Neon 3x5

Uploaded by Nerikekanalen on 23.03.2012

- Hello. Welcome to the final episode of Neon. Tonight we are going to pay tribute to a fantastic
woman whose lifestory has fascinated several generations.
She was a legendary actress who began her career as a child when her co-star was "Lassie".
In her next movie she rode into our hearts and became a childstar. It changed her life.
She was a pretty teenager who grew up to be one of the most beautiful women in the world.
By the time she was 24 years old she was also considered to be one of the best actresses in
the world and she starred in movies such as: "A Place In the Sun", "Giant", "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"
"Suddenly Last Summer", "Cleopatra" and then two movies that she won Academy Awards for:
"BUtterfield 8, that she disliked and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
But the most important role in her life wasn't played on the silver screen but in her own life.
Since she was also known for her turbulent private life. She became Liz with the entire world
even though it was a name that she despised. In the 1960s she was the most photographed
woman in the world who couldn't go anywhere without being persued by the papparazzi.
At the height of 'Le Scandale' she managed to capture the attention of both the pope and the
American congress and the public loved her for it. Liz & Dick was the most luminous celebrity
couple who's star power has overshadowed all celebrity couples that came after them.
The Burtons became the role models for what celebrities should be like. Their everyday life
was full of things we see among celebrities today, such as: a private jet, a jet set lifestyle,
the yacht Kalizma, lap dogs, the children, charity events, diamonds, rubies and emeralds.
After Richard Burton died in the 1980s we got to see another side of this star. She became a
successful businesswoman who launched fragrances such as: Passion, White Diamonds
and Forever Elizabeth. She was at the time of her death one of the richest women in the US.
She was also a humanitarian who has done more than any other celebrity to fight against AIDS.
She helped founding Amfar and also founded her own AIDS Foundation. She was also a loyal friend
who never abandoned Michael Jackson during his trials and tribulations. But how will the world
remember her? That is something we are going to discuss tonight in this special episode of Neon
when we are going to pay tribute to Elizabeth Taylor.
- Who she is? Elizabeth Taylor. - It's a beautiful woman.
- Elizabeth Taylor. - I have no clue.
- It's a famous actress. Her name is... - Elizabeth Taylor.
- I think it's Elizabeth Taylor. - Elizabeth Taylor.
- Elizabeth Taylor, right? - Yes.
- Elizabeth... - Taylor.
- What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say Elizabeth Taylor?
- A big movie star. - Cleopatra and Hollywood.
- She was incredibly beautiful. - An old woman.
- Didn't she die recently? Or is she still alive? - But she's gone now.
- She was beautiful. When I played with my paperdolls as a child, I was always Liz Taylor.
- She was a person with a lot of charisma. - An American actress.
- She was a part of our era. - She is best remembered as a young woman.
- She is someone who was a part of our lives when we grew up.
- A fine actress, a super idol, one of the biggest stars who's walked the earth.
- Tonight's guests in the studio is Josefine Lännqvist who loves old movies, Asa Jernudd
who has a PhD in Cinema Studies and the music group Sweetlife.
- Our first guest tonight is a teenage girl who is mature for her age. She is adventurous
courageous, nice and happy. She likes to film, travel and photograph. She has been a part
of our youth editiorial staff since the beginning. Welcome to the sofa, Josefine Lännqvist.
- Thank you. - So how does it feel to sit in the couch?
- A little strange. I'm used to be behind the camera.
- Yeah. So now we're going to talk about Elizabeth Taylor. What's your first memory of her?
- I remember when I was a kid and my grandma used to watch old movies on TV and I remember
that I saw her in one of them. I think it must have been a Taylor-Burton movie since my grandma
told me that they had been married to each other more than once. So that's my first memory of her
but I've always seen her images and thought she was beautiful even though I didn't know her name.
So I remember her face the most. - Why is Liz Taylor one of your favorite actresses?
- She has starred in some great movies and I am very fascinated by her beauty.
- How come you started liking her? - It was mostly by chance. I've known who
she was for at least three years. But I had never seen any of her movies until last year.
- Which movie did you see then? - Cleopatra.
- What did you think of it? - It was really great. It was epic, I mean just
her entrance into Rome. She really demand your attention. She does that in every movie.
But it's okay. Since she has so much charisma. I really loved that movie.
- What was it she had that the stars of today lacks?
- I like Audrey Hepburn too and she and Elizabeth Taylor is a bit alike. I mean back
in those days they didn't have equality between the genders like we have today. But they really
showed that women can also and we have just as much right as you do to be here. They really
proved that women should do more than stay at home and clean. They had as much influence
in show biz as the men did. They were not just there to be pretty, they really gave of themselves.
- I guess you can call them feminists... - Yes I think they were. They really were
good role models. Sure Elizabeth Taylor did have like the world's tiniest waistline for a
while but it's better than today's size zero. - What's your favorite Elizabeth Taylor movie?
