Saturday, January 30, 2010

Marilyn: The Last Sessions

FR (c) 2008 Les Films d'Ici. D: Patrick Jeudy. Based on the book Michel Schneider (2006). "I'm Sorry" sung by Brenda Lee. A tv documentary. 91 min. Viewed on dvd at home, 30 Jan 2010.

There is a lot of rare authentic footage in this film, as well as fabrications and simulations.

The main source of Michel Schneider's book is John Miner, who claims to have heard tapes made by Marilyn Monroe at home free-associating for Ralph Greenson in 1962, the year she died. Miner, then deputy district attorney of Los Angeles County, says he listened to the tapes with Greenson on 6 Aug 1962. Miner claims to have made transcriptions of them later.

John Miner, now ca 90 years old, is the only witness to the claim that such tapes have existed. His transcriptions, first published in Los Angeles Times (5 Aug 2005), and subsequently in the world press, do not feel credible. They would only make sense if MM would have taped interviews for publication. It is highly improbable she would have made tapes anyway. If she had, their publication would be macabre and tasteless and against the principles of the confidentiality of the medical profession. John Miner is reportedly a decent man who wants to protect Greenson's reputation, but unfortunately his transcriptions sound like fabrications. He says that he believes that Greenson, who died in 1979, destroyed the tapes.

Although the film does not claim to present the tapes, there are illustrations of a magnetic tape, and a simulated woman's voice. There is also the MM lookalike Arline Hunter's The Apple, Knockers and the Coke nude film; Jeudy hints that it might be MM, herself.

My personal comment to this: the truth of Marilyn's last sessions we'll never know, but one can guess that it was much more terrible than is generally known, and certainly no entertainment.

MM's diagnosis confirmed by her two psychiatrists in 1962 was of a grave borderline psychic disorder that was beyond the domain of psychoanalysis. Her desperate doctors were aware that it was a matter of life and death and did their best to save her life. They were not able to follow the rules of their profession, and they jeopardized their careers to rescue a woman.


Anonymous said...

Hi there, do you know where I can obtain this DVD? Thanks.

Antti Alanen said...

Dear friend, it is a television feature, so you should try to contact the producer!

Anonymous said...

I strongly disagree. In Donald Spoto's very thorough research it has been establish that the doctor's were actually responsible for Ms. Monroe's death by having prescribed simultaneously different sleeping pills and not synchronizing their prescriptions. It was also found that on her last day Ms. Monroe took sleeping tablets and she was given an enema with barbiturates to "calm" her down, the combination eventually killed her. Her psychiatrists did put their careers on jeopardy but definitely not in favor of trying to save Ms. Monroe. Very much contrary.