Docs & Film Festivals

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Last sitting

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death and it´s fitting to dedicate this post to documentaries about the icon. Monroe was 36 years old when she died and to this day many questions remain unanswered about her death. Autopsy lead to the conclusion that her death was most likely a suicide. Latest news that FBI no longer has any files on the late actress has even raised more questions but recently The Associated Press attempted to get the files on Monroe from FBI under the Freedom of Information Act.


Monroe was and still is adored by many. Her death came as a shock to her fans and those who got to know her. One of them was photographer Bert Stern who photographed her for Vogue magazine at the Bel Air Hotel just six weeks before her death. These photographs remain some of the most iconic photographs of Monroe. Stern was very taken by Monroe and in the documentary Bert Stern: Original Madman (dir. by Shannah Laumeister, 2011) he talks about the photo session and working with his favorite muse.  The film has been traveling between film festivals around the world screening at IDFA in 2011, Telluride Film Festival 2011, Palm Springs International Film Festival earlier this year. Upcoming film festivals include The New Zealand International Film Festival (ongoing), Taiwan  International  Documentary  Festival (October) and Bergen International Film Festival (October). As for theatrical release, the film will be released theatrically March 2013 in the US in  New York, LA, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle, with a potentially wider release. The documentary is currently available at Arte’s website and free to watch so don´t miss it.

Another documentary about the photographers in Monroe´s life is Marilyn Monroe: Still Life (2006), a part of American Masters series broadcasted on the American PBS channel. The documentary is being rerun tonight at 8:00pm (ET).

Marilyn, the last sessions is yet another documentary about Monroe. The documentary is largely based on recordings and transcripts from the sessions Monroe had with her Freudian psychoanalyst Ralph Greenson and their relationship.

The stills with this post are from the Huffington Post and press photos for Bert Stern: Original Madman. Following is the trailer for the film well as the first part of Marilyn Monroe: Still life  and Marilyn, the last sessions both available on You Tube.

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