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PROJECTIONS: Marilyn Monroe’s onscreen persona

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Freud Museum London

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Three-week evening course - Mondays 7-9pm.

Norma Jeane Baker transformed into Marilyn Monroe inside Hollywood’s ravenous glare. She began her entertainment career as a pinup model and soon secured her place as a bona fide international movie star. The ever-luminous Marilyn stole every scene she appeared in; many cinema scholars equate Monroe with the essence of the art form itself.

In this new PROJECTIONS series, we will examine the creation of Marilyn Monroe’s onscreen persona, and the psychological underpinnings that shaped not only how she projected herself, but also the ways in which film audiences continue to respond to her. We will consider the symbolism contained in Marilyn’s most famous film characters within three categories: the origins of her celebrity, the establishment of her icon, and a burning desire to disrupt widespread perceptions of who she was.

Advance viewing is optional, select scenes and montages will be shown during weekly sessions (see filmography below).

Week 1 – A STAR IS BORN

Ladies of the Chorus (1948), All About Eve (1950), Monkey Business (1952), Niagara (1953)

Week 2 – ICONIC PERFORMANCES

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), The Seven-Year Itch (1955), Some Like It Hot (1959)

Week 3 – ROCKING THE BOAT

Bus Stop (1956), The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), Let’s Make Love (1960), The Misfits (1961)

PROJECTIONS is psychoanalysis for film interpretation. PROJECTIONS empowers film spectators to express subjective associations they consider to be meaningful. Expertise in psychoanalytic theory is not necessary - the only prerequisite is the desire to enter and inhabit the imaginary world of film, which is itself a psychoanalytic act. MARY WILD, a Freudian cinephile from Montreal, is the creator of PROJECTIONS.

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