Andy

In contrast to Paul's rigid interpretation of Stallone, Andy actually changes his categorisation through the course of filling out the questionnaire. Near the beginning, Andy refers to Stallone as 'less of an actor and more of a character'. By the end, he admits that 'my perception of him now is more of an actor rather than a character'. Such a shift is indicative of the way in which Andy's categorisation of Stallone is an ongoing process, constructed in his language as he writes, and connected...

Animation And Voiceovers

The fact that by the 1990s a number of processes were overlaid on each other should be no surprise. It is important to keep a note of changes which may turn out to be characteristic of new tendencies. One such, in tune with Katzenberg's rant against stars' levels of control, has paralleled the re-emergence of big-budget animated movies in the last decade. The role of stars in animation, although important, is different. They can voice a character, and thus transfer to it some of the resonances...

Antecedents

There have been wildly diverse adaptations of Stevenson's novella from the moment it was published. These include the burlesque piece entitled The Strange Case of a Hyde and a Seekyl produced five months after the novella was in print the competing film productions released by Selig and Kalem in 1908 the 1963 Jerry Lewis comedy entitled The Nutty Professor, the 1973 NBC television musical that starred Kirk Douglas the numerous cartoon and pornographic versions of the story more recent...

Bibliography

Abercrombie, Nicholas and Brian Longhurst (2000) Audiences, London Sage. Abramowitz, Rachel (2000) L That a Gun in Your bcket Women's Experience ofFbwer in Hollywood, New York Random House. Adams, Cindy (1980) Lee Strasberg The Imperfect Genius of the Actors Studio, New York Doubleday. Adams, James Eli (1995) Dandies ami Desert Saints Styles of Victorian Masculinity, Ithaca Cornell University Press. Allen, Robert C. (1999) 'Home Alone Together Hollywood and the Family Film', in Melvyn Stokes...

Chapter Four

PUTTING AWAY CHILDISH THINGS JAR JAR BINKS AND THE VIRTUAL STAR' AS AN OBJECT OF FAN LOATHING1 In this chapter I want to interrogate a number of assumptions which have structured prior work on stars in film theory. First, I want to consider how the term 'affect' has been restricted so that stars are typically discussed as objects of fan affection. Second, I want to consider how affect can be addressed pragmatically in star studies can fans' 'discourses of affect' be analysed without considering...

Charlie

Charlie admits that, with regard to Stallone, 'to be honest I am probably more interested in him as a person than his films ' This declaration points towards his categorisation of Stallone as something akin to Geraghty's notion of the 'star-as-celebrity' in which 'the emphasis on the private sphere and the interaction with other forms of fame means that the films are relatively unimportant' (Geraghty, 2000 189). However, while Charlie may downplay the importance of Stallone's films to him, one...

Christine Geraghty

In her (2000) essay on the British film star Margaret Lockwood, Sarah Street quotes from Picturegoer, a popular British film magazine in the 1940s. Defending criticisms of British actresses, the commentator distinguishes between British 'ladies' and American 'dames', protesting that 'we may lack glamour and we may be old-fashioned but our actresses play the parts of ladies - not dames' (10 May 1945). I start with this quotation because much of what it expresses still rings true - the rivalry...

Comparisons Between Cultural Tastes In The Stewart And Miller Samples

Those in the Stewart sample were significantly more likely to watch Star Trek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and significantly less likely to watch Masterpiece Theater or 60 Minutes (a respected television news magazine programme) than the Miller sample, which is likely to reflect the comparative youth of the Stewart sample. In our whole sample, the former two shows were associated with younger viewers and the latter two with older viewers. These findings confirm standard predictions based on...

Conclusion

Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin (1999) argue that all innovations in communication technology draw upon previous media forms in a process of remediation. New media borrow from old media, with their newness arising from how they integrate and adapt those past forms. For Bolter and Grusin, the world wide web has provided an eclectic space for combining and reworking many old media, with text, graphics, photos and video variously combined to form a heterogeneous screen. When looking at the...

Cynthia Baron

The continuous adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 allegorical shilling shocker, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, can, as Brian Rose suggests, 'serve as a tracer of shifts in attitudes' (1996 1). Analysis of even a small sampling ofjekyll and Hyde adaptations reveals that the films' representations of two passages in Stevenson's novella are especially pertinent to inquiries into shifting constructions of masculinity. The first concerns the secret pleasures that led the doctor to...

