On September 23, the long-awaited Andrew Dominik adaptation of Joyce Carroll Oates’ bestselling book “Blonde,” about the desperate life of Norma Jane Baker as Marilyn Monroe, will be released on Netflix, and it will likely be released worldwide. It previously premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Oates has seen the film and agreed, she revealed during a discussion at the 21st Neuchâtel International Airport. Swiss Fantasy Film Festival.
“Andrew Dominic is a very good director. I think he succeeded in showing the Norma Jane Baker experience from her point of view, not from the outside, with a man looking at a woman. He was immersed in her perspective,” Oates said.
In her novel, published in 2000, Oates explored a vulnerable Norma Jeane Baker who lost her identity by becoming a product exploited by the film industry, leaving her without Marilyn Monroe’s Identity, which is a completely fictitious identity. “She made a name for herself in the world, but it’s not an identity you can live with. It made a lot of money for a lot of men, but a lot of money for herself. When she died at 36, she didn’t have enough money to host a formal funeral,” Oates said.
The trailer for ‘Blonde’ shows Norma Jane Baker getting her makeup done by her makeup artist, waiting for Marilyn Monroe to show up in her mirror and fearing she might not come. “It always took hours to become Marilyn,” Oates said. “Ana de Armas, the amazing actress who played her, I think she spent about four hours of makeup time. So when you see them on screen, they don’t actually It doesn’t exist. It’s like a dreamy image, but it takes a lot of pain to make it a living. As Marilyn grows up, she’s still being given roles that these young starlets would play, and she feels humiliated. You can’t keep playing this stupid blonde close to 40. Some people say she killed herself. I don’t necessarily think so. I think she probably died of utter despair or something.”
Oates chairs the International Jury at the festival and has written more than 150 novels and stories in a career spanning more than 60 years. She has been a multiple Pulitzer Prize finalist, won the Bram Stoker Prize five times, and established herself as a ruthless observer of American society. She is very active on Twitter, with more than 136,000 tweets, and is a fierce opponent of Donald Trump.
Next month, her new book, The Nanny, based on a serial killer living in the Detroit area, hits shelves. The novel explores the feelings of fear and anxiety felt during the experience, rather than looking back on it. “I wanted to document emotions and how people cope and relate to each other during this period of time when they are in a state of suspended anxiety before ending something.”
At NIFFF, the prolific writer gets an in-depth look at her approach to work. At 84, she is still teaching creative writing at Princeton University. “Think, daydream, meditate, walk a long way on your own, and think about what you’ll be doing before you start actually writing,” she advises.
She herself starts writing every morning after running or walking for an hour. “When I run, I think about the unfolding scene, I imagine the interaction. You can build a whole novel that way before you write anything.”
Another piece of advice she gives students is to start with short essays. “Every time you read an article that you know is good, you have a sense of well-being, a sense of completion. A novel can be a burden because it can take many years before you finish it, and will drag you down in some way. A lot of writers are prone to melancholia and depression, so you have to be aware of that.”
She told Variety that she was saddened that there were so many untold stories and feared she would never be able to write them down. “Like most writers, my folders and drawers are full of outlines, sketches, and thousands of pages of notes. I have novels that are promising for me, all of which are very detailed, but I don’t have the time to Write them. I can only work on one at a time. I have to write a lot more work than I have to live to write, and it makes me feel bad.”
Noting that this was her first trip to Switzerland, she said: “I’m very happy to be in Switzerland, first and foremost because it’s a civilized country, which is a bit surprising and original for someone living in the U.S., especially With these vicious presidential campaigns, our entire society has been deeply polarized since 2016,” Oates said.
“Since 2016, it’s clear that there are two Americas, so it’s not surprising that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June,” she told Variety. “America is very puritanical and very punitive towards women. In the 18th and 19th centuries, there was a history of treating women as second-class citizens rather than fully human beings. There has always been prejudice against women, so controlling them through laws is very important in the United States. Naturally. But some people think we’ve gone beyond that since the 1960s, we’re more educated, but we’re a complex country where a minority of evangelical Christians have disproportionate power.”
When asked about religion, the Catholic-turned-atheist writer is equally blunt: It’s only of interest to writers who are naturally skeptical because it’s a psychological and historical phenomenon. “As I get older, it seems to me that organized religion is a way of controlling people’s minds and manipulating them so that they can accept some reality that they shouldn’t.”
In The Book of American Martyrs, published in 2017, Oates, a supporter of her own, deftly tackles the subject of abortion, illuminating separately the anti-abortion evangelical Luther Dunphy and the abortion physician Augustus Waugh. Reese’s opposing view. The assassin and his victims, and their daughter. Fitting herself so well into her character’s skin is one of the upstate New York-born writer’s many talents.
“There is no difference between writing from the perspective of a man or a woman, a child or an elderly person,” she told Variety. “The challenge for the writer is to find an original language that is interesting enough for the writer. The challenge for the artist is to challenge himself, so I have to find a specific language for each different novel. The language is the challenge.”
In interviews, Oates often described himself as a person without personality, calling himself “transparent as a glass of water.” In her work, she explores different perspectives and refuses to write her own way. “I’m interested in holding up a mirror and facing the world, looking at others, and exploring what’s inside the experience. I don’t judge. I don’t care about putting my own shadow on things. I’m more interested in reflecting the complexities of reality,” she said in Neuchâtel said. “If there is a complex situation, I want to explore all aspects of it, not just my own point of view.”
Likewise, there is no doubt that she once wrote her life story. “I don’t have a story,” she insisted. “We’re more than one. A day or an hour of your life can be a whole story. I never really felt like I wanted to write about myself. I was more interested in other people.”