Ethnicity And Gender

In Mission Cl op tre, Jamel (as he is known) plays the Egyptian architect Num robis. The role, expanded from the original comic book, showcases his rapid-fire delivery and wide-eyed, gestural acting style. As is usual for any male comic star in France, Jamel has been compared with the legendary de Fun s and, unlike Clavier, has not been found wanting.9 It has been claimed that the success of Mission Cl op tre lies in its willingness to reflect lle rire m tisse et vari ' at the heart of modern...

Masculine Stars In A Feminine

There is a hidden contradiction in the existence of macho film stars. Despite the perennial appeal of action heroes and tough guys, gangsters and cops, ultra-masculine male stars are, to an extent, feminised by the nature of their work. It is no coincidence that in French, stars are feminine (la star or h vedette). Acting is a profession of display, and hence ranks as ornamental, a masquerade, and no job for a 'real' man There is no passage to manhood in such a world. A man can only wait to be...

Fantasies Of Women

As Bardot's case demonstrates, female stars are often used to incorporate abstract values. These values tend to be organised in a series of binaries that inform western culture and the function of women within that culture. In Male Fantasies, Klaus Theweleit states that 'The urge to see women in images seems irresistible.'1 He goes on to explore the diverse forms that images of women have taken in modern Europe. He has called the two key forms the 'Red woman' and the 'white woman'.2 The former...

The Star As National Heritage

Emmanuelle B art crystallises several of the issues we have identified in modern French film stardom glamour and iconicity, the star actress as national symbol, whiteness and gender, race and political activism, star labour and star leisure. Each of these strands can be identified in B art's star image, but the most crucial is the clash (as with Adjani) between early configurations of the actress as a classic French star and later questions about politics, race and activism. And as in Adjani's...

Delon Versus Bbel

Along with Ventura and the mature Gabin, Belmondo and Delon are the key macho stars in modern French fdm. For the period 1956-1992, cumulative box office figures in France rank Belmondo at number 3, Gabin at 4, Delon at 6 and Ventura at 7.8 Hence, four of the top ten stars of that period have a macho image, suggesting that machismo appeals to a vast number of cinemagoers. Certain ultra-masculine archetypes, most notably expressing the ideals of independence and authority, are mobilised by these...

New Wave New Audience New Star

French cinema in the 1950s saw a tension between the old and the new. This informed nearly all areas of film creation, from scriptwriting and shooting methods to production budgets and choice of stars. It can be encapsulated in the clash between two styles, la tradition de qualit (the tradition of quality) and la nouvelle vague (the new wave). Known more pejoratively as le n ma de papa (daddy's cinema), so-called quality film making had been the dominant mode of French cinema since the end of...

Actresses Models And Amateurs

The new, white faces of female stardom in France at the turn of the millennium are Monica Bellucci, Audrey Tautou, Virginie Ledoyen and Laetitia Casta. The most experienced actress among them is Bellucci, whose screen career began in 1990 and who has made twenty-five films, mainly in France and her native Italy. She and her husband Vincent Cassel, who came to prominence in La Haine 1995 , now form a powerful star couple, and have co-starred in several films, including the controversially...

Moreau And The Red Flood

The archetype of the prostitute - an avatar of the sexualised, threatening woman - has consistendy informed Jeanne Moreau's star image. She has played prostitutes, strippers or madams in numerous films, including Touchez pas au grisbi 1954 , Eua 1962 , The Trial 1963 , Le plus vieux m tier du monde 1967 , Joanna Francesca 1975 and QuereUe 1982 . Part of her childhood was spent in a cheap Parisian hotel 'with whores and so on' when she told her father she wanted to act, he replied that To be an...

Conclusion Historicizing Moreau And Deneuve

Thus far, we have interpreted Moreau and Deneuve in terms of well-established western archetypes of women, but can we historicize their star images more precisely In other words, was there anything specific about the period in which they became stars that facilitated imagery of the Red and the white, the dirty and the clean, in female stars The answer lies in Fast Cars, Clean Bodies, Kristin Ross's excellent analysis of French culture in the fifties and sixties. Ross reveals in great detail the...

Jeanhugues Anglade And Romantic Masculinity

The hints of a tamed, domesticated, and hence romantically accessible masculinity that emerge from Betty Blue were to form a crucial part of Anglade's star image. They are reiterated most evidendy in his role as Marco in Mkita 1990 , where he is feminised first by his job - cashier at a supermarket - and later by identification with the domestic space - he stays at home, cooking and designing boats, while Nikita goes to work as an action hero ine . It has been observed that the romantic hero in...

Sex Kitten

As Edgar Morin has remarked, the young Bardot already famous at Cannes before she had starred in any well-known films combined extreme innocence with extreme eroticism, and was thus 'la plus sexy des vedettes b b , le plus b b des vedettes sexy'.16 Morin locates this mixture of the innocent child and the sexual animal in Bardot's appearance, especially her face 10s 'Perhaps because of a tradition taken from the theatre, actresses in French cinema have always played certain types the ing nue,...

