Video of the Day


Alex Carnevale

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen

Reviews Editor
Ethan Peterson

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

Live and Active Affiliates
This area does not yet contain any content.

Entries in marilyn monroe (8)


In Which Lindsay Lohan Is Almost Preternaturally Alive

The Lindsay Lohan Problem


The internet’s collective anticipation of the Lifetime network’s Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton biopic Liz & Dick was palpable — it was meant to be Lifetime’s culminating achievement in low-budget ill-considered melodramatic crap cinema, with the grand and legendary movie star Taylor played by bedraggled former child actor and tabloid train wreck du jour Lindsay Lohan. The incongruity was sublime, and viewers were eager for the failure that Liz & Dick would be.

Sure enough, Liz & Dick did serve up some of Lifetime’s signature camp. It begins with a title card that reads “The Last Day of Richard Burton’s Life,” and its plot is scaffolded by interludes in which Taylor and Burton, sitting in director’s chairs and dressed all in black, reminisce about and explain the movie’s action, an expository device that is supposedly taking place in the dying Burton’s mind. It ends with a title reading “Elizabeth Taylor kept Richard Burton’s letters for the remainder of her life,” choosing to leave off on a “no duh” note.

Along the way it chronicles Taylor and Burton’s epically obnoxious love affair. “I’m sleeping with your wife,” a drunk Burton, played by Grant Bowler, shouts at Taylor’s husband Eddie Fisher after she and Burton begin their affair. “You do know I’m shagging him senseless, don’t you?” Taylor says to a hotel employee, randomly. In a triumphant curtain call after his successful performance in Hamlet, Burton brings Taylor up on stage. “In the words of the immortal bard: there will be no more marriages!” he says. A producer pitches Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to Taylor at a party but says Burton wouldn’t be right for the male lead because he can’t picture them fighting — so naturally they make a scene staging a mock fight to convince him. They really are insufferable.

And the script clunks along nicely. Toward the beginning of the film, Burton tells Taylor he can’t leave his family for her, and she is beside herself. “I don’t loathe you,” Taylor says. “I hate you.” Later, he calls her “miss pudgy digits” in a fight, and she has a fit, staring angrily at her hands. “They are fat! And they’re pudgy!” she screams. Of course, subtlety was never a hallmark of the biopic genre. “We were meant for each other,” Burton tells his brother shortly after the affair begins. “That’s what she said to Conrad Hilton, Michael Wilding, Mike Todd, and Eddie bloody Fisher!” his brother replies. If I understand all of this statement’s implications correctly, Elizabeth Taylor was married many times.

Still: Liz & Dick looks lovely. It is set mostly in Switzerland and along the coast of Italy, and its sets are adequately luxe. Lohan has had some unfortunate plastic surgery, but her styling was good — at many moments she looks genuinely fierce. And her and Bowler’s performances are low-energy, but not ridiculous. Comedians took to Twitter the night Liz & Dick premiered, giddy to live-tweet this televised disaster, but many of their tones turned grudging quickly after the movie began. Sure, they got shots in when Lohan, portraying 1984-vintage Taylor, dons an absurd salt-and-pepper wig and enormous glasses, but for the most part the fun Twitter had with the film seemed halfhearted. Liz & Dick was ultimately a disappointment. As Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times noted, “The film’s real failure is that it’s not terrible enough.” It could have been worse, and when viewers are expecting so-bad-it’s-good, that is a grave fault.  

Liz & Dick’s failure as a failure was surprisingly frustrating. Its mediocrity was so dissatisfying because it disrupted the narrative — Lohan’s descent through eating disorders and substance abuse and jail time from the accomplished ingénue she once was. And she was certainly set up for a monumental fall from grace. When she starred in the remake of The Parent Trap at the age of twelve and the remake of Freaky Friday at seventeen, she was favorably compared to Hayley Mills and Jodie Foster. The Parent Trap’s director Danette Meyers likened her to a young Diane Keaton.