- I liked "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?". I mean the character she portrayed there was
incomparable. I was almost frightened by her at times. She did that movie with Richard Burton
and they had such great chemistry. But I also liked "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" because I like
Paul Newman too. What fascinated me the most about that movie is that they had the same scene
for a very long time and didn't change setting and yet it was never dull. In "Virginia Woolf" you
don't really get it until the end. So it was a bit like solving a puzzle. But it's those two movies
that I think are the best. I can't choose just one. - How did you react upon the news of her death?
- I was in Australia and "The Last Time I Saw Paris" came on TV. So we watched it. Then
in the stores I saw her face on the cover of a magazine and it said the years 1932-2011 and
I tell my friend. "Oh My God 2011 it's just like if she's dead" and she tells me. "But she is dead"
and I'm like "What? What are you saying?" I was totally shocked. It was kind of ironic. She
told me "But that's why they are showing her movies on TV and she's on the cover of all the
magazines." So yeah I was stunned that she was gone so suddenly. Because I didn't know
that she had been ill or anything. - And what did you think of the movie you saw?
- Well she dies in the movie. Oops, now I told a spoiler. I mean it's sad movie...
- It's ok. We are going to show the film clip from this movie when she dies now so it's no spoiler.
- After Elizabeth Taylor died on March 23, 2011 people all around the world grieved for her.
During her 70 years in the spotlight, her life was followed by millions of fans, who loved her.
Her movies and personality enriched their lives. But Elizabeth Taylor was also an activist, an
animal lover and a style icon who inspired others. She was admired for her love of life,
her beauty, compassion and unique charisma. Many of us can't imagine a world without
Elizabeth Taylor, since she's always been there. Here's a reportage about Elizabeth Taylor fans.
Elizabeth Taylor died at the age of 79. She was famous almost all her life.
She was catapulted to stardom in 1944, when she starred in the movie "National Velvet".
Since then she's spellbound several generations of movie audiences and most people can still
remember the first time they saw a movie with her.
- Elizabeth Taylor was the last of the great Hollywood stars. During her lifetime she became
a role model for young women all around the world, who looked up to her. Most of them have
been Elizabeth Taylor fans, since they were kids.
- All fans have two things in common. They first discovered her through her movies and that
they admire her acting abilities.
- Elizabeth Taylor was one fo the last stars who emerged from Hollywood's studio system.
She had a natural talent for acting and never took any acting classes. Instead she learnt her
craft from her mother, her co-stars and different directors that she worked with. Her career
reached its peak in the 1960s when the studio system stopped controlling her career and she
was free to choose which movies she wanted to do and could demand her own salary. Elizabeth
Taylor was the first actress who was paid 1 million dollars for a movie. The movie was
Cleopatra and it was approx. three times as much money as the other top actresses made per movie
in those days. Elizabeth Taylor was one of the most successful actresses in the Hollywood.
She often collaborated with her husband Richard Burton and together they made 11 movies.
The most notable is "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?". Elizabeth Taylor had a significant and
long career. She won 41 prizes which included 4 golden globes and 3 Academy Awards.
She won her first Oscar for the movie "BUtterfield 8", her second Oscar for
the movie "Who's Afraid of Viriginia Woolf?" and her final Oscar for her humanitarian work.
Elizabeth Taylor acted for 60 years of her life. She made 55 big screen movies and 9 TV movies.
The large selection of Elizabeth Taylor movies has made it difficult for her fans to choose just
one favorite Elizabeth Taylor movie.
But Elizabeth Taylor's fans are not just fans of her because they love her movies.
Although they admire her work as an actress, they think that her personality is as important.
All Elizabeth Taylor fans perceive her as a person who had mostly nice personality traits. It is an
impression they have formed of her thru the media, as they have never had the chance to meet her.
Elizabeth Taylor had to fight to survive. In her lifetime she underwent approx. 100 operations.
One of her most serious health crises occurred in march 1961 when a 29 year old Elizabeth Taylor
was rushed to the hospital with pneumonia and respiratory failure. A tracheotomy saved her life.
In 1997 she had to undergo a serious brain surgery after they had discovered a benign tumor
the size of a golf ball in her skull. She went through it just after her 65th birthday and as
usual she quickly recovered.
Other health problems that Elizabeth Taylor battled with was back pains, alcoholism
and congestive heart failure. She also underwent hip replacement surgery and skin cancer surgery.
But despite all of her health problems, it wasn't due to them that the fans thought she was unique.
- Today I'm going to interview a fan of Elizabeth Taylor. How did you discover her?
- I was about 8 years old and my dad had a book called "Life goes to the movies". It had photos
of lots of movie stars and the 8th star was Elizabeth Taylor. She had the first full page color
photo. It was a close up of her face. She had her hair put up in a pink towel, she had no make up
on and she was unnaturally beautiful. So that's my first memory of her. I actually started to
imitate her hair do. I put up my hair in a towel after I had showered at school and the other kids
asked me "What are you doing that for?" and I replied: "Because the movie stars do that".
