Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Richard Dyer's classic study of movie stars and stardom has been updated, with a new introduction by the author discussing the rise of celebrity culture and developments in the study of stars since publication of the first edition in 1986.
Dyer's illuminating study is based around case studies of three major stars: Marilyn Monroe, Paul Robeson and Judy Garland. He draws on a wide range of sources, including the films in which each star appeared, to illustrate how each star's persona was constructed, and goes on to examine each within the context of particular issues in fan culture and stardom.
Students of film and cultural studies will find this an invaluable part of there course reading.
Michel Foucault has discussed in The History of Sexuality as emerging in the seventeenth century, whereby sexuality is designated as the aspect of human existence where we may learn the truth about ourselves. This often takes the form of digging below the surface, on the assumption that what is below must necessarily be more true and must also be what causes the surface to take the form it does. This is equally the model with the psychoanalytical enquiry into the unconscious (peel back the Ego to
kiss, is never actually still, but constantly quivering. Thus it forms not the neat round hole of Clara Bow’s puckered lips or the hard butterﬂy set of Jean Harlow’s mouth, but a shape that never actually takes on a deﬁnite shape, that remains formless. My argument is not that quivering lips must be vaginal symbols, but that they are of a piece with other formless aspects of her image which together can be read as the visual analogue for a basic conception of female sexuality as itself formless.
centuries of civilisation have attenuated his original gifts and have made his mind dominate his spirit. (Locke 1968: 19–20) Or compare Mabel Dodge’s disgust at industrial, money-mad ugliness with J.A. Rogers on jazz: Paul Robeson: crossing over 73 The true spirit of jazz is a joyous revolt from convention, custom, authority, boredom, even sorrow – from everything that would conﬁne the soul of man and hinder its riding free on the air . . . it has been such a balm for modern ennui, and has
changes to the words. In the bridge passage and ﬁnal statement of the song, the original and Robeson versions show a shift from suﬀering and resignation to oppression and resistance: original You an’me we sweat an’ strain Robeson You and me we sweat and strain Body all achin’ an’ racked wid pain Body all aching and racked with pain ‘Tote dat barge!’, ‘Lift dat bale!’ ‘Tote that barge!’, ‘Lift that bale!’ Git a little drunk an’ you’ll land in jail You show a little grit and you land in jail
‘all movement and all over the stage at once’ and his Othello’s ‘sculptured stillness’ (Hamilton 1974: 108). That this is also what some critics expected Robeson to be (when they were not hoping for aboriginal passion) is revealed in Michael Mac Liammoír’s comments on the 1959 production, where even the few gestures Robeson did use were felt to interfere with his emblematic stasis. Mac Liammoír suggests that it would have been better if Robeson had just been allowed to be immobile and magniﬁcent