The praise for Lohan’s acting ability continued so profuse that one might have begun to sense some hyperbole. Meryl Streep, her co-star in Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion, said, “She is very present and alive, almost preternaturally alive, on camera.” Tina Fey said of Mean Girls, “I would watch Lindsay to learn what it is to be a film actor.” Around the same time, her father, Michael Lohan, an abusive cocaine addict who had been arrested multiple times for assault, began to seek the media spotlight. She wrote a hit song about him, “Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father),” which Tommy Mottola described as “one of the best I’ve heard in my career.”

By 2006, when she was nineteen, the train wreck narrative was already beginning, as her heavy partying and dramatic weight loss made her a constant figure in the tabloid media. She gave an interview with Evgenia Peretz in which she may have admitted to having an eating disorder — though she later claimed she was misquoted. Lohan and her management were outraged by how she was portrayed in the Vanity Fair article, but reading it now, its take on her is remarkably positive and optimistic.

“She may be the most compelling and charismatic and real of all the actresses on the very young A-List,” Peretz wrote, and also called Lohan “a serious and emotional young woman” who “clearly has great reserves of strength.” This was around when Lohan began several years of living in hotels, and Peretz spun this wholesomely as well, calling her “the Eloise of Chateau Marmont.” Lohan talked about how she had a quiet dinner with some friends for her nineteenth birthday — “That’s how much I’ve changed,” she said. “When I turned 18, I had a party at Avalon with an ‘I'm a Slave 4 You’ theme.” The Peretz article thinks it’s telling the story of a star who has made missteps, but is ultimately back on the right track.

The next year Lohan had two DUIs and the first three of her four stints in rehab. She had cocaine either on her or in her system during both of her DUIs — a drug she had denied that she was ever involved with, sensitive because of her father’s history with it. “It’s a sore subject,” she said about cocaine in the Peretz article. For Lohan the four years following have mostly been violated probation, car accidents, shoplifting, jail time and community service, and getting dropped from one movie after another.

Despite all this, people want to believe that there is something brilliant about her, if only to make her current situation appear even more dismal. Many still buy into the narrative of her potential — Richard Brody called her performance in Liz & Dick “thrillingly immediate.” The myth of her prodigious talent has played a part in enabling her destructive behavior. As Ken Tucker says in his review of Liz & Dick, Lohan has “been cut so many breaks, it’s difficult to root for her anymore.” Her entitled attitude is clear, with stories of her being constantly late to movie sets, skipping court dates and community service, even stealing a necklace from a jewelry store. “I think the root of the problem,” said an anonymous source in Nancy Jo Sales’ 2010 Vanity Fair story about Lohan, “was every single person telling her how amazing she is, kissing her ass all the time.”

In 2007, an executive on Lohan’s film Georgia Rule wrote a cranky open letter to Lohan about her behavior onset. “We are well aware that your ongoing all night heavy partying is the real reason for our so-called ‘exhaustion,’” he wrote. “You have acted like a spoiled child.” This is probably a realistic assessment of Lohan — she is someone who got too much money, fame, and praise too young, who has never been expected to grow up in any meaningful way. After Robert Altman died in 2006, Lohan wrote a long, strange tribute to the director, filled with spelling and grammatical errors. “He left us with a legend that all of us have the ability to do,” she wrote, and concluded bizarrely with the closing phrase “Be adequite.”

The letter revealed Lohan not as a movie star of rare talent or as a legendarily troubled public figure, but as a young woman who had been making movies while she should have been going to school. But this picture of Lohan — as an undereducated and spoiled party girl — doesn’t wash with what she had been set up for, with what she was supposed to become. After her film work post-Prairie Home Companion did not live up to the hype surrounding her talent, the story couldn’t just be that she had disappointed. She had to have disappointed because of some darkness in her soul — if her life wasn’t going to be a legendary success, it had to be a legendary tragedy.

This is where the “old Hollywood” connections start coming in. Lohan has done photo-shoots re-creating ones done by her idol Marilyn Monroe twice — one for Playboy that was inspired by Monroe’s nude pictorial from the magazine’s first issue, and the other for New York that was a re-creation of the last photo-shoot Monroe did before committing suicide. It’s as if it is already decided: Lohan will lead a sad, destructive life before facing a tragic and untimely death — and she’s complicit, helping to create this narrative.