Directors As Stars

If special effects might be challenging the privileged position of stars, so might others. In his essay 'The New Hollywood' (one of the first, and still one of the best, to give an overview of the changes), Thomas Schatz (1993) names one shift particularly relevant to stardom the rise of the director-superstar. In this period, marketers and publicists began to promote films on the name of their directors - as typified, of course, by Steven Spielberg.5 Spielberg's abilities as a master of...

Do Strasbergs Performances On Film Illuminate What He Taught

One reviewer directly asked the guru this question. 'Did you, I deadpanned, think of applying the Method to yourself Yes, of course, Strasberg returned. The Method is nothing more than an analysis of what good actors have done when they have acted well' (Scheuer, 1978). In this answer, Strasberg voices his persistent opinion that Method acting subsumes everything which successful actors do, and that any actor who rejects his teaching is in denial. From this point of view, Strasberg can be said...

Elites

Emanuel Levy (1990) places his study of stars within the study of elite groups. He provides an illuminating description of the kind of elite group Hollywood stars constitute. His account ought to be developed. Is his description accurate How does the Hollywood group compare with other elite groups both in the film industry and other industries It would be especially helpful to develop comparisons of national star groups. Recent interest in stars from countries like France and Britain suggests...

Emma Thompson A Very British Star

Emma Thompson is representative in many respects of the way in which acting by a British female star is positioned within wider cultural contexts. Directed by Ang Lee from an adaptation by Thompson herself of Jane Austen's classic novel, Sense and Sensibility is a costume or historical drama, a genre which, in the 1980s 90s, was characterised as heritage cinema and strongly associated with British reworkings of the past. Without entering the debates which have surrounded the genre, it is worth...

Entertainment News

Up-to-date news and gossip about film is now available daily through dedicated entertainment sites. Two leading sites in this category are E Online and Hollywood.com. As part of their main menus, both sites carry 'Celebrities' links. In the case of Hollywood.com, the link leads to a name search facility which takes the visitor to biographical information on stars, together with news stories, film credits and links for streamed trailers. With E Online, film stars are grouped in the celebrities...

Failure

The obvious fact is that stars do fail, and even the most successful eventually fade - unless early death freezes and immortalises them. Given all the attention to the manipulation of star personae, to the management of public opinion, and so on, what can we learn from cases of failure One film failure offers a case in point. Judge Dredd contributed greatly to the death of its parent company Cinergi, and did no favours to the star presence of its major star...

Film Promotions

Through publicity and promotion, marketing channels have constructed the meanings of stars as part of the routine business of the film industry. Online communications provide a further addition to the marketing mix. Movie promotional websites are commonly used by film distributors in conjunction with trailers and poster campaigns. In this context, stars' images are used to develop the meaning of a film and build expectation. Like the trailer, sites work to create interest in a film by...

Finding Audiences

For my research, I wrote letters to regional newspapers around the country and a range of national magazines, appealing for people to contact me for a questionnaire on Stallone. Many regional newspapers published my letter, as did the magazines Gay Times, Attitude and Impact, and I received approximately 100 responses. My qualitative questionnaire consisted of a combination of open, general questions and questions relating to key issues which I was addressing. I received 51 questionnaires (32...

Fluid Bodies

Lee (1999) provides a comprehensive analysis of the processes through which Asian American and Asian images have historically been elided in US popular culture. In this reading, the history of Asians in the US has been a continuous struggle against racial exclusion and subordination as 'Orientals'. Asian American cultural and political workers have fought against this oppressive edict and for their own particular birthright, namely a central position in the forging of America's...

Gilbert On The Internet

Thankfully, critical work has begun to emerge to give researchers a methodological framework for doing internet research, and more importandy for using data generated from websites and chat rooms (Mann and Stewart, 2000 Jones, 1999 Garton et al., 1999 Baym, 2000). Steven Cohan's timely and useful (2001) article on Judy Garland net fandom has provided some degree of specific methodological examination of qualitative internet research to explore fandom, as indeed has Matt Hills' (2002) book on...

