Thursday, November 3, 2011
Wikipedia: Colin Clark (9 October 1932 – 17 December 2002) was a British writer and filmmaker who specialized in films for cinema and television about the arts. He was the son of the art historian Lord Clark of Saltwood (Sir Kenneth Clark), and the younger brother of the Conservative politician and military historian Alan Clark, with whom he was not always on good terms.
Born in London, he was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford. From 1951 to 1953 he did National Service as a pilot officer in the Royal Air Force.
Colin Clark's first job on leaving university was as an assistant director on the film The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), directed by Laurence Olivier and starring Olivier and Marilyn Monroe, an experience Clark later turned into two books, one a set of diaries (a TV documentary version of which was also made in 2004) and the other a memoir of his relationship with Monroe. Clark's time with Monroe is the basis of the 2011 film My Week with Marilyn.
I had never heard of Colin Clark before viewing this film, but now I really wish he had lived long enough to see this movie come to fruition and to have been present at the screening during the Philly Film Fest. What man (or perhaps woman) wouldn't want to have had a brief affair of the heart with Marilyn Monroe? What a gift to have spent one on one time in her presence. The film is magical for this fact alone. I so enjoyed watching Colin (Eddie Redmayne) a kind-hearted, eager kid, not even 25 years-old, land his first job in the industry and find himself being an integral part of the movie. Not just any movie, but one that continues to be a big part of Hollywood history. No wonder this experience made a lasting impact on his life.
Michelle Williams finds all of the sides of Marilyn Monroe. At first I felt she was an odd choice to play the role. I like her as an actress, but I never think of Williams as bombshell sexy. I don't even think of her as pretty. However, she succeeds in not only pulling off these aspects of Monroe; but more importantly, you come to know the vulnerable, sad, child-like Monroe as well, through William's stellar performance.
Here's an interview with Michelle Willams from Mail Online talking about taking on this role:
Michelle admitted that initially she was terrified of taking on Monroe, so her first answer to director Simon Curtis and producer David Parfitt was a resounding No.
But Michelle told me: ‘I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist, eventually. Physically and vocally, everything about her is different from me. I’ve kind of gone to school and had teachers to help me understand Marilyn, so I could project an essence of her.'
‘When I first approached the part, I thought that there were three, even four parts to -Marilyn,’ she continued. There was the public Marilyn — the one Norma Jean would refer to as ‘her’, ‘as in the voluptuous, strike-a-pose “her” ’.But there was also the private Norma Jean; and Elsie Marina, the song-and-dance performer Monroe was playing in The Prince And The Showgirl. All of which can throw a thespian off balance. ‘It rearranges you, it shifts your molecules, lifts you up, spins you around, puts you back down and you’re not quite the same, for better or for worse,’ she said.
'Later, when I viewed some footage shot by cinematographer Ben Smithard I was knocked out by her performance. One moment there’s the lightness of touch required by the high comedy of being showgirl Elsie, the next there’s the poignancy of Norma Jean'.