I didn't know her name. I just knew she was a movie star. My next memory of Elizabeth Taylor
is from when I was about 12 years old. Back in those days I used to buy magazines to read about
Carola and one day I thought I didn't get much value for my money as I only read one article in
the magazines. So I decided to read everything in the magazine and I read something about
Elizabeth Taylor. I thought she was interesting so I started to follow her life thru the media.
It was when I started reading books about her that I became a fan. For many years she was
Liz Taylor to me and Liz Taylor was a person who stood out from the crowd, was a celebrity and
she was entertaining and incredible. I was amazed to read about the things she did.
I was amused by her. Then when I read books about her I got to know more about the person
behind the larger than life Hollywood image and then she became Elizabeth Taylor to me.
I could see a person who I in some ways even could identify with. I started to like her even
more than before. I think the difference between fans and non-fans is that if you are a
fan you have an other emotional attachment to what you are a fan of. You respect, you
love, you admire, you are loyal to the person that you are a fan of. That is my interpretation
of being a fan. I didn't realize that I had become a fan of Elizabeth Taylor until in the summer of
2008 when I stopped by Celigny on my vacation. I was looking for Richard Burton's grave and
at that moment I realized: "Hey you don't do this unless you are a fan".
- What do you like about her? - What I admire the most about Elizabeth Taylor
is her love of life. She was a fighter who went through a lot in her life. She had tribulations
and suffered from a bad health for several years. When she was about my age she almost
died. But she survived that and she became somebody who made her life count. She was
a business woman, an AIDS activist, a movie star and she also seemed to be a very nice person.
I think she had an inner strenght. Despite the fact that she was a part of the Hollywood scene
and was famous for so many years she never lost herself. She seemed to be able to separate
the commodity Elizabeth Taylor who was a movie star from her private self.
She also had a great personality, integrity, and she seemed like a funny person.
If you look at interviews with her you can see that she had a sense of humor.
- What do you think was less good about her? - Well you know, I don't think anyone has as
a goal to marry seven different men. But I don't think it made her a less good person. Life just
happened that way for her. Okay she also abused alcohol and that's not good. But she
raised above the situation and made the best out of it. She was one of the first celebrities
to go to Betty Ford's clinic. Then others dared to follow her example since she made it okay to
admit publically that you were an alcoholic. She made it okay to fail with a marriage.
She made it okay to move on. I think she lived her life very much in the present.
So she raised above even the things that weren't good and made the best out of it.
- What do you think made her so successful? - I think it's a combination of her good looks,
I mean she was extraordinary beautiful even as a child, and of her personality and the way she
was taught by the studio. She had it. That special quality that made her unique.
I think all of that contributed to making her such a superstar.
- How many movies has she made? - A little more than 50 movies. The first movie
I ever saw with her was Cleopatra. I didn't watch that until I was like 17 and then it was
the relationship between her and Richard Burton that caught my attention. I thought it
was interesting to watch them together since they had some sort of magical chemistry.
She's made very many great films. The last big screen movie she ever did was "The Flintstones".
Unfortunately I've never seen any of her films at the movies. Since I was too young when they
came out with the exception of Flintstones and when that came out I was about 14 and my
parents were all like: "So how about watching The Flintstones at the movies?" and I was like:
"" 14 is such a difficult age you know? So you don't really want to see a children's movie.
- Did she star in the same types of movies all the time or were there different ones?
- They were different. She developed over time. She went from being a childstar, to Hollywood's
sweetheart to a more seductive woman who was a bit of a femme fatale, who used her sexuality to
sweetheart to a more seductive woman who was a bit of a femme fatale, who used her sexuality to
seduce men. Then towards the end she often portrayed characters that reminded of her own
life so there was almost something of a parody on her image. But she was okay with that.
- Has she written many books? - She has collaborated with authors who has
written autobiographical books about her. Also she actually wrote one book herself.
"Nibbles and Me" that she wrote in the 1940s when she was about 12. It was about her chipmunk.
- What does Elizabeth Taylor mean to you? - She means a lot to me. In my everyday life
she became someone who inspired me. She was someone I admired and looked up to.
Her movies brought me happiness. There's something special about watching an Elizabeth
Taylor movie you've never seen before. It was a way to rewind in my everyday life. Also since
she's been through so much in her life she also became a person who you could think of when
you were going through things that are tough. She was a survivor and to think of her helped.
For instance my grandpa has been suffering from bad health in the last year and has been going in
and out of the hospital and in that kind of situation the thought of Elizabeth Taylor and
all she went through is somewhat comforting. Since if she could survive all that maybe this
will be alright too. So she inspires me to be strong when I most need to be. So that I
can find the strenght to be there for the people that I love.