Gwyneth Paltrow An American Does British

I want to turn now from a British star moving westward to an American star moving east, Gwyneth Paltrow. Paltrow has a more extensive film career than either Thompson or Winslet, and here I concentrate on two of what might be called her British films (in setting if not production terms) to look at how costume films have allowed her performance style to develop in a particular way. Paltrow's first leading role was in Emma (1996, UK), an adaptation of another Austen novel which was released a...

How Did Strasberg Value The Stardom Of His Last Years

The answer to this first question lies hidden in subtext. Strasberg usually called acting a 'relaxing' break from teaching, a mere 'diversion' (Philip K. Scheuer, 'Strasberg A Man and His Method', Los Angeles Times, 25 June 1978 Hager, 1980). 'Don't call it a career,' he warned, 'I'm too old to start a career' (Hager, 1980) For me, acting is a relaxation from work I must do and want to do but which for me is physically exhausting You work so much harder when you are pushing someone else....

How Did Strasbergs Persona As Teacher And Maker Of Stars Feed Into His Image As Actor

Of the metaphors used to describe Strasberg the teacher, that of patriarch finds clearest expression in his roles. In particular, Hyman Roth in Godfather, Part II and Grandpa Sam in And Justice for All present Strasberg with opportunities to play out paternal aspects of his relationship with his real life prot g , Al Pacino. Clearly the richer role, Roth successfully embodies contradictory aspects of Strasberg's pedagogical image. The Jewish mafia leader promotes and competes with a younger...

Index

2D 3D animation 95 60 Minutes (TV programme) 180 100 Nude Celebrity Pics 35-6 1941 (1979, USA) 10 ABC 192 Abercrombie, Nicholas 60 Abramowitz, Rachel 208, 212-13 Absolute Fake Celebs 37 Academy Awards 23, 204, 211, 219, 220, 223, 255-6 Accused, Hie (1988, USA) 203, 205-6 USA) 136 acting gurus 121, 122 action genre 15, 138, 139, 141, 159-63 see also specific films Actors Fund 126 Actors Studio 121, 122, 125,126, 129, 133 Adams, Cindy 124,126, 129 Adams, James Eli 226 adaptations, classic 106-10,...

Info

Relationship between the computer user and the star, and how they are positioning star discourse as part of a commercial cultural economy. There is a need for a point of specification here. With the exception of the online fan clubs, each of these categories is a form of publishing on the World Wide Web (www). Only with the clubs is the chapter moving tentatively towards an exploration of the interactive potential of online communications. The chapter therefore only addresses star presence on a...

Introduction

First, we want to contribute to the reawakening of star studies, after a period in which they have seemed to lose the energy that characterised their early 1980s life. We believe that the essays gathered here contribute much original thought to the field.2 Second, we believe that stardom itself has changed significantly in the last decade, in ways that challenge a number of the ideas that became 'common sense' in star studies in that early, lively period. Two events...

Jar Jar Must Die Constructing The Adult Star Wars

Barker (2000) has argued that Jar Jar's racialised characteristics are insufficient to account for his unpopularity among Star Wars fans John Sutherland discussed why the character Jar Jar Binks - ostensibly a cheerful alien ally - has become sufficiently controversial as to have a website dedicated to his death. Sutherland argues that Jar Jar's problem is that he is 'miscegenated'. Actually, a visit to the 'jarjarmustdie' website doesn't really support Sutherland's account - its objection to...

Joanne Lacey

In this chapter I consider a female star of made-for-television movies, Melissa Gilbert. I explore Gilbert's star status in American made-for-television movies and the meanings she has for her female fans. I want to investigate the implicadons that the study of Gilbert and her fans might have for the analysis of the film star system. From the outset, this case study raises two points of debate in relation to the study of film stars. Made-for-television movies have been relegated to the dust...

Kate Winslet From Britain To America

I would suggest that this mode of acting has been adopted by a number of British actresses, and in a modest way has made them unlikely stars. WTiile there are individual differences, the work of Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Helena Bonham Carter, for instance, could be studied from this angle. I want now though to turn to Kate Winslet, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role as supporting actress in Sense and Sensibility, to see what this model might tell us about her work. While in...

