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The stardom of Catherine Deneuve
Editors: Lisa Downing and Sue Harris

Few screen icons have provoked as much commentary, speculation and adulation as the 'she' of this plaudit, Catherine Deneuve. This book begins with a brief overview of Deneuve's career, followed by a critical survey of the field of theoretical star studies, highlighting its potential and limitations for European, and particularly French, film scholarship. It argues the need for the single-star case study as a model for understanding the multiple signifying elements of transnational stardom. Her first role, at the age of 13, was a brief appearance as a schoolgirl in André Hunebelle's Collégiennes/The Twilight Girls. It was in 1965 that Roman Polanski would cast Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion, described by one critic as a 'one-woman show' in a role that would effectively create a persona which would resonate throughout her future film career. The darker shades of the Deneuve persona are in even greater evidence in Tristana. Demy's Donkey Skin is arguably an equal source of the tale's iconic status in France today, and largely because of Deneuve. The book also investigates films of the 1970s; their role in shaping her star persona and the ways in which they position Deneuve in relation to French political culture. The book considers exactly why directors gravitate towards Deneuve when trying to evoke or represent forms of female homosexual activity on film, and to consider exactly what such directors actually make Deneuve do and mean once they have her performing these particular forms of lesbian relation.

The (un)homeliness of Gainsbourg’s persona
Felicity Chaplin

. From the bobo to the masses). While Sy’s popularity extends across both racial and social divides, as the poster child for a new globalising middle class Gainsbourg’s popularity is more limited by race and class. Gainsbourg and Sy reflect different notions of Frenchness or French national identity, which Samba stages by juxtaposing the two stars along the lines of class and race. More importantly, for the development of Gainsbourg’s star persona, it does so in the popular blockbuster format. Samba was released in the wake of a debate on national identity

in Charlotte Gainsbourg
Felicity Chaplin

, intertextual’ ( Heavenly Bodies 3). For Dyer, a star persona is comprised of his or her films along with the concomitant promotion of those films such as ‘pin-ups, public appearances, studio hand-outs … as well as interviews, biographies and coverage in the press of the star’s doings and “private” life’ ( Heavenly Bodies 2–3). Moreover, the construction of a star’s persona also depends largely on ‘the way the image is used in other contexts such as advertisements, novels, pop songs’ ( Heavenly Bodies 3). In its current usage, however, the concept of transmedia also

in Charlotte Gainsbourg
Catherine Deneuve and 1970s political culture
Bridget Birchall

Marion as an emblematic figure of on-screen and off-screen convergences, as a character who exists as product, consequence and extension of Deneuve’s star persona. That Truffaut should also have been revisiting his on and off-screen relationship with his former lover established in his film La Sirène du Mississippi ( Mississippi Mermaid, 1969) only adds a further layer of complexity to this

in From perversion to purity
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My wife is an actress (and a star)
Felicity Chaplin

status as a bobo Parisienne, which would become one of the most internationally recognisable aspects of her star persona. In an early scene in Ma femme , Yvan and Charlotte are walking the Paris streets at night. With her hair swept back into a loose chignon, wearing a charcoal sweater, flared jeans and a trench coat with its collar nonchalantly turned up, Charlotte is the epitome of effortless chic. Without warning, three fans stop her and ask for her autograph. Charlotte amiably obliges while Yvan looks on unimpressed. It is an episode that one imagines came

in Charlotte Gainsbourg
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Felicity Chaplin

The formation and initial fashioning of Gainsbourg’s star persona can be traced back to her childhood and early adolescence. From a young age, what would become recurring motifs of her star persona were established primarily through association with her parents and early film roles. Indeed, the narrative of Gainsbourg’s star persona is often framed by her status as the only child of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin: Even before Charlotte Gainsbourg could walk, she was looking at the world through a haze of dry ice, disco lights and popping flash bulbs

in Charlotte Gainsbourg
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The interaction of director and star
Ann Davies

still be perceived as stars precisely through their performance in film, regardless of any immersion in a celebrity culture that would be more familiar in the USA. Although Nimri’s personal life (the fact that she was married to Calparsoro) has impinged on the perception of her star persona, the latter is founded primarily on the roles she has undertaken. As Jordan and Allinson put it: ‘even the most performance-orientated actors still carry with them a “baggage” which is the sum of their portfolio of roles (and the extent to which these have been personification and

in Daniel Calparsoro
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Andrew Dix

Hollywood’s studio era. Star personas (1) While indispensable, an approach to stardom oriented towards economics should not be uncoupled from inquiries into stars’ socio-cultural significances. The meanings of stars, after all, exceed their mere marketability. This is the thesis of Richard Dyer’s still essential book, Stars (first published in 1979), which proposes that a star’s image is constituted by four different types of ‘media text’, not all of them subject to the film industry’s management: promotion, publicity, films and criticism and

in Beginning film studies (second edition)
Jason Statham, fandom and a new type of (anti) hero
Renee Middlemost

’s (1998) formative work on star types, this chapter will argue that Statham has leveraged his laconic ‘real-life’ personality as an untrained actor, but skilled man of action, into an authentic star persona: ‘Brand Statham’. This branding is grounded in the performance of uncompromising action and caters to the expectations of his fan base. Statham exemplifies the challenges of contemporary

in Crank it up
Mandy Merck

joined a long line of star actresses, including Bernhardt, Bette Davis, Flora Robson, Glenda Jackson and Judi Dench, in portraying the first Queen Elizabeth. But Mirren’s star persona has also retained the vein of rebellious sexiness embodied in her early stage roles as Shakespeare’s Cressida (1968) and Strindberg’s Miss Julie (1971), as well as an offscreen identification with progressive causes also

in The British monarchy on screen