Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Joni now - James Dean then ...

Joni Mitchell is certainly at the revered stage now. At the age of 71 she is the new muse for the  Saint Laurent fashion label, as per the photos in that recent issue of NEW YORK magazine (9 February - a copy is on its way to me, via eBay !). She looks rather severe here but still looks iconic.

There is another great new interview too - as per the link:
This follows on from the recent magazine features on her, and that recent 53-track compilation, as per posts at Joni label. 

There is Joni merchandise too: tote bags, tee-shirts, phone covers with iconic images of Joni. Also winging its way to me is a Joni tee-shirt, with this rather hippie design (right):
Joni used James Dean iconography in her 1980 concert film SHADOWS AND LIGHT - utilising that clip from REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE - Jimmy in the red jacket fighting with his parents - for the song "In France they kiss on main street".
As it happens I have now got a new batch of 35 old "Films & Filming" magazines from the 1950s - before my time, I only started getting it in 1962, when I was 16, but have been collecting back copies, and found a delicious batch on eBay, reasonably priced, a few days ago. they arrived today:  Here is their tribute to James Dean in their November 1955 issue, which would have been out in October, just after his death: (I was 10 at the time and can just about remember the fuss about his death, and seeing his movies for the first time).

James Dean - Neurotic Angel 

James Dean, aged 24, was killed in a car crash a few days after completing his role in GIANT. The youngster might have been a giant among screen actors, if only he had heeded the studio warnings about his love for fast cars.
He was born in Fairmount, Indiana, and won the Indiana State Dramatic Medal as the best high-school actor in the state. Then he studied at the University of California, Los Angeles, later moving to New York where he gained promising notices for his stage performance in SEE THE JAGUAR. It was after he appeared as the Arab boy in THE IMMORALIST, adapted from Gide, that Elia Kazan gave him the lead in EAST OF EDEN. So he joined the group of Kazan discoveries, led by Brando and Clift.
Click image to enlarge ...
Whatever the shortcomings of EAST OF EDEN - and it had a mixed critical reception - Dean was established as an artist of major significance. Warner Brothers immediately put him into REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, a film about delinquents, yet to be seen in Britain, and GIANT. He was due to play the part of the boxer in SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME
The news of his death reched the GIANT unit during the screening of rushes. Both Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson were visibly shocked.
Dean defied convention - he turned up to an important press conference in jeans and a dirty sweat-shirt - but, unlike many stars, took his art seriously. He performed Mozart, Bach and Beethoven with amateur ensembles. He was an avid reader.
His slight build made him look almost fragile. Yet the strength of his personality permeated everything he did. To many he will be remembered as the neurotic angel.

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