Key Findings

There were more young adults (56.7 per cent of 17-45 year olds) both in our sample and the Broadway sample (51.1 per cent of 18-49 year olds) than in the population as a whole (44.1 per cent of 18-49 year olds). The proportion of young adults aged between 17 and 45 was even greater in the Stewart group - 61.8 per cent. Only 23 per cent of the Miller group was aged between 17 and 45, whereas 59.3 per cent of the Miller group was aged 46 and over. This shows that the Stewart factor was...

Lee Strasberg A Brief Biography

Born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire on 17 November 1901, Strasberg arrived in the United States at the age of seven, speaking Yiddish. Manhattan offered the child more than the poverty of emigration - he found a vibrant theatrical culture in his native language. Famed Yiddish players like Jacob Adler and David Kessler (Strasberg's favourite), respected acting as art and brought the best of European theatre to migr audiences. To this day, a walk of fame extends along Second Avenue (like the one...

Livingtv

LivingTV works quantitatively with the star-audience relationship. Certain 'big names' of the genre such as Donna Mills and Melissa Gilbert guarantee ratings. I wanted to look qualitatively at why this should be, and what kinds of star fan relationships circulate for British audiences. Chris Parr, head of UK drama at Pearson television has said that, 'names and packaging are clearly important as TV movies are the drama segment that has undergone the most fundamental changes. People do not make...

Madefortelevision Movies And Their Female Audiences

This chapter extracts ideas from a larger, developing research project, still in its early stages, about made-for-television movies and female audiences in Britain. The profile of made-for-television movies on British television does not mirror its status in the organisational culture of American television, where the television movie has consistendy carved out a healthy market share of viewers, through dedicated television movie channels such as Lifetime. The television-movie format has fallen...

Manchild Persona Of Robin Williams

Robin Williams is a somewhat contradictory figure within contemporary popular cinema. Rising to prominence in the 1970s for his role in the sitcom Mark and Mindy, he became known for his manic, rapid-fire delivery style as a stand-up comedian during the 1980s, before emerging as a regular of the family feature film in the 1990s. Glancing at Williams' filmography, one is struck not only by the extent of his output, but also its range 1996 saw Williams starring in The Birdcage (USA), a remake of...

Paul

I like action films and therefore action stars. Stallone was without doubt one of the biggest action stars of the 1980s, the era when I started to become interested in films. It is the action that makes his films enjoyable. Paul's comment points towards Geraghty's notion of the star-as-professional, which 'makes sense through a combination of a particular star image with a particular film context. It arises when we check whether an actor's presence in a film seems to correspond with his or her...

Performance

The most important fact about stars is that they are performers. (I prefer the term 'performer' rather than 'actor' because the latter has limiting connotations.) Whether superb or mediocre, whether they have wide-ranging skills or limited skills, they are still performers. To cope with this, a more substantial account of film performance than presendy exists is needed. What technical skills are required How important is physical presence (bodies, faces,- voices, movements) What kind of...

Persona As Process

As a figure of identity, the actor has always posed the question of authenticity - of who speaks here, under what capacity of the self and with what moral authority1 (Barish, 1981). Thomas Hobhes, for example, denied that the actor could be a real person since real persons were the authors of their own words (Hobbes, 1975). The anti-theatrical prejudice has deep roots in moral and religious controversy, but its historical reproduction probably draws on a simple fact of occupation actors are...

Primary Reasons For Coming To The Show

Among our New York theatre sample, 204 people (19.5 per cent of the sample) gave Stewart as their sole reason for coming to the show (the largest single reason) 143 (13.9 per cent) gave both Stewart and Arthur Miller combined as their reason, and 42 (4.1 per cent) mentioned Stewart plus another reason the cumulative percentage of people mentioning Stewart was 37.5 per cent. By comparison, the merest fraction of the cinema audience cited Stewart as their reason for attendance four said Stewart...

Research Questions

Our basic question can be summarised simply why were people in the theatre We hypothesised that many would be there because of Stewart and his star status - whether of theatre or of screen, and especially because of Star Trek. We also hypothesised that, in the case of the play, Miller would be a reason. For a certain age cohort (and our data bears this out) Miller was another kind of star high profile for his liberal activities during and after the communist witchhunt, and associated with...

