Editorial. The star system in Europe. Star studies today
FILMS UNDER DISCUSSION. INTERVIEWS
ABSTRACTThis interview with Eva Woods Peiró, a scholar specializing in Hispanic Studies, mainly addresses the issues present in her book White Gypsies: Race and Stardom in Spanish Musicals. The book studies some of the most important female stars of Spanish ‘folkloric’ musical cinema from the 1920s to the 1940s, using a transversal perspective that deals with themes of stardom, gender and, above all, race. Woods Peiró analyzes folklórica stars like Raquel Meller and Imperio Argentina, white female stars who gained huge popularity performing female Roma characters on screen. Studying these ‘white gypsies’ allows Woods Peiró to approach issues rarely addressed in the historiography of Spanish cinema: from the filmic representation of race and gender to the idea of stardom as a narrative of social ascent. The author concludes that these figures, while favoring a national discourse of non-problematic racial assimilation, also contained within them a transgressive component by the fact that they portrayed mestizo characters in extremely popular films.
ABSTRACTFilmmaker and critic (former editor-in-chief at La Lettre du Cinéma) Axelle Ropert analyses the actor as star in European cinema in relation to the American star system. After giving her point of view on specific Hollywood stars (including Katharine Hepburn and Gene Tierney), the filmmaker goes on to address the following issues: does a European star system exist? What would its foundational gesture have been? Which filmmakers have created plastic methods to achieve the composition of the actor, particularly within French cinema? How should we react to feminist criticism of the American star system? As a French critic and filmmaker, Ropert has to deal with the possible ideological evolution that auteur theory may have imposed on the star, and the possibility that Nouvelle Vague might have modified the notion of ‘star’ in French cinema, by corrupting it with that of ‘icon.’ In the final part, the interview focuses on the major schools of actor direction in France: the Bressonian approach, the one that derives from Pialat, as well as the possible influence that painting might have had on the filmmaker’s work, with the actor as the raw material.
Deadline for submissions: January 10th, 2018.
More information HERE.
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