Stars as constructions ‘Dyer’<br />…a star is<br />an image (not a real person)<br />constructed (as any other aspect of fiction is) out of a range of materials (e.g. advertising, magazines, etc. as well as films)<br />
Marlon Brando<br />If we look at these Marlon Brando publicity shots,<br />we can perhaps establish what star ‘image’ was being perpetuated<br />
Marlon Brando<br /><ul><li>The Wild One, 1954</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>The Wild One, 1954</li></li></ul><li>Marlon Brando<br /><ul><li>On the Waterfront, 1954</li></li></ul><li>Marlon Brando<br /><ul><li>Guys and Dolls, 1955</li></li></ul><li>Marlon Brando<br /><ul><li>On the Waterfront, 1954</li></li></ul><li>Real?<br />Not one of these images is the ‘truth’<br />There is a gap between what is constructed as the star image and what other possibilities in reportage about the star which somehow never get to be a real emphasis in the image.<br />
Defining stars“Star images are always extensive, multimedia, intertextual” Richard Dyer<br />
Definitions<br />Try to give a modern day example for each of the star definitions below.<br />A star is:<br />A real person –Stars allow ordinary people to identify with them (to an extent).<br />A performer of roles – We come to know the stars intimately through the roles they play. We identify particular physical attributes, gestures and ideologies with certain stars.<br />A persona – a merging of the real person and the role they take on – certain stars adopt the same type of roles. The persona is constructed through a mixture of publicists, fans and the media. It may have very little to do with the real person. <br />An image – an object of desire –The star is a commodity. Their image can shift and mean different things to different people. <br />
Real Person<br />Reality TV tends to be the outlet by which ordinary people gain celebrity status. <br />More often than not this involves them having to open up their lives to us to upkeep their celebrity status. <br />
Performer of Roles<br />For cinema audiences watching a typecast actor or actress with a familiar persona simplifies the reading<br />Jason Statham as ‘Action Hero’ <br />
Persona<br />Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler<br />The film became a metaphor for his public persona. <br />His character embodied his public persona as it highlighted the media’s perception of him as a has been. <br />This is of course ironic as he was used heavily in the marketing of the film and has subsequently re-built his career on the back of the success of the film and particularly his performance. <br />
Social Phenomenon<br />Stars as a social phenomenon - how stars are understood as fulfilling a social and cultural function<br />Consider Stallone’s roles in the Rambo films. Was he winning the war in Hollywood which the USA lost?<br />
Ideology and Representations<br />How do STARS reflect the values of dominant cultures?<br />Task: What dominant ideological values do these two pictures embody?<br />
Image – Object of Desire<br />Both the characters they play and their media image project certain social roles and social messages to the audience. <br />Certain actors embody the notion of what it is to beautiful and successful and this has an effect on their highly influential audience. <br />“Stars like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have sex appeal, glamour and status as a celebrity couple. These stars can become subjects of erotic contemplation as fans derive a voyeuristic pleasure from gazing at the star image in the safe context of a one-way relationship.”<br />
Commodity – Marketing<br />Star as the ultimate marketing tool. <br />The star is sent around the World marketing certain media (mainly film and music) and people inevitably will say “I’m going to see the new Brad Pitt movie”. <br />
Task: supermarket girl to Hollywood star<br />You spot a girl in a supermarket called Ann Burke. She has crooked teeth, short brown hair and glasses, yet there is something about her that intrigues you.<br />It is your job to turn Ann into a Hollywood star. Plan her career over two years and end your plan with her red carpet premier for a high budget Hollywood film.<br />Consider:<br />Changes in image and name<br />Typecasting – roles you will place her in<br />Media coverage – interviews – magazines, newspapers<br />Stories to be planted in the gossip columns (PR)<br />
Homework: Group presentation on a chosen star<br />Task:<br /> In small groups pick one star (someone that you haven’t studied in class). Produce a short presentation / handout on that star with visual images. The presentation / handout should include the following:<br />The star you have chosen and why<br />The star persona: How the stars real life and Media image merge.<br />Examples of the stars image in Media texts. How is the star constructed? What are the cultural connotations of the images?<br />Examples of how the star is used in publicity to market media products e.g. Events, Posters, Trailers, Interviews.<br />The target audience for the star. Is there more than one target audience? Is the star polysemic?<br />
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