And this is where Lohan playing Elizabeth Taylor starts to take on significance. Lifetime was most likely trying to cash in on the similarities between Lohan and Taylor’s lives — and they do have points in common. Both were promising child actors with controlling stage mothers. Federico Fellini invented the term “paparazzi” to describe the photographers who followed Taylor, and Lohan has been continually hounded by the paparazzi for nearly ten years. But their stories are more different than they are alike. At the time that Liz & Dick begins in 1963, Taylor was twenty-nine years old, had been married three times, and had three children and one Academy Award. Importantly, Taylor was the rare child actor to become a genuine adult movie star, which Lohan so far is not.

Even in her scandals, Taylor was in different league from Lohan. The boozing and shouting and bottle-throwing portrayed in Liz & Dick are endlessly more dignified than the weird, sordid situations Lohan’s gotten herself into recently. She is known for being so unreliable that a producer on Liz & Dick described her as “the most insured actress ever to set foot on a Hollywood sound stage.” She has hosted slumber parties at the Chateau Marmont with Lady Gaga and Lana Del Rey where they “watched old movies and played board games,” which is a euphemism for I don’t know what. Charlie Sheen, whom she became friends with when they worked together on Scary Movie 5, reportedly gave her $100,000 to settle a tax debt. And she was recently arrested for punching a woman in a club after attending a Justin Bieber concert.

Lohan was an incredible talent whose personal demons have turned her into a Hollywood tragedy — that is what many people want to be see as the scenario. Instead, she may just be another child actor whom the system permanently fucked up. When Lohan hosted Saturday Night Live in 2005, Amy Poehler posed as Lohan’s future self during the opening monologue — she came with a message of warning, cautioning Lohan to stop partying and drinking so much Red Bull.

When Lohan asked what movies she would do in the future, Poehler responded with weird accuracy: “Well, let me see. We did Herbie: Fully Loaded, then we did Mean Girls 2, that was a suck bomb, then we did National Lampoon’s Jamaican Vacation, and then we did like eight Lifetime movies, and now we host a Cinemax show called Night Passions.” Lohan’s future was predictable because we’ve heard her story so many times before — not in Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, but in Corey Haim, Gary Coleman, and Danny Bonaduce. Lohan’s life and Liz & Dick are not the epic catastrophes they were meant to be. They’re just run-of-the-mill messes, which makes them even sadder.

Alice Bolin is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Missoula.. She last wrote in these pages about Taylor Swift. She tumbls here and twitters here. You can find an archive of her writing on This Recording here.

"Patient Heart" - Heidi Happy (mp3)

"Dance With Another" - Heidi Happy (mp3)


In Which It Doesn't Turn Out So Well For Those Kids

More Productive


I have done many inane and more often irrelevant tasks in the name of productivity. I’ve cleaned toilets as a busboy and as a waiter. I have cleaned makeshift "country" toilets as a camp counselor. I have cleaned Porta-Pottys as a production assistant. It seems that between all the "productive moments" I spent serving food to people who didn’t like me and dragging kids around who didn’t like me I was cleaning up shit. And I’m not saying I had a problem with doing it or am resentful or regretful that I did it, I’m just not sure in retrospect how "productive" it was. So far, all I seem to have gotten from it is the impulse to write this essay and the lingering stink of human feces on my hands.

Unemployment is at its highest since 1948. I have had conversations with people out of law school lamenting their luck in today’s job market. This is not making light of the situation people in all markets are facing today. This is an attempt to describe the discrepancy between what we want to do, what we end up doing, and how we lie to ourselves and call the space between "productive." 

james dean & liz taylor

If you’re not in the sciences, business or a technical craft like becoming a plumber or politician, the line from school to job is not so much straight as imaginary. And when all you have are imaginary lines, you tend to make things up. You get really into your dietary habits, go on nine month bike rides it would take an afternoon to fly, go to Burning Man four years in a row. But, after a while, distracting yourself itself becomes a distraction. And so, almost all people in this confining space try to find some structure, a direction, a way to tell themselves, "This has been a productive day."