Robin Williams And The Child In The Audience

Notions of children's cinema, and the even more complex concept of the implied child audience member, are recurring themes in discussion of recent American film. Production trends in 1980s Hollywood - the concentration on visual and special effects, nostalgia for Saturday-morning matin e features, the absence of sexual or contentious subject matters, paternal reassurance and what is perceived as the concurrent narrative 'infantilisation' of cinema - are described by Robin Wood as resulting in...

Sharon Marie Carnicke

Lee Strasberg's transformation from acting guru into movie star poses fascinating questions that have not been addressed in the press since his death in 1982, and have never been examined seriously by scholars. Despite a flurry of new articles, triggered in part by the 100th anniversary of his birth in 1901, his late-blooming career as an actor attracts little attention. In the academy, where ' Method bashing is in vogue', David Krasner of Yale University endeavours to rehabilitate Strasberg's...

Stallones Career

Sylvester Stallone's career not only encompasses the last 25 years of Hollywood cinema, but also highlights the fragility of the fame that this industry can bring. From Rocky (1976, USA) onwards, Stallone's career has fluctuated between enormous success - Rocky II (1979, USA), Rocky III (1982, USA) - and spectacular failure F.I.S.T. (1978, USA), Nighthawks (1981, USA), Rhinestone (1984, USA). This pattern was at its clearest when Stallone's two most successful films - Rambo First Blood Part 2...

Stars And Independent Production

During the 1970-80s, the film packaging process had allowed space for a number of independent production companies. Working, at least as much as the studios, with franchising properties (think Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990, USA), think Robocop (1987, USA), think Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, USA)), many of these film franchises were built around one star's embodiment of a kind of narrative such as Sylvester Stallone and 'Rocky', Arnold Schwarzenegger and the 'Terminator' films (plus...

Stars and their audiences

'There is a history of female cinematic spectatorship which has yet to be written,' wrote Jackie Stacey in 1994 (49). She was right, and unfortunately it is also true of every other possible categorisation of the audience we might make. In truth, the remarkable thing about our knowledge of cinema audiences, let alone our knowledge of audiences' relations to stars, is its paucity. With very few precursors, whatever work has been done has appeared in the last ten years - and that is a smattering....

Stars As Directors

If directors could become stars, then stars would become directors - if allowed. For some time, studios wooed A-list stars into loyalty by offering finance deals enabling them to pursue their own projects, on condition that they appear in the studios' own next chosen vehicle. Such bankrolling deals led to the appearance - and almost immediate disappearance - of many a film among others (Kim Basinger's) I Dreamed of Africa (2000, USA), (Kevin Costner's) The Fbstrmn (1997, USA) and (John...

The Audience Study

In summer 2000 we carried out a survey of audiences for The Ride Down Mt Morgan, written by Arthur Miller, showing at the Ambassador Theater on Broadway, and for the summer blockbuster film, The X-Men, directed by Bryan Singer, produced by Fox Searchlight Pictures both works starred Patrick Stewart. The X-Men premiered in New York on 14 July 2000, and The Ride Down Mt Morgan closed on 23 July 2000, so that the two productions played simultaneously in New York City for just over a week. By...

The Political Economy Of Costume

Such issues are shaped by, and need to be situated within, the political economy of contemporary Hollywood, in particular as it applies to family-oriented adventure films like the Batman series. A starting point for this contextualisation is provided by Robert Allen's discussion of licensed merchandising associated with the family film boom of the 1980s and 1990s. He argues that successfully branded franchises function as 'narrative and iconographic fields through which old licences are renewed...

The Star Vehicle

Might we raise another question from this that perhaps the very concept of a 'star vehicle' is altering In classical Hollywood, the notion of a star vehicle could be quite particular. Studios regularly researched combinations of titles, narrative outlines and (usually romantic) star combinations. Had they achieved the right formula so that the 'marquee value' of a star would add to the box office potential of a movie (For the classic account of these practices, see Handel, 1950 Chapter 9.) Care...

The Starpower Factor Audience Demographics

The following tables,12 generated by our SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) analysis, provide comparisons between the Stewart fans and the Miller fans in our sample audiences, and they also provide comparisons between the general Broadway audience and official demographic information about the New York population. We wanted to see whether there was a 'star-power factor' expressing itself in differences between the audience breakdowns in these groups, and whether the audience...