- Why are you a fan of Elizabeth Taylor? - I am not just a fan of her movies, but also of
her personality. I think it was fun to follow her on twitter. She sent out new messages that
were always a bit sarcastic and humorous. Also another thing I admire about her is how she
has been a force to be reckon with when it comes to raising AIDS awareness. I think she's
been an inspiration for others when it comes to that. Because she took up this cause in the 1980s
after Rock Hudson died other celebrities has also gotten involved in this cause. They wouldn't
have done that if she hadn't broken the taboo. I mean in the 1980s when AIDS first arrived
it was a disaster and people were all like: "Rock Hudson had AIDS and he kissed Linda
Evans on "Dynasty". So has she gotten AIDS now?" How is it spread? People didn't know much about
it and Elizabeth Taylor has helped raise AIDS awareness. Her work has helped people get a
better understanding for it. She also founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation that you
can donate money to. After her death her family asked her fans to donate money to it instead of
sending flowers. So I did a small donation and it's something others can do too thru her webpage.
- I didn't know that but it's really good. She seems like a very warm-hearted person.
- Yes I think she was a sensitive person underneath all the layers of her strong image.
I really think she was a compassionate person.
In 1984 Elizabeth Taylor took up the fight against
AIDS. She co-founded The American Foundation for AIDS Research together with the doctors
Michael Gottlieb and Mathilde Krim.
In 1986 Elizabeth Taylor was a member of the board of Amfar and she spoke before the
American congress where she asked for govermental funding for AIDS research.
Amfar has so far raised over 300 million dollars for AIDS research. However Elizabeth
Taylor didn't think they did enough to help people who were HIV positive. So in 1991 she founded
her own AIDS foundation that focused on raising money to care for the patients.
During the final 25 years of her life she focused her attention on the AIDS cause and she used
her celebrity status to draw attention to it and worked tiredlessly to raise money for AIDS
thru different charity events. It was when she was involved in an AIDS campaign that
Eric Allen got the chance to meet her.
The world lost a powerful AIDS activist when Elizabeth Taylor died. But the
fight against AIDS continues and if you also want to help people with AIDS you can do that
by donating money to Elizabeth Taylor's AIDS Foundation thru their website.
- Now we're going to meet a woman who has such a passionate interest in films that she's
chosen to make a career out of it. She is an associate professor in cinema studies at Örebro
University. Since she couldn't be with us in the studio today we interviewed her at her work.
Now over to Örebro University.
- Welcome to Neon. Asa Jernudd. - Thank you.
- What is your first memory of Elizabeth Taylor? - I can't even remember my first memory of her
since she is one of the celebrities that has always been there and I associate her with my
parents generation. She was born in the early 1930s and my mom was born in 1942.
So when I see the stars who is associated with Hollywood and the studio system I can't
even remember a first memory. But Elizabeth Taylor has made an impression. I remember her
most vividly for the movie: "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?".
- Would you say that's her most important movie? - It made the biggest impression on me. But on
the other hand she's been in the business for such a long time and had been a celebrated star
since her childhood until her death. She's made so many movies and been a part of official news
for so many reasons that it's hard to say what's most important. But I can mention some key
moments. Her break-through movie. Then I think of "National Velvet" when she was a little girl
who was crazy about horses. The movies that she was Oscar-nominated for must have been
important too. But also movies like "Cleopatra" mattered. Because even though it flopped it was
still a movie where she emerged as an actress and a personality. So it's hard to single out one
movie as the most important one. I'd rather like to say that the fact that she made so many films
during so many years is most important. - Okay. Let's talk about film theory. Richard Dyer
is one of the most important figures within star studies. He's developed theories about stars and
claimed that the stars during the studio system had a particular type of role that they played in
most of their movies. Which type of role would you say that Elizabeth Taylor got to play?
- I don't think his theory applies to her. Since she became a star already as a child, she grew
up in the public eye and over the years the roles she played on the screen had to change with her
age. Until the late 1950s MGM cast her in roles that were not very significant or interesting.
Where she played a beautiful nice girl. They just capitalized on her incredible looks and charisma.
Then she made the films that were based on Tennessee Williams plays and co-starred with
Richard Burton. That's when she really got to act out. She played roles where she was vulgar
an alcoholic, a bitch, ugly and petty. So she wasn't afraid to take on different types of roles.
She wasn't afraid to be ugly. She took on that kind of roles too and I think that's what made
her special. She showed us that she could do that. She was more than just a pretty face.
- You mentioned Richard Burton. What do you think her marriage and collaboration with him
has meant? - Their marriage boosted both their careers.
Their first love affair gave them a lot of media attention since when they met they were both
married to others. So it became a huge scandal that generated a lot of press. But Richard Burton
is also a celebrated actor. He was considered to be very talented and skillful and was famous in
his own right. So when they got together their star qualities were multiplied. So naturally
the movies they made together also got more interesting and electrifying than when they
worked with other people. When they worked together it created a special chemistry
that was very intensive. It was cool that they both worked together, lived together and
that they were such strong personalities and that they both were so famous.
- How would you describe Elizabeth Taylor's image? - She had a superstar quality that was mostly
based on her extraordinary beauty, her charisma and her strenght. She had a stability and was
self-confident. I mean she didn't let show biz change her that much. But had the attitude that
"Why change? I'm fine the way I am". She stood up for herself and she also had a timeless quality.
She grew up very fast. Even when she was only 16-17 years old she looked like she was about
25-30. Then her looks didn't change. She never became really old even if her looks started to
change when she was around 50 years old. She was different from many other childstars.