Regrettably, it seems that a day is made up of a lot of moments. A lot of moments to judge yourself and ask, "Is this productive?" If you’re not careful, you can ask yourself that question dozens of times a day. Like with googling, things get pretty intense pretty quickly when it comes to using the internet. I have spent hours googling "danny devito drunk" trying to find this clip of him drunk at eight in the morning on a local Philadelphia broadcast with the cast of It’s Always Sunny. I wasn’t trying to "pass time" or "relax"; it was really important to me to find that clip, my creative output depended on it. It took too long for me to realize the utter futility of my search.

An abridged list of things I have done in an attempt to be productive which now do not seem all that fruitful (and make me wonder about myself having thought they were a good idea in the first place):

Reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being while being very high when I was seventeen.  Writing one pretty terrible and one totally terrible play between the ages of eighteen and twenty (the pretty terrible one is called We’ll Just Wait and See while the totally terrible one is called Let’s Play). Going to Stratford, Ontario for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival twelve times with my family (at least a few of those I went on my own accord in my late teens). Being a featured extra in a short film that forced me to say "Fuck Santa" over a hundred times. In grade 11, unsuccessfully trying to mount Pee-wee's Big Adventure as a high school play (I was thwarted by the Fashion Show Committee who claimed 100% of the school’s "art" budget).

I have spent days just watching The Dick Cavett Show. Part phony nostalgia, part boredom, I got hooked watching John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzarra and Peter Falk promoting Husbands. After I’d watched that three too many times, I watched Norman Mailer argue with Gore Vidal, Groucho with Truman Capote and that was before I’d even started to focus on Cavett (he’s so interesting!). For most people, wasting time on YouTube is a harmless procedure. It becomes complicated when you begin to view YouTube as endless homework, where every random free associated thought could potentially lead to a new idea. Too often, it leads to watching seven consecutive hours of clips from The Dick Cavett Show. So out of nothing if not sheer guilt, I turn to reading.

Like a lot of people who are too scared to study literature, I have tried to read a lot of books on my own that are better suited to a class setting lead by someone who’s been trained to talk about that one specific thing. I did this when I couldn’t get work cleaning toilets. This great tradition started with (of course) Ulysses. I found a forty-year-old guide in my parents’ basement and figured I could read that along with the book. But wait, do you read the guide first and then the actual book to explain what you were about to read or read the book first and then the guide to explain it retroactively? I got nearly two hundred pages in and then decided to take up smoking. Now, all I remember is either Daedalus or Bloom shaving at the beginning and the phrase "sun like spangled coins" that I am sure I just misquoted.

As for Swann’s Way, I have read the first chapter twice. And it’s not that I didn’t like it or found myself drifting. It’s one of those books you have to read, and so you just can’t. Plus, the fact that it takes him eighty-five pages to go to sleep was a little daunting. Terrific eighty-five pages, but with no motivation other than my own impulse to do hard things for their own sake, I found myself wandering outside for too many smoke breaks.

I’ll skip recounting the experience of reading The Waste Land. Needless to say I found myself swearing a lot under my breath.

With movies it’s more complicated. Film is only a hundred years old and so people like me delude themselves into thinking they can see every movie ever made. Well not every movie, but every movie they’re supposed to see. I have spent/wasted a lot of hours thinking that this was not only true but a very good idea.

Early on in this crusade I thought, "If you’re a film student, if you’re a productive film student, you have to see The Birth of a Nation." I went to my local video store in Montreal and rented it on VHS. The problem is not even that the Klu Klux Klan are the good guys and victorious by the end (spoiler alert!). What’s important about this film is that it invented film language; the close-up, the wide shot, what we have taken for granted for eighty years. Thing is, seeing the film that invented film language is much like knowing that fact itself, and it did not take over three hours to read this paragraph.


Treading in international waters, I made my way through the European directors. The vast majority of works I saw and see are great, they inspire me to make films (which I do) and continue on this ridiculous quest. Take Pasolini. Many of his films are wonderful, and then you watch a movie like Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom. Based on the book by the Marquis de Sade, this film pushes the boundaries of how we use the word boundaries (with boundaries like those, who needs boundaries?). It was during the scene where the naked children are eating shit with nails in it with blood pouring out of their mouths while they’re being whipped and tortured when I asked myself, "Is this productive?" I must have thought it was because I finished the movie. It doesn’t turn out so well for those kids. For anyone, really.