Signoret Glamour Deconstructed

Signoret is a classical film star in a way that Montand is not, since her film career was at its height in the period 1945-1960, when Montand was still known primarily as a singer. Susan Hayward has called this period 'the beauty years' as far as Signoret's star body is concerned.44 We can also apply to this period Morin's phrase 'la mythologie du bonheur' the mythology of happiness . A key moment in this mythologising of happiness and of the beautiful star body is the account of how Signoret...

Ethnicity And French Cinema

This chapter will explore issues of race and stardom, whiteness and female sexuality, via an American actress who worked and died in France, and a French actress of German and Algerian parentage. Their star images illuminate the representation of ethnicity in French cinema. Of course, it is true to assert, as Ginette Vincendeau does, that 'French cinema has been slow to acknowledge the ethnic diversity of the population'.1 But this is not to say that ethnicity is not at stake in the images of...

His And Hers Desiring Bodies In Betty Blue

In the opening scene of the film, the camera slowly tracks forwards towards Betty Dalle and Zorg Anglade , both naked, having sex. The first sounds are Betty's high-pitched groans of pleasure. Her face is clearly lit as she grimaces, and then bites Zorg's shoulder at the moment of orgasm. Both the groaning and the biting will be revisited with hyperbolic intent in Dalle's performance from Trouble Every Day Despite the slight privileging of Dalle over Anglade in this sequence - she makes the...

Montand Solidarity And The Star

For Montand as an individual star, the question of solidarity is crucial, since it raises issues related not only to politics generally, but specifically to class. His social origins and his move away from them, thanks to international stardom, are succinctly expressed by Montand himself in an interview from 1974 Fils d' migr s italiens, ayant moi-m me t ouvrier, pauvre petit Rital, je pouvais alors exjmmer le peuple. Je ne me reconnais plus ce droit. Les ouvriers, je ne suis plus des leurs....

Threat or reassurance Grard Depardieu and Patrick Dewaere

G rard Depardieu's star image has become so ubiquitous and so familiar that it has ossified into a myth. He dominated the French film industry for over two decades, and at the turn of the millennium remained its highest paid actor. However, for a number of years in the 1970s, the name of Depardieu, now synonymous with French cinema,1 was most strongly associated with that of his contemporary and friend Patrick Dewaere. In their early careers the two were linked, both as metaphorical brothers...

Batrice Dalle And Female Sexuality

If Anglade's star image is resolutely romantic, Dalle's is excessive. She has been nicknamed 'B atrice scanDalle'42 and has been arrested in France for drug offences, assaulting a traffic warden and shoplifting. Arrests for cocaine possession while filming 'The Blackout in the United States resulted in her classification as an 'undesirable immigrant', and a refusal to grant her a work permit when she was due to star in other American films. Her relationship with Joey Starr - from the...

Joe Dallesandro A Body Without A Voice

Like Kristel, the Italian-American Joe Dallesandro was a foreign actor who became associated with French erotic cinema in the mid-seventies. His five French films were all made between 1975 and 1979, and include a performance alongside Kristel in La Marge. Dallesandro was an underground star in the United States during the sixties, first in nude 'beefcake' photography, then as one of the so-called 'Superstars' of Andy Warhol's Factory film studio. Although Dallesandro himself is straight, his...

The End Of The Seventies

In 1979, Depardieu and Dewaere were among the ten highest-paid stars in French cinema, but the turn of the decade was to prove a watershed in the careers of both men. While Depardieu gradually freed himself from the constraints imposed by the myth of the working-class brute, Dewaere's image slipped rapidly from romantic rogue to loser, from loubard romantique to paum . Essentially, it was now Dewaere rather than Depardieu who found that his star image both on and off screen began to match his...

Depardieu After Dewaere

Dewaere's death left 'an immense boulevard que le g nie de G rard Depardieu a su occuper'.53 His star persona rapidly matured into the ubiquitous 'everyman' of French cinema and then the global star he is today. The 1980s began with a farewell to the 'mad dog' loubard and concluded with the award of a super C sar as the 'actor of the decade'. Depardieu's boxoffice appeal exploded, with Jean de Fhrette 1986 attracting over seven million spectators, and Francis Veber's La Chime 1981 , Les...

Adjani As Whiter Than White

Like Seberg's, Isabelle Adjani's whiteness is crucial to her star image. Because she is dark haired rather than blonde, her whiteness is symbolised principally by her pale, 'porcelain' 32 Fuentes, op. cit., pp.149 and 153. 33 Chateauneu, op. cit., p.41. For a less sympathetic view from Paris Match, see note 26, above. 34 See ibid., p.41. 35 Ibid., pp.40, 41. The vocabulary of tragedy and courage is common in star tributes and was much used on the death of Romy Schneider in 1982. See the Paris...