She was strong and radiated sexuality from a young age. She was also very glamourous.
I mean she loved jewellries and owned a lot of famous diamonds and such things. But at
the same time she had a social pathos. She was engaged in social issues. So she appeared
to be a very sympathetic all around person. But she didn't appologize for that she was a
celebrated star. She stepped out and took a lot of public space. She was also special since
she belonged to a group of people who were coached into the business from childhood.
She became a part of show biz and has never known a life when she wasn't a star.
She's so strongly interlinked with Hollywood. - Yeah she's been called "the last Hollywood star"
and "The Queen of Hollywood". Why do you think people describes her in those terms?
- Because she had those timeless qualities, those star qualities that made her more
than just a regular star. Also she was so strongly associated with Hollywood and its
studio system. Her early career occurred in the golden era of Hollywood.
- Now we're going to see a film clip from a movie called "Father's Little Devidend".
- Who do you think are the biggest stars in Hollywood today and in which way are they
different from Elizabeth Taylor? - I don't think today's stars shines as bright as
she did. Today we have so many different types of stars. There's a lot of people who raise
to fame only to quickly fall down again. So today everyone has their 15 minutes of fame.
So it's hard to compare them with Liz Taylor. - Some people like to compare Brangelina with -
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. - I don't think they have the same status.
But maybe people will think so in a few years. - I don't think so either.
- I think Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks had a similar status. But that was way before them.
- Yes and like Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier had in the 1940s and 1950s. David Marshall
discusses the concept of celebrity and power in his book. What kind of power do you think
Elizabeth Taylor has had? - She has without a doubt had power since she
was a public person, who was a role model and a rich celebrity. She was an opinion maker and
so on. I think she was most powerful as a role model for women. Because she went after
the things she wanted in life and had a sexuality. I think that mattered quite a lot to women.
Then she's been interested in social issues and done a lot of work for AIDS but that's an other
type of influence. There's she's been an opinion maker and inspired others to help a cause.
- Elizabeth Taylor became a legend during her own lifetime. How do you think the world will
remember her? - I think people will associate her with Hollywood.
- Which significance do you think Elizabeth Taylor will have for cinema studies?
- Film students will study her as a apart of the Studio System and as an example of a superstar.
- Which of her movies do you think will be shown as a part of cinema studies?
- "Cat on A Hot Tin Roof", "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Cleopatra" as an example
of a 1960s blockbuster spectacle that were made in an attempt to compete with Television.
It failed since the project was too lavish. The movie she made with James Dean will also
be a part of Cinema studies cannon. I would predict those are the movies. But then it's
possible that there are others too since I have not seen a lot of her movies from the 1950s that
are praised by film critics. So there could be others that are worth noticing too.
I must say that I look forward to watch more of her movies.
- Have you watched any Elizabeth Taylor movies? - Yes I am sure I have.
- Yes. - No I don't go to the cinema.
- Yes. - Yes quite many.
- Yes. She began making movies early so I think everyone has seen "Lassie".
- I've seen "Lassie". - I've seen "Lassie".
- I remember being glued in front of the "Lassie movies" when I was a child.
-I've seen the "Lassie movies" if we're to start at the beginning.
- It was so emotional. - In those days I was a kid, y'know?
- I know she's done a lot of other movies. - I've seen "National Velvet" when she was
young and rode a horse. She was good in it. - I have seen her movies but I don't remember
the names of them. - We've also seen "The Sandpiper" and...
- The one she did with Richard Burton... - "Cleopatra" and...
- "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" - "Taming of the Shrew".
- I've seen "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". - I've seen "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof".
- I've seen "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". - I've seen "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof".
- Now it's been so many years since I saw it that I only remember it was a lot of conflicts
between a man and a woman.
- Now we're going to meet two musically talented young people from Karlskoga.
Salle and Chriz has known each other for years and they used to dream about singing on huge
stages. So they formed a band together. Now they've just released their second album.
We went to see them when they played live. So give it up for SweetLife with the song
"Million Dollar Girl". - This one is for all the girls. "Million Dollar Girl".
- How long have you worked with music? - 12 years.
- Where are you from? - I'm from Karlskoga but lives in Örebro now.
- I'm from Karlskoga and still lives there. Our two background singers are from Stockholm.
- What kind of music do you make? - It's somewhere inbetween Akon, Timberland
and Eminem but with a touch of more pop. - Have you had a lot of live gigs?
- We played at about 200-300 places when we released our first album.
- Can you tell us something about your new CD? - Yes we wrote all lyrics ourselves and our
producers helped with the music. - Playproduction, they have a studio in Örebro.
- You can order our album from our homepage. - Okay that's good to know.
- What's your plans for the future? - We're gonna work hard to make our album sell.
We're trying to make it in Sweden by appearing on different TV-channels, play live and we have
a homepage where you can look for our livegigs. - How long have you known each other?
- About 17-18 years. - How would you describe each other?
- We've been best friends for many years. I think Salle is a great pal. We've experienced a lot
together. I think he's a great person. So that's why we've been friends for so long.
