HBO’s Summer Documentary Series: Love Marilyn

HBO’s summer documentary series continues tonight with Love, Marilyn, from Academy Award nominated director Liz Garbus, previously of Bobby Fischer Against the World and There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane. Her latest explores the myth of Marilyn Monroe, the obsession of every hairdresser and junior college art major.

One of the most enduring icons of 20th-century America, Marilyn Monroe invented an endlessly fascinating public persona, but also concealed a private side known only to her closest confidants. A half-century after her death, her creation still blazes brightly in the cultural imagination, while its creator remains in the shadows. LOVE MARILYN draws on recently discovered personal papers, diaries and letters, brought to life by an all-star cast that includes F. Murray Abraham, Elizabeth Banks, Adrien Brody, Ellen Burstyn, Glenn Close, Hope Davis, Viola Davis, Jennifer Ehle, Ben Foster, Paul Giamatti, Jack Huston, Stephen Lang, Lindsay Lohan, Janet McTeer, Jeremy Piven, Oliver Platt, David Strathairn, Lili Taylor, Uma Thurman, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood.

LOVE MARILYN features remarkable footage, audiotapes and rarely-seen photographs, as well as a recently-discovered trove of Monroe’s own handwritten letters, diaries, notes, poems, journals and notebooks, which document her private life against the backdrop of her very public life and loves.

LOVE MARILYN premieres MONDAY, JUNE 17 (9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

I’m curious about this one, because I’m honestly a bit baffled by the whole Marilyn Monroe mystique. To me it’s always struck me as a bit like those Cosmo covers where Bar Rafaeli or whoever dishes on her beauty secrets. I mean, people liked Marilyn Monroe because she was pretty and nice, right? We always think pretty, charismatic people are going to give us some insight on how to be more attractive and charming ourselves, but let’s be honest, most of us are just turd-filled gym socks and we’re happy if we can keep poop from leaking out in front of company.