Introduction star studies star systems

Stars from such diverse realms as sport, politics, music, television and film are a ubiquitous feature of modern popular culture. They occupy spaces as varied as internet sites, adverts of all kinds, chat shows and magazines, as well as the original sources of their stardom usually, but not always, distinct such as films, songs, TV programmes. They feel known to us, and we often wish to be them or to be like them. Stars are not 'just' people, they are also commodities, brand names, whose...

Conclusion Beyond Machismo

But are there elements within the star images of Belmondo and Delon that go beyond the hypermasculine, which reveal something beneath the leather jacket or the armour-plated car At first, both men appear locked into a form of masculinity that celebrates autonomy while leaving little space 'for dependency, relationship or feeling.'54 Belmondo cried on screen for the first time in Itin raire d'un enfant g t , in 1988, thirty years after his screen debut Delon appears fixated on...

Conclusion La Marge And The Performance Of The Orgasm

In hard-core porn there is an essential difference between male and female stars the visibility of the orgasm. This entails visual proof of orgasm for the male star, whereas the female star, even if engaging in actual sex acts, still has, in a sense, to perform her orgasm, to enact the unseen. In soft porn this distinction no longer holds. The sex is not real but performed, and so are the orgasms. La Marge is relatively unusual for a soft-porn film in that it teams a major female porn star with...

Belliqueuse Madone Bart And The Sanspapiers Affair

Already in 1991 certain sections of the French film press had glimpsed something else underneath B art's reassuring early star image. La Revue du cinema commented that 25- See, for example, L. Le Vaillant, 'Belliqueuse madone', Lib ration, 10 December 1996, p.44, and J. B gl , 'Emmanuelle B art la femme libre', Paris Match, 23 August 2001, pp.68-72. 26- See Morin, op. cit., pp.31-2 and Dyer, Stars, p.82. 'Emmanuelle B art est cent lieues de l'image rassurante et immuable que les m dias donnent...

Sylvia Kristel The Porn Star As Mainstream

If sexual liberation in Britain is associated with the mid-sixties, in France it is positioned slighdy later, in the aftermath of the anti-establishment struggles of May 1968. In the protests, campaigns, and graffiti of the late sixties and early seventies, 'le sexe, le d sir et le plaisir taient au coeur de toutes les m taphores'.13 Popular forms such as BD comics took delight in portraying the body in all its intimate glory in 1973, the adult comic L'Echo des savanes featured the 'genital...

Gender In Porn Stardom

If one measures film stardom by the popularity of an actor's films, then the biggest female star in French cinema is not Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Adjani or Brigitte Bardot. It is in fact the Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel who, 'thanks to her success in the erotic Emmanuelle series, turns out to be the highest ranking female star at the French box office.'1 But, as Ginette Vincendeau points out shortly before dropping Kristel from her own account , star encyclopaedias like Les Acteurs fran ais...

Stardom And The Cinma Du Look

It might seem unusual that during the 1980s and early 1990s the films of JeanJacques Beineix, Luc Besson and L os Carax should reveal a number of new stars. After all, in their work the images appeared to have the starring roles. Known in French as le cin ma du look or le visuel, the film style which became associated with these directors was deemed by critics to emphasise spectacle above all else, and was often attacked for a perceived similarity to visual forms such as music video and comic...

Seberg Race And The White Woman

As an American actress, Jean Seberg is clearly a foreign body in French cinema. Blonde and Nordic in appearance, she spoke French with an obvious accent and wore her nationality on her body in the form of a New York Herald Tribune t-shirt in her first and most celebrated French film, A bout de souffle 1959 . In later parts she still played foreigners, as in La Ligne de demarcation 1966 where, although her French accent is much improved, her character is English. But her function as a foreign...

Sexuality And The Female Star Mother Or Vamp

Despite B art's prominent nudity, La Belle Noiseuse in a sense demythologises her body, emptying it of eroticism. The film disperses the star body and seeks the actress underneath, with the painter demanding 'Plus de seins, plus de ventre, plus de cuisses, plus de cul '.19 This is in direct contrast with the famous opening sequence of Le M pris Godard, 1963 , in which Brigitte Bardot's star body is fetishised, its constituent parts celebrated by the camera as Bardot asks '7it les aimes mes...

Deneuve And The White Mask

Deneuve's star image, as one might imagine, is diametrically opposed to Moreau's. This is why the films each actress made with Bunuel move in opposite directions the premise of Le Journal d'une femme de chambre is inverted three years later in Belle de jour, where Deneuve plays a white woman who turns Red see below . Where Moreau is compared to streams and storms, metaphors of frigidity and whiteness have always accompanied Deneuve. She is the cold beauty, the ice maiden, the snow queen. While...