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Saturday, November 26, 2016

"Marisa Mell" by German Nazi photographer Arthur Grimm

In the early 60's Marisa Mell was a struggling starlet from Austria trying to break into the movie business, first in her native home country, then in Germany! It was during that time that she needed to get her name and face known to all the right people in the hope of landing a part in a next movie production. Contrary to the present days, actors and actresses often did not have an agent or a manager to land parts in movies, but had to do all the hard work themselves by going to the right parties, meeting the right people and mingling in the right circles, hence the casting couch! For Marisa Mell it was no different because beautiful women wanting to break into the movie bussiness were plenty like Karen Dor, Senta Berger, Karin Baal, Ushi Glas,... and so many more. One way of making her face known was sending photo's of herself as glamorous and seductive as possible to the production offices in the hope of getting noticed. So around 1961, just after making the movie "Lebensborn", Marisa Mell came in contact with then already controversial but still power to be German photographer Arthur Grimm from Berlin. Arthur Grimm was, together with German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, a very controversial nazi artist during WWII, who made after the war his career in showbizz by photographing actors, actresses and directors in front and behind the camera for movies and television untill his death in the 1990's. What Angelo Frontini did in Italy, Arthur Grimm did in Germany.  In spite of his nazi past, Arthur Grimm was still the man to be photographed by, so Marisa Mell took the opportunity to let him take a whole series of pictures of her in the most glamorous poses for ther portfollio. Pictures that were not free of charge, but being paid from her first earnings. Did it work out for her? Probably yes, because her next movie was a German production called "Ruf der Wildgänse".

Saturday, November 12, 2016

"Marisa - Geschichte einer Freundschaft" by Erika Pluhar (Re-edition)

On May 8, 2017 the German publishing house "Insel Verlag" will re-edit the cult book about Marisa Mell written in German by her longtime friend the Austrian actress-writer Erika Pluhar. There will be a little change in the title. The original title "Marisa-Rückblenden auf einer Freundschaft" will change into "Marisa-Geschichte einer Freundschaft". The content to my knowledge will stay the same. This re-edit marks  the twenty-first anniversary of the original publication of the hardback edition of this wonderful book in 1996. Marisa Mell is wearing on the cover of this edition of the book a gown made of black crepe falling from a single slanted diamantè strap by Helga, jewelled cuffs by Robert Originals, photo by Bert Stern, Vogue US 1967. Sadly there are no plans for issuing this book in English, which is a pity because in my opion there is still a huge marked for this book of fans wanting to read it. For readers that do not want to wait untill next year there is an e-version in German of the original book available 

Thanks to André Schneider for pointing this one out!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Marisa Mell by Bert Stern

Marisa Mell
David Webb emarald, ruby and diamond belt
Hair by Martin Downey
Photo by Bert Stern

Photo shoot for Vogue 1968 as run up to the Mata Hari musical starring Marisa Mell trying to make her a new Broadway star which in the end horribly misfired!