The Starpower Factor Audience Tastes

Our questionnaire (see Appendix A) was designed to operationalise the concept of cultural mobility in terms of both the consumption of media generally and the consumption of specific media products. With regard to the former, we asked how many times a year people went to the cinema and the theatre, and how many hours of television they watched a day. With regard to the latter, we asked about the consumption of texts that we assumed might be attractive to people across a range of demographic...

This Questionnaire Has The Support Of The Ambassador Theater And Fox Pictures

We are media researchers from Cardiff University in Britain doing a comparative study of film and theater audiences in New York City. We would be grateful if you could spare a few minutes to answer the following questions. You do not have to answer any question that you do not want to answer or which does not apply to you. The information here will only be used for academic research. Please circle the appropriate category, e.g. if you are 28 years old, circle 26-35 0-10 years 11-16 17-25 26-35...

Thomas Austin

That film stardom is always an intertextual and multi-media phenomenon has become a truism of star studies. This commonplace is re-examined from a range of different per spectives in this section, which addresses the overlapping political economic, technological and discursive dimensions of contemporary Hollywood stardom. These interrelating fields of activity can be termed star systems, in that they each play a part in the production and circulation of star images and narratives. This is best...

Threedimensionality And Toys

In recent years, the phenomenology of characters has increased with the two-fold development of theme parks and studio stores specialising in any number of toys and costume paraphenalia which enhances the 'three-dimensionality' of two-dimensional figures. While 'dolls' have always been a significant part of a child's play environment, their specificity in relation to other media texts is an escalating aspect of their production. What becomes interesting here, however, is the contemporary status...

To Affinity And Beyond Woody Buzz And The New Authenticity

Toy Story (1995, USA) represents two highly significant moments in my life. First, it was the last film that I saw in the cinema with my then heavily pregnant wife, shortly before the birth of our son, Freddie. Second, it was the first full-length feature film that Freddie watched end-to-end on video, and demanded re-showing on some 45 occasions in the following six weeks. And yes, I was there with him for most of them, sharing the benefits of being a father watching his son interact with a...

Unfinished Business

There is a considerable body of work which addresses contemporary changes, much of it running counter to the 'big theories' from which star studies began. The main thrust of these came from two sources, as we have seen from a will to see stars as representations, and as the solution to ideological crises. On both approaches, while there might be moments of tension and change, the norm was that stars were effective, coherent. Rather than start from this presumption, might we do better to try to...

Volume Of Information

If one recent change in Hollywood stardom has to be nominated above all others, it would surely be the multiplication of kinds of images, information and stories about stars. In the course of writing this Introduction, apart from a range of resources that I have specially assembled for my own research and teaching, I have had recourse to the following, all easily available to me a host of websites, including the Internet Movie Database, which offer vast, searchable archives an array of...

Alan Loveil

I wanted to write about star performance. I was interested in the effect of an actor's physical appearance. I was going to make two comparisons first, between Jodie Foster and Julianne Moore as Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs (1991, USA) and Hannibal (2001, USA) second, between Deborah Kerr and Julianne Moore as Sarah Miles in The End of the Affair (1952, USA, and 2000, USA, respectively). I began my preparation, looked at the DVDs, read the novels and the scripts. And then My...

Geoff King

Will Smith is a prime example of the 'crossover' star in Hollywood today, in two different dimensions. His persona - as a black, African-American performer - has been constructed to be essentially non-threatening to a mass white audience. This is the case in both aspects of a career that demonstrates crossover appeal of another kind, between different media as a mainstream Hollywood star and a chart-topping rap performer (notable for his avoidance of explicit lyrics or anything likely to...

Writing Sharon

Sharon Stone appears to be renegotiating her image one minute she's a dangerous blonde in a jet-black jeep, the next she's a stately, politically concerned vision in tweed. Lloyd Grove gets several takes as Stone basks in the praise for her Oscar-caliber Casino performance and buffs up her credentials as a serious artiste. The being-in-public of Sharon Stone offers a good example of the new configuration of stardom. It is useful to begin with authorised biography - if an assured sense of...