- Chriz is really awesome, as a songwriter, producer, person and friend. You see yourself
in each other after a while. I think we complement each other really well.
- What inspires you when you write songs? - From our life experiences, other people, our
surroundings, we write a lot about stuff that happens to us.
- I can get inspired on the bus, in the cab, at work and pretty much everywhere.
- What do you think about Elizabeth Taylor? - I think most people remembers her for what
she has done on the silver screen. But don't know her personally. But it's a bigger deal
when a movie star dies. I haven't watched that many of her movies but it was sad that she died.
- She was a great friend of my idol Michael Jackson and came up with the name "King of Pop".
- Yes that's right. Thank you for coming here. . Thank you for having us.
- I promise we'll listen to the album. - That's a must.
- What's your opinion of Elizabeth Taylor? - She was a good actress.
- I don't know if she was a better actress than anyone else but...
- She was one of the biggest super stars ever. - She was nice.
- She's really awesome. - She's efficient.
- She's a good actress. - She could do any parts.
- She had a lot of talent. - She was a good actress way back when.
- She was an exciting person. - She was so glamourous.
- She's quite beautiful. - She looked great for her time era.
- She beamed in a way few people do. - She had extraordinary beautiful eyes.
- I like her. - Can you say something about her life?
- She and Michael Jackson were close. - She has starred in movies.
- I think she was a fantastic person who wasted away parts of her life.
- What I remember reading about her was that she had many different husbands.
- She's had a lot of men. - I read that she was married many times.
- She led a varied life with many different husbands and she was interesting to read about.
- I read that she was so short that they had to put her on a box so she would reach her co-stars.
- I love Michael Jackson, y'know? - I know she was a friend of MichaelJackson's.
- I'm glad that she was there for him. - I think people will remember that she was a
great actress and that she starred in "Cleopatra". - She had a colorful marriage with...
- Richard Burton. Many people remember them. - I think she married the same person several times.
- She helps poor people and have given a lot to other human beings.
- Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were married. What's our opinion of them?
- I've seen two movies with them and they had really great chemistry. You'll notice that they
both likes to be the center of attention. But there's no doubt about that they really knew
each other well and that they really loved each other. You can see it. They had something
that you rarely see in the movies today. Most of the love couple's today doesn't have the same
chemistry. But they really had it. They were like a perfect match and yet they could be
destructive together. But I like them.
- You read a book about them too: "Furious Love"what do you think of that book?
- I think it was a really good book. But you'll never know how true it is. It was well written
and a good read for someone who didn't know anything about them before. Since when you
read the book you got an insight into their life together. It was more than just gossip.
It was based on how they met, their lovestory and when they were apart and everything.
The book also contains excerpts from letters that they wrote to each other and when you
read them you'll understand how much they really loved each other and also how much they
sometimes hated each other. They really had a tempestuous relationship.
- An intensive relationship with a lot of emotions. - Yes very intensive and passionate.
They were really two people who knew what they wanted and who demanded a lot of space so
I think it was probably not easy to live with them. - And yet I think their kids have grown up to be
I think it was probably not easy to live with them. - And yet I think their kids have grown up to be
wholesome and sound people. - Yes absolutely. The book was also about how
they liked to keep up with certain traditions and to have their family gathered. Since he was from
Wales he had particular traditions from when he grew up in poverty and Elizabeth Taylor
incorporated Welsh traditions into her life too. - Yes. I read that he brought her to Wales to
introduce her to his family when they had been together for about a year and he had decided
that he wanted to marry her. So he left his first wife and brought Elizabeth to Wales where
she met his family and they stayed with his sister. So she got to see where he was from and where
he grew up. He loved Wales a lot and I think she grew to love Wales too. Last year they opened
up a new theatre in Wales that was named after Richard Burton. So in 2010 Elizabeth Taylor went
to London to participate in a ceremony where they presented a bust of Burton to the theatre.
It was at Buckingham Palace so she met Prince Charles and it was so cute. She had travelled
so far to be there and she was dressed in red, which is Wales' color and she had La Peregrina
pearl around her neck, which was a gift from Richard. It was like a declaration of her love for
him and I think a lot of people interpreted it that way too. I actually went to Wales in 2010 to
visit with friends and we went to the village where Richard Burton was born - Pontrhyfyden.
When we were there I spoke to two older gentlemen who talked about this and they
referred to her as "Elizabeth Burton". I think it's the only place in the world where people
would call her that. But it was after all her name for over 10 years. It was her most
significant marriage in the sense that it lasted longer than her other marriages. I think that
Richard Burton was the love of her life, even though she also had a very special relationship
with Mike Todd, who died in the planecrash.
Elizabeth Taylor was married 8 times. But the marriage that meant the most to her fans is
without a doubt her much talked about, passionate union with Richard Burton.
- Elizabeth Taylor's love story with Richard Burton has kept fascinating the world long
after their final divorce. Even today new fans discover them as a couple.
