Sophie Lewis created the Marilyn Appreciation Society while hunkered down during the pandemic. The group went from film-watching (with Signal group chat) to critiquing misogyny, Hollywood, Americana, and the bourgeois white nuclear family. Marilyn remained at the center of it all, and Lewis’ gushing enthusiasm for this icon is contagious.
By last summer, the M.A.S. had watched and rewatched all the Monroe greats: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch, Some Like It Hot, Niagara, The Misfits, Bus Stop. We now saw Monroe, aka Norma Jeane Baker (née Mortenson), aka Zelda Zonk (the sexy-space-alien pseudonym she used to travel incognita), as our comrade—proletarian and perhaps queer—pushing mightily, humanely through the seams of whatever inhuman role the industry had fitted her with this time.