A few months after the presentation in Venice and its exclusive release on Netflixthe Australian author Andrew Dominik is back to talk about his controversial masterpiece Blonde, faux-biopic on Marilyn Monroe starring Ana de Armas.
Interviewed at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia, Dominik said: “Criticism only hurts if you agree with it, and I can’t say I strongly agree with anything I’ve read against the film. In truth I expected a critical success and very little public, I thought that nobody would see the film. Instead it was a bit the opposite. In America they hated the film. Many were angry, indignant, yet so many saw it. I was a little surprised by it.“
Dominik worked at Blonde for 14 years before presenting it to the world in Competition in Venice in September this year. “I’m Australian, from Melbourne – I came of age in the 80’s when offending the public was a solemn duty, so I’m glad Blonde pissed off so many people”, added Dominik. “The world of cinema has become more and more squeamish; the world of cinema, and society in general, today are very concerned about not offending people. Don’t offend anyone, please. The reasons are admirable, wanting to be sensitive. But I don’t think rewriting the truth about things is the right way forward. Probably everyone wanted a hagiography, but not me. Marilyn Monroe meant different things at different times, and today we live in an age where it is very important to present women as full of authority and probably people today would like to reinvent Marilyn as a woman of today. In truth I think his real life was much worse than what you see in the movie. The thing is, audiences spent 70 years enjoying the fantasy of one person’s life, then came this movie that didn’t want to be complicit in that made-up fun. It’s an uncomfortable position, people don’t want to be put in that position: according to them Marilyn was always radiant and happy, she had a bad time and killed herself. She didn’t go like that.”
Dominik concluded by reiterating that he stayed very satisfied with his partnership with Netflix: “Tens of millions of people have never seen my 2007 film, Jesse James, in theaters. The reality is that most people today see movies on a screen television.”
For more insights, here are 5 reasons not to miss Blonde, available on Netflix.