- That the Burtons has gotten a new generation of fans is obvious when you look at their
contribution to the fan culture. Since the younger fans engage in new fan activities.
The fans make bookmarks, drawings, fan music videos and collect magazine cuttings
that they put into scrapbooks. Some fans also go on their own Elizabeth Taylor sightseeing,
where they visit places that has been important in her life.
If you go to Wales you can visit the small village "Pontrhyfyden".
On this sign it says "Welcome to the village" and that Richard Burton was born here in 1925.
The house is on the other side of the street. In central London you can find Caxton Hall,
where Elizabeth Taylor got married to Michael Wilding in the early 1950s.
On Park Lane, Dorchester Hotel is located. Elizabeth Taylor often used to stay here
when she was in London. If you take the Northern tube line and get off at "Golders Green" you will
find a luxerious area, which is called: "Hampstead." Here you can find "Wildrood Road 8"
Right now we're standing outside of a house called "Heathwood" and it was here that
Elizabeth Taylor was born in 1932. If you walk through Hampstead Heath you'll find
"Squires Mount 12" on the other side. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton used to live
here in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They also lived on their yacht "The Kalizma",
and also had a house in Puerto Vallharta in Mexico and a house nearby Gstaad in
Switzerland. Finally Richard Burton also had a house in the village Celigny, nearby Geneva
that he bought in the 1950s. It's in Celigny that he is buried. So Switzerland was special to
Elizabeth Taylor.
- That people still remembers her parties might not be so strange since Elizabeth Taylor loved to
dress lavishly and always wore couture clothes and magnificent jewellries when she went out.
Elizabeth Taylor also owned one of the world's largest private collection of jewellries.
After her death everything was to be auctioned off. The auction house Christie´s were chosen
to handle the sale of all her valuable emeralds, diamonds, rubies and other jewellries.
But first the jewellries went on a goodbye tour so that her fans got a chance to see them.
So the collection have travelled around the world and visited Dubai, Hong Kong, Los Angeles,
London and is going to Paris. Today they are in Geneva.
The auction house Christie's was founded in 1766 in London by James Christie.
The firm has expanded a lot since then and today it can be found in 32 countries all over the world.
Christie's has a fine reputation and often handles celebrity auctions.
- Christie's was chosen in 2006 to handle the sale of Elizabeth Taylor's jewelleries, bags, shoes,
clothes and paintings after her death.
- Elizabeth Taylor first collaborated with Christie's in the 1990's when the firm auctioned off some
of her things in favor of AIDS research. She also wrote the book "My love affair with
Jewelry" together with representatives from Christie's. The book was published in 2002.
So Elizabeth Taylor was very aware of what was going to happen to her possessions after her
death and had even planned which cities her collection would tour before the auction.
Right now I'm at Christie's in Switzerland. I'm at the Four Season's Hotel to see the Elizabeth
Taylor collection. They show approx. 50 pieces of jewelry to the public here in Switzerland.
Except for jewelry the auction in New York, in December 2011 also contained over 200 pieces
of clothes that Elizabeth Taylor had owned. The clothes dated from the 1960s until 2010.
Most of them were created by famous designers such as: Valentino, Chanel, Dior and Versace.
- Christie's exhibition of Elizabeth Taylor's jewelries is far from the first time her jewelries
has been showed to the public. In 1969 Richard Burton bought a 69 carat pear shaped diamond
that was christened the "Taylor-Burton" diamond. It was showed to the public in New York and
Chicago. Approx. 6000 people saw it.
- Elizabeth Taylor's most valuable jewelries, many that could be seen in Switzerland, were
sold at Christie's in New York on the 13th of Dec. 2011. They brought in 115,9 million dollars.
Apparently the Elizabeth Taylor factor pressed up the prizes a lot. It became a new record for
Christie's. The old record was the 1985 sale of the Duchess of Windsor's jewelries. That were
sold for 50 million dollars.
- Evelina which Elizabeth Taylor movie do you like the most?
- The Lassie movies. Because they had so much charm. I haven't seen that many movies
with her so far. But of the ones I've seen I'm already impressed by her.
- What made you impressed with her? - She's so talented. The movies get better when
she is in them. She can star in movie's that are long and slow paced but she makes them better.
- She can make you like an unlikable character in a movie. Not many actresses can do that.
- "The Last Time I Saw Paris" is an interesting movie, since it marked the beginning of her
queen of the boxoffice period. After it she made all her famous movies like: "Giant", "Raintree
County", "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", "Suddenly Last Summer" and "BUtterfield 8" that she won an
Oscar for and then came "Cleopatra". I think her career peaked between the years 1955-1967.
After that her career went downhill. I think her biggest success was with "Who's Afraid of
Virginia Woolf?" and I think that's the movie that has meant the most. Because it was a movie
that came out in the beginning of the new 1960s movies. It was the first movie to pass by the
censorship, which lead to that the Hay's Code disappeared. It was also the first movie Mike
Nichols ever directed. - Mike Nichols has made many interesting
movies and he's been in the business for a long time and made some great films.
