Week 5 Summary:

  • what makes a star ‘a star’? charisma, screen presence etc… someone who ends up being a ‘brand’. and reflects the ‘time’. e.g. we like Jennifer Lawrence now because she’s relatable, Marilyn monroe was popular because she was beautiful and charming.
  • star persona: not even talking about the human itself, were talking about the text that is her stardom- located in multiple places (like genre). we also encounter the ‘star’: advertising, publicity, promotion,
  • stars are like a genre: located in multiple locations


  • stars are an integral part of the hollywood economic system because they drive people to see a film. ‘they’re a text thats bigger than the film: they bring all info bigger than the film to the film”- alexia. Important because they drive profit. they are powerful.
  • comutation test: take the star from he film and replace with another star… would it make it different? helps to understand what the original star brings to the table. (new dynamic)
  • gentlemen prefer blondes: if scar jo played marilyn… how would it be different? lower register, raspy voice, different acting style, fact that she’s done ‘smart roles’ shed seem more cunning
  • reading: ‘so successful because it could give something to everyone’… sexist and feminist (she’s asserting herself as someone who knows what she wants) optimism and pessism, grotesqness and beauty, rewards characters and spectators equally to give every body what they want.
  • what else contributes to marilyn as a star text?: relationship with men, girl next door figure without the family/ who’s worked hard to get to where she’s been (different to grace kelly with the family and pedigree… marilyn is a made made woman, she’s got this animalistic sexuality, not that refined).
  • richard dyer: used semiotics (study of symbols and signs) and said that stars should be studied as clusters… monroe as a star is different to her as a human, her as lordly its produced from a number of different things.
  • according to Dyer:
  • PROMOTION (press conference): controlled and orchestrated aspects by the studio
  • PUBLICITY (sex scandal): the other stuff that goes on around the star (crosses over with promotion…’charity work’….functions as promotion.
  • Stars are used based on these things…..
  • selective use: will take certain aspects of a star and use them for the film
  • perfect fit:
  • problematic fit: casting that pushes back against the star

gentlemen prefer blondes: ‘everything for everyone’ spectacle, flashy, powerful for women, feast for male gaze, both genders etc etc…….the women are agents and drive the narrative themselves, their not in the sidelines. the film is constantly flipping between the positions: bras and gaz… vs the women driving the narrative. the end frome of the film shows the women.




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