Stages In The History Of Stardom

One of the most important outcomes of the 1980s tradition of work on stars was the construction of a history of relations between stars and their studio employers, as follows. 1. Stardom was not 'invented' in the mythological fashion that some early histories liked to tell it - although undoubtedly the showmanship of a figure like Carl Laemmle, 'stealing' Florence Lawrence and resurrecting her after planting the story of her death, played a role. But as Janet Staiger (1991) among others has...

Emotional Work

Woody and Buzz are essentially 'stars' because their functions prompt a form of 'emotional work' which is about versions of preservation and conservation, yet embodies an understanding of new modes of investment intrinsically related to mediated cultural knowledge and new media applications. This is crucial to the understanding of Woody and Buzz, because they simultaneously operate as a meta-narrative about the impact of new information and entertainment technologies, but embody deeply primal...

Star Studies After Dyer

These are a few changes that have complicated our picture of stardom across the last three decades. Recent academic work on stardom has had plenty to say about these changing conditions. Among the recent developments has been greater attention to industrial contexts and questions of political economy. Paul McDonald's recent book (2000) provides more than an overview - it is a direct challenge to researchers to think more widely than matters of meaning and performance. He points to the...

Celebrity Nudes

Mass market pornography has a history of appropriating technologies of image reproduction and distribution. From photography to 16mm film and home video, the adult entertainment industry has always quickly adopted new media technologies, and the internet has proved no exception. Pornography has become one of the most prevalent forms of electronic commerce and a channel for sexual entrepreneurship (Lane, 2000). Possibly more than any other type of entertainment content, porn seems most...

Everybody Is A Star

The reception of Asian stars by Asian American audiences can be traced through writings about cinema published in the abundance of Asian American style magazines and fanzines that have sprung up over the past decade or so. In addition, a flourishing reception context for such images has been created through Asian American film festivals in cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, as well as on many college campuses, and by the innovative programming strategies of niche...

Developments In Star Studies

Although it might not seem so from some recent histories, critical studies of stars and stardom did not begin with Richard Dyer's 1979 publication, Stan. In fact, as Dyer himself makes clear, work had been under way for some time. American studies had developed from within the psychology of identity-formation (Klapp, 1962 Benson, 1974). Like much psychological work since, this approach suffers from a sense of timelessness - as though the 'human needs' stars were supposed to exist outside...

Animation And Special Effects

This remains an ongoing issue in animation. It has taken an inordinate amount of time to suggest and evidence the view that animation works as a singular and distinctive vocabulary outside the parameters of live-action film-making. When acknowledged, 'animation' has largely been viewed as 'cartoonal' at its most populist, and 'avant-garde' at its most experimental a schedule filler children's entertainment and most significantly, in the context of this discussion, a form which has time and...

Questioning Paradigms Of Stardom

The star challenges analysis in the way it crosses disciplinary boundaries a product of mass culture, but retaining theatrical concerns with acting, performance and art an industrial marketing device, but a signifying element in films a social sign, carrying cultural meanings and ideological values, which expresses the intimacies of individual personality, inviting desire and identification an emblem of national celebrity, founded on body, fashion and personal style a product of capitalism and...

Martin Barker

Film studies has long been prone to a certain mild disease the affliction of high theory. Perhaps arising from a search for a distinctive kind of respectability, from a will to prove that film, like literature, has high cultural virtues, which can only be truly appreciated by properly educated aficionados, there has been a tendency to a certain grandiosity of theoretical claim about the ways films work and make meanings. In their own way, star studies too have also perhaps been prone to a...

From Barrymore To Malkovich

The four productions examined here reveal distinct intersections between the star-images of their leading actors, the textual emphases of the specific productions, and the horizons of expectation that helped to shape audience interpretations. The 1920 film was released a few weeks after the premi re of Barrymore's theatrical production of Richard III. This is an important conjunction, for as theatre scholar Michael Morrison points out, 'Barrymore's Richard III and Hamlet we. generally...

The Institutional Coordinates Of The Metatextual Persona

Certain trends in the commercial husbandry of movie stardom are rendering the projection of persona a risky enterprise. Compared to former times, today's stars are discursively challenged in their efforts to meld all the practices undertaken in their name into a coherent commercial identity. The new trial of persona goes beyond the usual complaints of lack of privacy and wears away at the notion of authenticity itself. The following developments, all...

