conclusion (of her films) as an Barbara Stanwyck or a Rita Hayworth. She was an infant. When she sings ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’ it’s as if the advice of a sister, “If you’re gonna fuck, make sure you get paid”? Or is it just romanticized whoredom?

    Alexander is a freelance columnist, feature writer, reporter, and copywriter focusing on all aspects of health and wellness. Contact:

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