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Hello, Norma Jeane! Marilyn Monroe gets 14-film retrospective at BAM

The Brooklyn Paper
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Marilyn Monroe is finally getting the big-screen bash she deserves.

A 14-film retrospective on the blonde bombshell screens at the Brooklyn Academy of Music next month, capturing all of Norma Jeane’s great cinematic moments.

“She is one of the most famous actresses of all time, yet her films are mostly shown on TV,” said Florence Almozini, director of BAM’s film program. “It was always in the back of our mind to do something. I was reading ‘Blonde’ by Joyce Carol Oates last summer and that was the final push to program that retrospective!”

It’s been 40 years since the sex symbol last appeared on film, yet she still captivates. Hell, the white dress from “The Seven Year Itch” just sold for $4.6 million.

“Marilyn represents glamor and celebrity, and she died so young, so people remember her perfect,” said Erika Smith. “She has incredible charisma. You can’t take your eyes off of her.”

Smith would know; the New Yorker travels the globe as a Marilyn Monroe impersonator, where she is often requested to sing a medley of the star’s most-popular songs: “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” and “Bye Bye Baby,” from the 1953 Howard Hawkes musical, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”; “I Wanna Be Loved by You,” which Monroe immortalized in 1959 camp classic “Some Like It Hot”; and “My Heart Belongs to Daddy,” from the 1960 comedy “Let’s Make Love.”

All of these films will be screened during the two-week retrospective, plus “The Seven Year Itch” with its skirt-blowing scene.

It all starts with one of Monroe’s very first films, the dramatic “Don’t Bother to Knock,” on July 1, and ends with her last film, “The Misfits,” on July 17.

“We just wanted to convey how timeless the films are and what a great actress she is,” said Almozini.

“Marilyn!” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music [30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street in Fort Greene, (718) 636-4100], July 1-17. Tickets $12 ($7 members). For info, visit www.bam.org.

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