|Frame grab from A Star Is Born ( Frank Pierson, 1976)|
Each version of A Star Is Born may detail the rise of an unknown, but does so through extremely well-known performers, albeit ones at different stages of their careers. […] Barbra Streisand […] was at the height of her career in 1976. Her domination of A Star Is Born (she contributed to the writing and even, as Kris Kristofferson, her co-star, saw it, the directing [(Burke, Tom. “Kris Kristofferson Sings the Good-Life Blues.” Esquire 86 (December 1976): 126–28ff), 208-9]) was another manifestation of a desire to play out aspects of her own life. The credited director has recounted at length how, during preproduction, Streisand debated the degree to which her autobiography should be reflected in Esther Hoffman ([Pierson, Frank. “My Battles with Barbra and Jon.” New York 9 (November 15, 1976): 49–60], 50). If James Mason’s character in the 1954 film becomes through role reversal the “fictional counterpart of the neurotic, self-destructive person that Garland [had] become” ([Jennings, Wade. “Nova: Garland in ‘A Star Is Born.'” Quarterly Review of Film Studies 4, no. 3 (summer 1979): 321–37], 333), then Streisand’s Esther Hoffman directly fulfills everything that Streisand herself has become by 1976. Richard Dyer even suggests that among the “number of cases on which the totality of a film can be laid at the door of the star” the case can be made “most persuasively” for Streisand’s A Star Is Born (Dyer, Richard. Stars. London: BFI, 1979], 175) [Jerome Delamater, ‘”Once More, from the Top”: Musicals the Second Time Around’, in Horton, Andrew, Play it again, Sam: retakes on remakes. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998, p. 84]
If anyone knows of any other good items (and it is far too short and unworthy a list so far…), please leave a comment and FSFF will add them to the list.
- Zohar Altman Ravid, ‘The star as a Creation and the Star as a creator: The Case of Barbra Streisand’ in History of Stardom Reconsidered, edited by Kari Kallioniemi, Kimi Kärki, Janne Mäkelä and Hannu Salmi. Turku: International Institute for Popular Culture, 2007
- Henry Bial, ‘How Jews Became Sexy, 1968–1983’, Acting Jewish: Negotiating Ethnicity on the American Stage and Screen (University of Michigan, 2005)
- Jerome Delamater, ‘”Once More, from the Top”: Musicals the Second Time Around’, in Horton, Andrew, Play it again, Sam: retakes on remakes. Berkeley: University of California Press, c 1998 1998
- Brett Farmer, ‘Stage Door Jennies: Interview with Stacy Wolf about her New Book, A Problem Like Maria Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical’, Genders.org, Issue 38, 2003
- Rachel Garfield, ‘Towards a Re-Articulation of Cultural Identity: Problematising the Jewish Subject in Art’, originally in Third Text, Vol. 20, Issue 1, January, 2006, 99–108
- Stephen Godfry, ‘The Way We Were’, Pro Tem, November 29, 1973 (scroll down in PDF to p. 8)
- Evyatar Marienberg, ‘Jews Have the Best Sex: The Hollywood Adventures of a Peculiar Medieval Jewish Text on Sexuality’, Journal of Religion and Film, 14.2, 2010
- Arthur Laurents, ‘Emotional Reality: Interview by Pat McGilligan’, in McGilligan, Patrick. Backstory 2: Interviews with Screenwriters of the 1940s and 1950s (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991)
- Joel Rosenberg, ‘Jewish Experience on Film: An American Overview’, American Jewish Yearbook, 1996
- Jérôme Segal and Monika Kaczek, ‘Molly Picon and the Cinematic Archetype of a Jewish Woman’, CinemaScope, 14, Jan-Jul. 2010
- Greg M. Smith, ‘Streisand Shops the Museum Store: Consuming Art on Television’, Journal of Popular Film and Television, 30.1 (Spring 2002) 63-68
- Jon Stratton, ‘Introduction’, Jews, Race and Popular Music (Ashgate, 2009)
- Stacy Wolf, ‘Barbra’s “Funny Girl” Body’, SandF Online, Double Issue: 3.3 & 4.1
- Stacy Ellen Wolf, ‘Introduction’, A Problem Like Maria:Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical (University of Michigan Press, 2002)
It has been brilliantly publicised already, but Film Studies For Free wanted to make sure all its readers were alerted to the launch of an amazing new website for the Media History Digital Library, an excellent non-profit organisation that, for a good while now, in conjunction with the Internet Archive, has been working to digitize and open up full public access to collections of classic film and media periodicals that belong in the public domain.
On the site, you will find access to over 200,000 digitized pages of public domain media industry trade papers and fan magazines, including Moving Picture World (1912-1918), Film Daily (1918-1936), Photoplay (1917-1940), Radio Broadcast (1922-1930), and much more.
You are also encouraged to support this brilliant project with sponsorship. As such brilliance doesn’t just come about by accident, nor can it possibly come about for free, FSFF strongly urges you to think about supporting this work financially, especially if you know that you, or your institution, are likely to benefit to any great degree from access to these wonderful resources.
