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.
. 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 starpersona, it does so in the popular blockbuster format.
Samba was released in the wake of a debate on national identity
, intertextual’ ( Heavenly Bodies 3). For Dyer, a starpersona 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
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 starpersona. 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
status as a bobo Parisienne, which would become one of the most internationally recognisable aspects of her starpersona.
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
The formation and initial fashioning of Gainsbourg’s starpersona can be traced back to her childhood and early adolescence. From a young age, what would become recurring motifs of her starpersona were established primarily through association with her parents and early film roles. Indeed, the narrative of Gainsbourg’s starpersona 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
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 starpersona, 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
Hollywood’s studio era.
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
Jason Statham, fandom and a new type of (anti) hero
(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 starpersona: ‘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
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 starpersona 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