- It's been rumoured that he's going to direct a movie about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard
Burton. What do you think of the prospect that they'll make a movie about their lives?
- I don't think I'd watch that movie. Then again you'll never know. The movie about Chaplin was
quite interesting and good. But I think when they make movies about famous people they need to
find something general in the story that other people can relate to. If they succeeed with that
and create an attractive story the movie can work.
- I think those kind of movie's mostly works as an introduction to a celebrity for a younger
generation that's never experienced them. - Maybe so. I guess it depends on how they
market the movie. I saw the movie about Carrie Fisher's alcoholism, even though it was
really about the relationship with her mother and that movie was super. It really was great.
But it had something to tell you about what it's like to be a star in Hollywood.
If they could do something like that so... - Carrie Fisher actually wrote the script to the
last movie Elizabeth Taylor ever made. It's a TV film called "These Old Broads" from 2001.
The movie stars; Debbie Reynolds, Joan Collins, Shirley MacLaine and Elizabeth Taylor.
- Okay. - There's a scene where Debbie Reynolds and
Elizabeth Taylor in characters discusses a guy named Freddie that they've both been involved
with and left and it's quite obvious that it's an intertextual reference to Eddie. So it's one of
these things when the lines between reality and the movies are blurred.
- But she didn't seem to mind that as long as she could control the image that was presented...
- Yes and speaking of intertextuality between the movies and Elizabeth's life. We're going to watch
a film clip from "Father's Little Dividend". In this scene Elizabeth Taylor comes crying to her
father, who is portrayed by Spencer Tracy, about the collapse of her marriage and in real life
at this time she was married to Nicky Hilton and her first marriage was about to collapse.
- Evelina, how did you react upon the news of Elizabeth Taylor's death?
- I was really surprised. I had recently gotten to know who she was and started to like her
and then she died. It was a shame. - I was also shocked when I got the news.
I mean I knew she was in the hospital, but I thought she was going to be ok, like before.
I was really worried about her when she went into the hospital in February 2011, but then
bulletins started to come out about how she was watching the Oscars, how she was going
to celebrate her birthday with a party when she got home. So I thought she was going to be
fine. But then on March 23, 2011 I got a text message from a friend which said:
"I'm sorry about the passing of a brilliant star". That was the whole message, but I knew who
she meant, since she could only mean one person. I was at work when I found out about
this. I was helping a guy in Junior High to edit a music video and in it he sang over and over:
"This is my life and when I die" and all I could think about was that Elizabeth Taylor had died.
At the same time I was trying to surpress all my emotions, since I didn't want to have a crazy
reaction when I was at work. So I thought. "Maybe it's not about her". I had all sorts of
alternative explanations in my head. Since I didn't want to believe it until I had gotten it
confirmed. Then I asked my co-worker, Erik, who had heard the news on the radio if it was
Liz Taylor who had died and he confirmed it for me and then I went home earlier from work.
That evening was so weird. We walked the dog and went through all the everyday routines.
Then in the evening we watched "National Velvet" and lit a candle for Elizabeth Taylor.
It felt so strange inside. I have never met Elizabeth Taylor. I have never even seen
her in real life and yet she's always been a part of my life. I mean she's always been out
there somewhere in the world and the knowledge that she existed used to make me happy.
Elizabeth Taylor was a special person whose life touched million of people's lives.
The people who met her talks about a person who was much more than just a movie star.
- The worst part about being a fan is when the person you idolizes dies.
This is how Elizabeth's fans reacted upon the news of her death.
- Elizabeth Taylor lived life to the fullest and experienced a lot in her 79 years.
Her life had a purpose, she was a unique person who touched millions of people's lives.
But how will the world remember her?
- How do you think the world should remember Elizabeth Taylor?
- I think we should remember her as the great actress she was. She wasn't just
beautiful, but also talented and gifted. People ought to watch more of her movies.
- She was also intelligent. She wasn't just beautiful but also very bright.
- She was also warm hearted. She cared about all people and animals. She was a lovely person.
- I think it's important that we remember the work she did to help people with AIDS.
It's also important that other people take up that cause and continue to fight it until there
is a cure and it's become a non-issue. I think it's important that we remember Elizabeth
Taylor as a human being. She was a person who lived in the 1900s who could make mistakes
and yet she always managed to raise above everything and go on with her life.
She was a strong person and I think that her life brought us something.
I think we can learn something from her.
- Now the show is almost over and we'd like to thank tonight's guests: Josefine Lännqvist,
Asa Jernudd and the group SweetLife. The Neon youth editorial staff would also like to
thank Elizabeth Taylor, for being who she was and for leaving a cultural inheritance to all of
us. Thanks to that the movies can capture the moment she will always live on, on the
silverscreen where new generations can watch her in her prime. If you would also like
to honor Elizabeth Taylor's memory you can do so by donating money to her AIDS foundation.
Finally the Neon Staff would also like to thank you, our audience for watching our show.
We hope that you have enjoyed watching Neon and that we'll might meet again some time on
the TV screen. Take Care until then. Good evening.
Translation: Karin Schill.