The above video is a very short, but effective, introduction to issues affecting small nations as they produce cinema, using the example of the Nordic countries, by film scholar Mette Hjort. It is also a fascinating digital promotional tool for a University of Washington Press book series co-edited by her. See Hjort’s excellent essay on ‘small nation cinema studies’ in the new issue of Mediascape. And also see Tom Zaniello‘s excellent article there on emerging, new-media forms of documentary including the digital advert.
the complex notions of the local and global as they intersect with media: industries and studies; cultures of production, distribution, exhibition and reception; as well as the text itself. Some of the questions this issue engages with include: In what ways does the global marketplace facilitate local products and productions? How do actors negotiate the politics of globalization in how they represent themselves in either the digitally enhanced or real worlds? How can digital media balance both the autonomy of local communities and the ongoing impact of corporate globalization? What role do academic scholars and students play in the globalization of media studies? [read more of this introduction here].
- ‘From Synthespian to Avatar: Re-framing the Digital Human in Final Fantasy and The Polar Express’ by Jessica Aldred
- ‘Tsuruko Aoki: Wife, Lover, Transcultural Star (visual essay)’ by Bryan Hikari Hartzheim
- ‘Pop Music and Wong Kar-wai (visual essay)’ by Brian Hu
- ‘Impact on Soft Power of Cultural Mobility: Japan to East Asia’ by Seiko Yasumoto
- ‘Suturing the Wound of Globalization: Immigration and Organs in Dirty Pretty Things‘ by Abby Hinsman
- ‘Coming of Age in Media/Cultural Studies: Critical Approaches’ by Dennis Lo
- ‘Small Cinemas: How They Thrive and Why They Matter’ by Mette Hjort
- ‘Roundtable Discussion on the Local and Global in Media Studies’ Respondents: Amelie Hastie, Roshanak Khesti and Laura U. Marks (link not yet working)
- ‘Introduction’ by Ross Lenihan and Ben Sampson
- ‘Robert Greenwald Interview’ by Ross Lenihan and Ben Sampson
- ‘Ina Inaba Interview’ by Ross Lenihan
- ‘Amie Williams Interview’ by Ben Sampson
- ‘Globalization, Digital Films, and New Directions in Documentary’ by Tom Zaniello
- ‘Speculations on the Virtual and the Viral Witness to Human Rights Crises’ by Sam Gregory and Patricia Zimmermann
- ‘Local/Global in Documentary Films: Traditional Media and New Media (video interview)’ by Ross Lenihan and Ben Sampson
- ‘Local/Global in Documentary Films: Short Format vs Long Format (video interview)’ by Ross Lenihan and Ben Sampson
- ‘Local/Global in Documentary Films: New Media and Social Change (video interview)’ by Ross Lenihan and Ben Sampson
- ‘Local/Global in Documentary Films: Effectiveness of Advocacy Media (video interview)’ by Ross Lenihan and Ben Sampson
|Picture from Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla via Flickr, used and altered under Creative Commons License permission.|
Film Studies For Free wanted you to know you have to go with the new issue of Flow: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture on Fandom and Fan Studies. Oh, and then you can join the party already started at In Media Res on issues of spectatorship. The great contents of these worthy e-journals are directly linked to below:
- Sarah Sinwell (Northeastern University) presents: The Art of Seduction: Film Spectatorship in the Age of the Cell Phone
- Ross Melnick (Emory University) presents: BIG News from India: BIG Cinemas and Diasporic Indian Moviegoing in the United States
- Daniel C. Faltesek (University of Iowa) presents: The 3D Machine: An Experiment With Aura, Television, and Installation
- Jesse Schlotterbeck (University of Iowa) presents: DVDs Like LPs: The Official Websites of Musical Biopics and the Contemporary Film Collector
- “Fandom In/As the Academy” by Paul Booth A look at the specific pedagogical value of fandom as an activity and how it can be appropriated in a variety of educational contexts.
- “We Have Met the Fans, and They Are Us: In Defense of Aca-Fans and Scholars” by Catherine Coker and Candace Benefiel Fans hold their objects of study to a higher standard. How can the critical study of any text succeed without the passionate and knowledgeable participation of the scholar?
- “The Gathering of the Juggalos and the Peculiar Sanctity of Fandom” by Michael Dwyer The Gathering of the Juggalos is the scene of questionable fan practices contrary to the noble portrait of fandom elaborated by several scholars.
- “‘We are all together:’ Fan Studies and Performance” by Jen Gunnels and M. Flourish Klink Gunnels and Klink argue that fan studies parallels performance studies in discerning tensions between researcher and subject.
- “Stop Being an Elitist, and Start Being an Elitist” by David Jenemann Given how Aca-fandom has created its own canon and looks down its nose at certain cultural forms like sports broadcasting, we could use a little of Adorno’s elitism in the discipline today.