Fassbinder is an amazingly innovative filmmaker. Some of his movies like In a Year of 13 Moons and Ali: Fear Eats The Soul are challenging and groundbreaking but also accessible and quite touching. But the guy made forty films in twenty years and died at thirty-seven because he did like ten grams of cocaine a day and basically didn’t sleep for twenty years and would fight with his many lovers and the German film industry and would go on-and-on-and-on at breakneck speed until he finally stopped.

Forget the fact that it’s basically impossible to find all of his films in the US; it would take a pretty long time to watch forty German movies. So, as a compromise, I decided I’d watch Berlin Alexanderplatz, his fifteen hour TV series. But, in the end, I Swann’s Way-d it. I watched the first five hours while constantly pushing aside the nagging question but finally asking myself, "Is there nothing more productive I could be doing?" So I stopped watching it and decided to move to Texas to go to film school.

Film school is a vortex of productivity. It’s a hall of mirrors where the idea of being productive distorts, changes shape and meaning. For one, all you do is work for free for three years. During these years, you learn about the equipment and refine your ability to do specific tasks, or even worse, "find your voice." (Just saying that makes it sound so fake that it makes no sense.) But really what you do is work for free for years and maybe end up with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt. Productivity is an inherently subjective notion but here it’s stretched to its logical conclusion: self-implosion.

james dean
One of the things you’re supposed to do in film school in order to be productive is "make connections." Meet people? Make people like you? Marry someone and work for their father’s roofing company? It’s all a bit unclear. The wonderful thing about film school is this: everyone in it hates each other. It’s a perverse zero sum game. If that was not enough, everyone who works in film not in film school also hates you. You’re seen as this pompous, pseudo-academic cop out avoiding the slog of actual work. And forget it if you’re getting an MFA, then people basically just want you to die.

But still, film school does afford you some space, a break from cleaning toilets. Many of my friends are getting jobs out of film school worse than the ones they had before they started. But that doesn’t negate or devalue the time they spent in between (well, maybe it does devalue it a bit). Then as now, we think it’s a productive thing to do and so we continue to go. This is where subjectivity wins out.

Jesse Klein is the senior contributor to This Recording. He last wrote in these pages about The Tree of Life and the archives of David Foster Wallace. You can find his previous work on This Recording here. He twitters here and tumbls here.

"To Have In The Home" - Woods (mp3)

"Out of the Eye" - Woods (mp3)

"Hand It Out" - Woods (mp3)


In Which Norman Mailer Ruins Marilyn Monroe For The Rest Of Us

North Korea, South Korea


When Norman Mailer wrote his 1973 biography of Marilyn Monroe, entitled Marilyn, he called himself a psychohistorian. It was his sworn duty to interpret the events of Monroe's life, a task conferred upon him by one of her photographers, who found her the most captivating female subject he had ever represented on film. Mailer wrote, referring to himself in the third person,

At the end, if successful, he would have offered a literary hypothesis of a possible Marilyn Monroe who might actually have lived and fit most of the facts available. If his instincts were good, then future facts discovered about her would have to war with the character he created.

To fill in the facts, Mailer slides into the role of play-by-play broadcaster. Marilyn's was an easy birth, he crows, as though he was peering between her mother's nether regions and grading the smoothness of the exit on a sliding scale. He writes off her father, who ignored Marilyn and later wouldn't take her calls, as the ghost that turned her into the sort of person she was.

He reenacts Marilyn's abuse as a child, giving it the texture of fiction, and presents it as a fait accompli, like any abuser. Throughout he styles his portrait in the present tense, reminding his audience of why the genre of literary biography is so intensely small, highlighted as it is by James Frey, Greg Mortensen and Mary Rambin.

with Arthur Miller

In 1944, an Army photographer noticed Norma Jean and demanded to take her photograph. He was the first to fetishize her, but at least he did not inscribe his obsession in a literary biography. Mailer reveals that "to kiss her is to drift in a canoe," and that Marilyn washed her face 15 times a day. Just 15? Did you want to up that figure to twenty?

