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Stars as a Cinematic Phenomenon
Stars as a cinematic phenomenon


There is always a temptation to think of a ‘star image’ as some kind of fixed repertory of fixed meanings (Joan Crawford = tough, independent, ruthless, threateningly sexy, etc.). However, this seems to simplify the process, and to misstate the role of the star in producing meanings in films and beyond films. Star images are paradoxical. They are composed of elements which do not cohere, of contradictory tendencies. They are composed of clues rather than complete meanings, of representations that are less complete, less stunning, than those offered by cinema. The star image is an incoherent image. It shows the star both as an ordinary person and as an extraordinary person. It is also an incomplete ...

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