Bert Stern, the fashion and art photographer known for his pictures in Vogue and Look magazines in the 1950s and ’60s, died at his home in New York on Tuesday at the age of 83. While celebrated for his skills as a compelling ad man and a master portraitist of major Hollywood film stars, Stern was perhaps best known for shooting the famous “last sitting” of Marilyn Monroe, at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, two months before the actress passed away. … Read More
Few things are as entertaining as a bootleg version of something great; as such, these early versions of iconic film and TV characters are fascinating. Vulture dug up an insanely entertaining archival interview with Orson Welles. Completed several months before his death, the insanely entertaining archival interview with Orson Welles that Vulture dug… Read More
She embodied the stereotypical persona of the “dumb blonde,” but Marilyn Monroe was no dummy. Today is the actress’ birthday. Most people remember Marilyn as the bombshell with the bedroom eyes, but later stories and personal documents revealed a complex woman who was intellectually curious, poetic, bright, and yes, sometimes sad and deeply emotional. As Monroe’s best friend and former roommate Shelley Winters put it: “If she’d been dumber, she’d have been happier.” We could talk about Monroe’s genuine love for books (she tended to a large personal library), her impressive IQ (reportedly 168), or we could cite those close to her who confirmed that her “Monroeisms” were no studio invention, but instead we’ll let her words speak for themselves. Head past the break to enjoy a collection of quotes from the pop culture icon that proves there was more to the woman behind the dazzling and seductive Hollywood facade. … Read More
“Poets don’t draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently,” Jean Cocteau once said. When examining the handwritten poems of famous authors — those made popular by their texts and several famous for other art forms — there is an unparalleled intimacy that typed words cannot convey. Many of these poems were born from spontaneous bursts of creativity or late-night meditations, unsparing and instinctive in thought. Words are ostensibly silent, but these handwritten poems speak volumes about their creators. See what poets put pen to paper and revealed their inner worlds. … Read More
The words “little black book” conjure all kinds of salacious ideas about jet-setting playboys and Hollywood madams. The earliest black book may be Harris’ List of Covent Garden Ladies — a directory of 18th-century prostitutes working in London that sold thousands of copies annually. Since then, the little black book has evolved into more of a straightforward address book. Depending on your style, it can be a free-form collage of facts and memories about those you meet, or a rigid, alphabetized list of names and numbers. We recently spotted Marlon Brando’s little black book on Tumblr, which we feature after the jump. Fascinated by the handwriting, worn pages, and contents, we went searching for other black books kept by pop culture icons. See what fascinating observations, secrets, and contacts we found hiding between pages, below. … Read More
This week marks the 32nd anniversary of Rolling Stone’s famous cover featuring a portrait of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, photographed by Annie Leibovitz. It was the last professional photo captured of the iconic musician, who was killed hours later outside his apartment in New York City. We’re discounting the chilling image fan Paul Goresh took of Lennon and Chapman that fateful morning.
“What is interesting is she said she’d take her top off and I said, ‘Leave everything on’ — not really preconceiving the picture at all,” Leibovitz told the magazine. “Then he curled up next to her and it was very, very strong. You couldn’t help but feel that he was cold and he looked like he was clinging on to her. I think it was amazing to look at the first Polaroid and they were both very excited. John said, ‘You’ve captured our relationship exactly. Promise me it’ll be on the cover.’ I looked him in the eye and we shook on it.”
Leibovitz had only planned to photograph Lennon, but the image of the couple turned out to be one of her most famous portraits and would define one of the most talked about relationships in pop culture history. We scouted for other fascinating photographs that perhaps offer some insight into the final days of famous people. See more photos after the jump. … Read More
Earlier this month, we stumbled across Carolyn Kellogg’s great article about Bernie Madoff’s book collection, parts of which are being sold slowly on eBay by the person who won Madoff’s books in an auction. Sure, the books someone has may not be as great an indicator of their personality as, er, some other things we know about them, but, nerds that we are, we tend to consider our libraries extensions of ourselves. So of course, we did a little digging, pouring through the collections of famous (or infamous) cultural icons and see what they were made of. After the jump, browse through our excerpts of the private libraries of everyone from Darwin to Houdini to Oprah, and draw your conclusions where you may. … Read More
One day in 1955, a 14-year-old boy’s dream came true. Bronx high-school student Peter Mangone had cut classes to stake out Marilyn Monroe’s hotel with an eight-millimeter movie camera, and got far more than he bargained for when the star invited him to accompany her entourage as they wandered Fifth Avenue. Taken from the five-and-a-half minutes of footage Mangone shot that day — which only resurfaced in 2002, when his brother found it in a box of things Mangone thought he had thrown away — the stills below provide a remarkable composite portrait of Monroe. There’s the movie star mugging for the camera, sure, but some of the most powerful shots find her staring vulnerably into the distance or with her eyes closed and faced fixed in an expression of utter beatitude. Click through to see a selection of stills from Marilyn Monroe (New York, 1955): The Lost Film of Peter Mangone, on view at Danziger Gallery in Chelsea from January 10 through February 9. … Read More
The Big Lebowski‘s beloved Dude has been immortalized in the hearts of moviegoers. In the stoner caper, we learn that the Dude cares deeply about White Russians, his rug, and his robe — but many fans fixate on his cozy Cowichan sweater (which was created with four pounds of yarn!). Since the original sweater was auctioned off for thousands of dollars, we’re grateful for companies like 80sTees who have created an exclusive replica for only $200.
Contemporary clothing in film is often ignored for the flashier costumes and fantasy outfits, but it’s the everyday clothes that have the biggest effect on people — embodying the spirit of the characters and film. We can relate to a t-shirt or sweater easier than we can to an 18th-century ball gown. If you’ve been dying to dress like your favorite film characters, we’ve rounded up a collection of clothes (and a few accessories) you can purchase that are the real deal. These aren’t Halloween costumes, and you won’t feel like a walking LARP disaster while wearing them. Abide by our film fashion guide after the jump. … Read More
Everybody loves to play dress up. Well, at least once in a while. But you know what sets our heads a-whirling? When pop culture icons dress up as other pop culture icons, whether it’s in professional photo shoots, at costume parties or just while hanging out in their own bedrooms. After all, there’s nothing more satisfying than a top-notch mashup. After the jump, we’ve collected twelve of our favorite cultural figures masquerading as twelve of what we can only assume are their favorite cultural figures, so click through to join the fun, and be sure to link us to any we’ve missed in the comment. … Read More