Do The Rice Thing

My view of sexy is quite different from the mainstream. I find sexy to be revealed in the person, how they carry themselves and their characteristics, not in the looks. I think for many people, Chow Yun-Fat is sexy because he conveys confidence and a strong sense of self-esteem that most people are not used to associating with Asian men. Geraldine Kudaka, quoted in 'Rice is Nice', Yolk For the Generasian Next Form a picture of Chow Yun-Fat in your head large dove's eyes, cute dimples, toothy...

Two Generations Of Female Stars In Hollywood

At the beginning of the 1980s, Quigley's top ten, which lists the stars considered by exhibitors as the biggest box office attractions of the year, included as many as four women, yet afterwards there were at most three, and usually only one or two in 1983 there was none at all Moser, 2000 14 . With the exception of Bo Derek, the female stars ranked in the top ten during the 1980s were in their thirties and forties Jane Fonda born in 1937 , Barbra Streisand 1942 , Goldie Hawn 1945 , Bette...

Crossing Over The Appeals And Complications Of Filmmusic Synergies

The release of Men in Black appeared to mark a perfect moment of corporate synergy, with Smith at its heart. The film, in which Smith starred alongside Tommy Lee Jones, was distributed by Columbia Pictures it was produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment , part of the Sony Corporation. The music - a soundtrack album including the main theme, also released as the 'B-side' to the single 'Gettin'Jiggy With It' - was released by Columbia Records, another branch of the Sony empire as was...

The Decline Of Metonymic Servitude

Acting is a personal service, inalienably vested in the person of the actor. Even though this person is variously modified by training, professional experience, cosmetic alteration, performance techniques and technologies, its ground remains deeply proprietorial, legally protected by the actor's name and likeness. Of course, there are definite limits on each actor's personal input into the process of portrayal. The majority of actors - walk-ons, supporting players - are destined to serve as...

Bodies Voices And Identity In Batman Forever

Actors' own statements and those of journalistic commentators tended to emphasise image styling and the physical labour of performance in the Batman films, rather than the emotional, psychological or oratorical demands of acting.27 For instance, Premiere magazine's on-set report from Batman opened with this description of Keaton at work Oh, man, this mask is the worst. Your neck feels like it's in a vice, you've got no peripheral vision, and you can't really hear. . And the sweat - ten takes,...

Star Studies And Media Affects Of Love And Hate

Unlike other areas of film and cultural studies, star studies has always reserved a conceptual space for affect. The fan's 'it just started from there' Barker and Brooks, 1998 67 has always been implied in star studies, even where 'empirical' audiences have not been investigated. Richard Dyer's seminal Stars, for example, suggests that 'particularly intense star-audience relationships occur amongst adolescents and women. These groups Dyer also discusses 'gay ghetto culture' all share a...

Fake Celebrity Nudes

The internet has also seen the publication of fake celebrity nude sites. In their organisation and structure, these sites closely resemble conventional celebrity nude sites, and similar subscription systems also apply. What differentiates fake sites is their content. Images of stars are digitally manipulated to create naked images or construct scenarios displaying stars in erotic contexts. Star faces are grafted on to naked bodies, and the faker's best efforts are made to hide the join....

The Silence Of The Lambs And The Rise Of Jodie Foster

Sheila Benson's review of Lambs 1991 praised director Jonathan Demme for going beyond 'easy effects calculated to make an audience jump' so as to focus 'on the hypnotic duel between his two strong central characters, an FBI trainee and a brilliant sociopath' Los Angeks Times, 13 February 1991 1 . For Benson, the duel between these characters was also a duel between the actors who portrayed them while, in the film's story, Clarice Starling at best manages a draw with Hannibal Lecter, the clear...

Embodying Am Elastic Self The Param Etrics Of Contemporary Stardom

Recent inquiry into audience perceptions of stars has uncovered a new configuration in the existential parameters of stardom Gamson, 1994 . Today's stars - Madonna is the favourite example - epitomise the postmodern self, a de-centred subject, deeply reflexive and disdainful of the claims of identity. How rigorously the notion of textual dissemination can be applied to human identity or, more to the point, to a commercially valuable persona is an important question begged by such musings....