Ana de Armas stars as Marilyn Monroe

There are two types of noise at festivals. The first category can roughly be described, as the Americans described it in a very friendly way, They overstayed their welcome Paraphrasing: A movie that garnered hymns of praise after its premiere, which finally turned out to be the opposite when it was released in cinemas. Early fuss unleashes all its negative energies, like Venice’s winning Joker Todd Phillips.

Then there are films like the much-anticipated Marilyn Monroe film by Andrew Dominic, adapted from Joyce Carol Oates’ bestseller, which has been so rumored for the past couple of years that the film can’t help but truly disappoint. “Blonde” was the first in-house Netflix production to have an “over 18” release, and there was a problem due to some sex scenes, and the release was delayed several times.

Real and allegorical inferno

Dominic certainly didn’t make a movie that people should love. Sixty years after Monroe’s death, “Blonde” has shed no new light on the tragic life story of Hollywood’s greatest star. It really begins in Hell: a sea of ​​flames in the hills above Los Angeles, as seven-year-old Norma Jeane races with her dependent mother – on her way to her father, a Hollywood big name whose identity must remain a secret. And it ends up in an allegorical hell: the bedroom of the American president being played by Marilyn in a POV (popular porn category).

Marilyn Monroe is always a victim in the movie “Blonde”: she is taken advantage of by her mother, and abuse by men she calls “Papa”. She only objects to the director during the filming of “Some Like It Hot” and leaves the scene angrily. After the premiere of “Blondes Preferred,” she apologizes to her aborted baby: “And that’s why I gave up on you?”

Dominic chose the Colportage format because Oates’ Model was also a speculative fiction. It jumps between image, color and black and white formats, between traditional autobiographical narrative, impressionist fragments and raw trauma processing (another form of pornography). It’s hard to resist Dominic’s montage — also thanks to Ana de Armas, who repeatedly claims independence from Marilyn’s dominant legend in brief moments of resilience.

But this pseudo-feminism is still clearly a product of the pre-MeToo era, even in Dominic’s interpretation. The director would have found a different narrative of Norma Jean that didn’t feel like a cage of exciting written and directed ideas.

Reactions in Venice were also divided, but at the end of the festival, Blonde made another statement. Lido’s second week is usually a little more relaxing due to the high festival intensity in the fall, but this year not all of the highlights piled up for the first weekend. With “No Bears” directed by Jaafar Panahi, imprisoned since July, there is a serious contender in the race for the Golden Lion on the final day. Panahi has always been a hero of his own, and until his arrest, he was secretly filming with small crews in rural Iran. That’s what “No Bears” is all about, which weaves two love stories together, including a movie within a movie.

Since the reprisals began in 2010, this self-wringing has been an act of dissent for Panahi, so to speak—but also an opportunity to address his desperation with a subtle self-mockery. “No Bears” is now feared to be his last for at least six years: For this reason alone, a jury could hardly have avoided Julianne Moore, who won the Golden Lion for Der Kreis in 2000.

In “No Bears” his desperation becomes palpable again, as if Panahi had already suspected his arrest. A week ago he sent a message to Venice on behalf of all the imprisoned directors: “The hope of creating something again is the reason we exist.” This is another reason why every new Jafar Panahi movie is a little miracle right now.

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