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 thought of as a shared, but never fully equal, venture involving film-makers, marketers, reviewers and commentators, fans, and stars themselves, as active players within such economic and discursive machinery. The work gathered in this section traces ongoing developments in the intertextual networks, technological apparatuses and commercial logics that frame and constitute stardom. How have such processes been organised and reconfigured during a period that has witnessed Hollywood's continuing appetite for cross-market synergies and tie-ins, the popularisation of 'new media' applications such as the internet, and the increasing use of computer-generated imagery?

During the 1990s, the internet developed into an important new means for film marketing and the dissemination of 'official' star images, as well as the circulation of gossip and unauthorised images beyond the control of studios and agents. Hollywood's initial rush to exploit the internet as a promotional window has been followed by increasing caution and retrenchment. Bob Levin, of MGM Distribution Co., recently commented, 'We were all had in the beginning' (Screen International, 5 April 2002: 5). However, sexual and pornographic images have proved hugely popular on the net. Pornographers deployed the new technology 'farther and faster than legitimate \si<] providers', as Chuck Kleinhans (2002: 293) notes in his discussion of the internet-based circulation of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's now notorious home video of sexual activity.

Sexualised and nude celebrity images (including fakes) are among the materials considered by Paul McDonald in his investigation of official and unofficial websites devoted to

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Film Making

Film Making

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