Sunday, April 1, 2007

Constraining Monroe

Does the post title above refer to my need to harness this hyperactive posting addiction? I think the existence of this post provides a resounding no. Is it a reference to Marilyn Monroe's wardrobe? No...that kind of comedy, that's a little broad for this blog. However, what better way to tie together a weekend of out-of-control posting than to mention that The Seven Year Itch is a great example of a work created amidst serious constraints - specifically, the constraints of censors. I'm sure some could question whether this was good or not (George Axelrod, who wrote the original stage play, certainly wasn't thrilled by the restrictions), but there's no question that part of the movie's special quality has to do with the ways in which Billy Wilder creatively worked around these constraints. Yes, it's about sex, but told (barely) within the framework of 1955 cultural innocence. Most comic operas (such as Haydn's La Canterina that I mentioned before) feature the same blend of sex comedy and innocent playfulness. Once again, we say thanks for constraints and the clever creators who work with and around them.

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