Sunday, February 24, 2008

"My Girl"

Earlier this week, one of my co-workers (the one who met Marilyn Monroe back in the '50s!) was reading the New York Times, and he mentioned off-handedly to me, "Looks like your girl's in trouble." I immediately put down my pencil and laser-focused on him: "What? WHAT? Is Lindsay OK??" Good lord, but I'm a big dork! He knew that I supported Hillary Clinton and he was only talking about her loss in Wisconsin and how things were looking rough for her politically. Everybody else in the room (including me) laughed at me, 'cause I had such the panic attack! ;p (Gawd, next thing you know, I'll be on YouTube, sobbing "Leave Lindsay alone!")

A couple of days later, I also got an e-mail from my dad using the exact same language---"Your girl seems to be in trouble in Texas. Did you watch the debate?" This time, I knew who he was talking about so didn't freak. (But no, I hadn't watched the Thursday CNN debate that took place at my alma mater, UT-Austin, since I'd opted to see yet another one of "my girls" instead---Joan Crawford in "Female on the Beach" playing at the Chelsea!)

It's been a busy couple of weeks for "my girls"---Hillary with her campaign travails; Joan in "Vanity Fair" and the NYTimes, plus her new DVD and book releases; Lindsay's "Marilyn" spread in "New York" magazine, plus her cover and "super-hero" photo shoot for "Harper's Bazaar."

What's the connection between the three of them that attracts me to them? Certainly Hillary's no glamour girl, like Joan or Lindsay (though I do think she's attractive and would sleep with her!), nor does she seem to have that public slightly decadent edge that I like so. But I think they all definitely have INTENSITY in common, however differently that manifests itself in each woman. Both Joan and Hillary are prime examples of absolute focus and discipline---"Here's the goal. Now what do I need to do to get there?" Both in highly risky fields that require an extraordinary amount of sheer talent and will-power and luck and brains. I love listening to Hillary Clinton talk in debates because I'm wow'd by her knowledge of the issues and intelligence. When I listen to her, I always think, "What an utterly sane and intelligent and competent person." I trust her. Plus, from what I've read from her close associates (and from what I gather from wild-man Bill's decision to stick around for the long-haul), she's fun and interesting in personal conversation, as well.

Now, with those Other Two...! ;p I certainly can't say that I think either Joan or Lindsay are "utterly sane," however gorgeous they are! But Joan's mastery of her craft and devotion to it, and her willingness to compete for roles and not back down in the face of a myriad of obstacles, are also admirable and attractive to me, as is her hustling up roles for herself once the powers-that-be considered her past her prime. And how in her latter years she worked the TV and business markets, proving herself competent in areas beyond "just" movie stardom.

As for Lindsay: At 21, it's hard to tell whether she will last, other than a gut feeling that's based, embarrassing to admit, almost solely on how she photographs. She's beautiful, yes, but there's also an ongoing subtext of darkness/depth in her eyes, regardless of who's shooting or in what setting. As with Joan, the camera absolutely loves her and brings out a side of her that may not be so evident in interviews. (Though Joan's depth was also definitely and explicitly revealed in/after her decades of film work. Lindsay, at 21, has only hinted at her talent by being pleasing onscreen. But think for a second: At age 21, Joan's latest films were "The Boob," "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp," and "Paris." Hardly memorable. She didn't break through until "Our Dancing Daughters" in 1928, when she was 23. And didn't get respect until '31/'32, with "Possessed," "Grand Hotel," "Letty Lynton," and "Rain." And didn't become a true box-office star until a couple of years after that.)

I was in a drug-store today and came across the new Harper's Bazaar with Lindsay. I was flipping through it, just to see, not planning on buying it. But the photos were absolutely amazing! The theme was fun (Lindsay with various superheroes) and cleverly done (Lindsay in the laundry with Captain America/in front of a 99-cent store with the Incredible Hulk/walking baby Spidey with Spiderman). I ended up having to have the pictures and bought a cheap montage frame in the same store. And at home, after a few minutes of trimming, had my first "art" for my new apartment! (If I'd been 13, I would've just ripped the magazine pages out and taped them to my bedroom walls!) Unfortunately, the limitations of the "montage frame" meant I had to cut out the superheroes who appeared with Lindsay---they made the photos great, but I guess the point was, I wanted some representation of her neat-looking face up on my walls, and I couldn't find arty shots online anywhere! I'm including my framed shots in my apartment here, but you should really see the actual shots from Harper's:

And speaking of magazine shots... I wasn't really that impressed with the "Lindsay-as-Marilyn" shots from "New York" magazine. Aside from displaying that she has a great body (!), I don't think LL is very Marilyn-like at all. I personally find LL sensual, but in a much harder way than Marilyn's style of sensuality. Many of the photos in this shoot I thought looked downright harsh or just plain bad, considering the theme. Here's the link to the actual article/spread:

Very brave of her to attempt to replicate an icon's last shoot, but it didn't seem that Lindsay's personal style was suited for it. Her face, at only 21, already reveals a soul decades older than Marilyn's at 36. The girl needs to start looking to Joan, whose shoots through the years consistently revealed a "timeless" quality and were "arty" as opposed to "cheesecake." (The Bert Stern photos of Marilyn weren't that great to begin with. Marilyn looked tired and far from fresh. Interesting to me that the article revealed that LL had rented an apartment of Marilyn's and that she had a "cartoony" painting of Marilyn, with pill bottle, up on her walls. As I said, that ain't the way to go...Seems that LL's trying to hook into something that isn't at all a good fit for her.)

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