It only feels like Mailer spends half the book describing how he imagines Marilyn made love:

She was certainly, by more civilized report, pleasant in bed, but receptive rather than innovative, and somewhat ceremonious - like a geisha, as though the act was a tender turn in a longer passage, and food and conversation and easy laughter were also part of it. A tender description of her by a lover who had not been in love. "Of course I cannot say how she was with other men," he remarked, but she was always just a little remote with me. And very friendly. I liked her."

He finds over fifty men who share some spiritual connection to this woman. Their common thread is that they either wanted to have sex with her or they had sex with her. Afterwards, the men evaluated her in every aspect. The magic of a pin-up lurked deep in their hearts and made an undeniable impression. Did you ever wonder why they ask Penthouse centerfolds what their favorite flavor of ice cream is? It's like that.

After she died in 1962 at the age of 36, Pynchon wrote, "Southern California's special horror notwithstanding, if the world offered nothing, nowhere to support or make bearable whatever her private grief was, then it is that world, and not she, that is at fault."

It takes Mailer 60 pages to get to his inevitable examination of Monroe's intellect. He wants to approach it in a roundabout way because his delay draws attention to how little the subject means to the proceedings. "So what, she was a dunce," he seems to be saying, "this is just another aspect of her I'm feeling very entranced by."

He tells us that "despite her wit, she was not overbearingly bright, and if intellectual ability is comparable to weight lifting, she lifted no weight." It's moments like these which make you realize Norman did not make a habit of checking his metaphors with a friend or colleague. Later, Mailer writes: "She is a lover of books who could not read."

Mailer's theme is that men keep letting this innocent fawn down. Of one competitor for Monroe's affections, he writes, "He is by general description a man of some musical culture and the best of good manners. It is obvious he cared enough for Marilyn to cultivate her possibilities." And on and on.

After the biography was published by Grosset & Dunlap, Arthur Miller came close to suing Mailer, claiming he made up slanders and inserted them in Marilyn's mouth. Miller became convinced that Mailer was in fact recasting himself as Marilyn.

Every compliment to her is then easily read as such, but I don't know about this. Would he then breathlessly recall how great Marilyn was about giving early morning blowjobs when she was in a relash? "Sex on the way to work was the imprimatur of devotion in a Hollywood affair." (Yes, there is a paragraph that concerns this in Marilyn.) There should have been a glossary by sex act, but such exquisite touches Mailer saved for his book-long facial of Picasso.

Confronted with Miller, Mailer charges the playwright with being anti-intellectual: "He is also ambitious, limited and small-minded, an intellectual who is often scorned by critics outside the theater for his intellectual lacks. Nor has he developed to meet such criticisms. He has virtually a terror of the kind of new experience that might open his ideas, so she is enough new experience to last him for a lifetime."

In the beginning and in the end, Mailer cannot really comprehend why Marilyn did not fight back against her abusers. He says that if it had been him, he would have just killed the offending males perpetrators of a crime against a young girl.

In her notebook she wrote one day, "What am I afraid of? Why am I so afraid? Do I think I can't act? I know I can act but I am afraid. I am afraid and I should not be and I must not be." This holds a special emphasis for Mailer, because he construes this as a literary come-on: that she requires him to exist at all. In other words, the ideal subject.

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording. He tumbls here and twitters here. He last wrote in these pages about Transformers: Dark of the Moon. You can find an archive of his work on This Recording here.

"Always Afraid" - Crystal Antlers (mp3)

"Two-Way Mirror" - Crystal Antlers (mp3)

"Fortune Telling" - Crystal Antlers (mp3)

"Way Out" - Crystal Antlers (mp3)

Two-Way Mirror, the most recent album from Crystal Antlers, was released on July 19th and you can purchase it here.

Pinned Up

Karina Wolf on the insides of Audrey Hepburn

Ellen Copperfield on the hazy sexual appeal of Tom Hanks

Pauline Kael on the faces of the stars

Durga Chew-Bose searches for the real Mariel Hemingway

Almie Rose finds Grace Kelly refreshing and approachable

Molly Lambert on the pink palaces of Jayne Mansfield

Alex Carnevale describes Warren Beatty in love

Molly Young on Keira Knightley's subjective beauty

Will Hubbard on an anechoic Jane Birkin