- “Telling Tastes: (Re)producing Distinction in Popular Media Studies” by Eve Ng What we study and how we learn to talk about it is productive of our identities along mostly covert dimensions of power. How do scholars distinguish themselves from the mainstream critics?
- “Embracing the ‘Overly Confessional:’ Scholar-Fandom and Approaches to Personal Research” by Tom Phillips A scholar argues that embracing an “overly confessional” approach to his academic writing is integral to the fidelity of his research.
- “Revisiting Fandom in Africa” by Olivier J. Tchouaffe The application of fandom and its resources is not the same in all cultures, and African fans might not be recognized as legitimate fans. The point of this piece is to demonstrate that there is a unifying figure of American domination of mass culture.
|One Touch of Venus (William A. Seiter, 1948), starring Robert Walker and Ava Gardner. See Edgar Morin‘s essay on Gardner here.|
- An Interview with Olivier Assayas on Carlos by Genevieve Yue
- Introduction to Edgar Morin by Lorraine Mortimer
- Ava Gardner by Edgar Morin
- The America Endangered in The American by Joseph Natoli
- African Francophone Cinema in the French New Wave by Wes Felton
- Citizen Kane: Biography and the Unfinished Sentence by Pedro Blas Gonzalez
- The Older Grows the Body, the Faster Run the Machines by John Downie
- Making Space by Sean Cubitt
- The Cinemas of Interactions by Leon Gurevitch
- disney.go.com/fairies and Pixie Hollow MMOG by Allison Maplesden
- Feminism and Cinema in the Digital Age by Lee-Jane Bennion-Nixon
- Mattias Frey on Michael Haneke
- Matt Losada on Jean Rouch
- Robert Farmer on Jean Epstein
- Martha P. Nochimson on New York
- Gianluca Pulsoni on Lucca Film Festival
- Celluloid Liberation Front on Venice
- Vera Brunner-Sung on Pusan International Film Festival
- Libertad Gills on Festival de Cine Cero Latitud
- Huw Walmsley-Evans on Brisbane
- Bérénice Reynaud on Vancouver
- John Fidler on The Tactile Eye and Moving Viewers
- Dean Brandum on Michael Winterbottom
- Chris Carter on >Re-Imagining Animation
- Adrian Danks on Humphrey Jennings
- David Melville on Beyond Paradise
- Michael Walsh on Camouflage
- Marcin Wisniewski on Life as a Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease
- Pedro Blas Gonzalez on The Structure of Crystals
- Adrian Danks on Family Life
|Image from Rancho Notorious (Fritz Lang, 1952). Read Hilaria Loyo’s
Star and National Myths in Cold War Allegories: Marlene Dietrich’s Star Persona and the Western in Fritz Lang’s Rancho Notorious (1952)
Thanks to the ever brilliant David Hudson, Film Studies For Free heard about a must-read item on American cinema, a special issue of the European Journal of American Studies entitled European film-makers construct the United States. Links to all the brilliant and openly accessible articles are given below.
European Journal of American Studies (1, 2010) Special issue on Film: European film-makers construct the United States
|Javier Bardem as Raúl and Penélope Cruz as Silvia in Jamón Jamón (Bigas Luna, 1992) as discussed in Rebecca Naughten’s work Spain Made Flesh: Reflections and projections of the national in contemporary Spanish stardom, 1992-2007|
Film Studies For Free was delighted when Spanish cinema scholar Rebecca Naughten responded to its request for information about online PhD theses. Not only did Rebecca let FSFF know that her own really excellent thesis has recently been made available online, but she also did the hard work of trawling through the online repository at the University of Newcastle, where her work is stored, to find four other very good theses archived there. ¡Muchísimas gracias, Rebecca!
These works have just been added to FSFF‘s permanent list of Online Film and Moving Image Studies PhD Theses (see the link in the table of contents in the right-hand sidebar for future reference) which now makes more than 130 theses accessible to you at the click of your mouse.
Do please let FSFF know if your online PhD thesis, or others you know of, is not yet in this list.
- Deer, Lesley, The repetition of difference: Marginality and the films of Hal Hartley, PhD Thesis, University of Newcastle, 2000
- Durham, Christopher Louis, Masculinity in the post-war western: John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, PhD Thesis, University of Newcastle, 2005
- Hamilton, Jayne, Gender representation and textual strategies in the films of Pilar Miró, PhD Thesis, University of Newcastle, 1997
- Mendez-Fiddian, Maria del Carmen, The representation of the family in Spanish cinema from 1950 to the present day, PhD Thesis, University of Newcastle, 1989
- Naughten, Rebecca Claire, Spain Made Flesh: Reflections and projections of the national in contemporary Spanish stardom, 1992-2007, PhD Thesis, University of Newcastle, 2010
- “Walker: the dramatic film as historical truth” by Robert A. Rosenstone, Film-Historia, No. 1, 1992
- “The Image of Mexican Heroes in American Films” by Paul J. Vanderwood, Film-Historia, No. 3, 1992
- “Absolved by History: On the Aesthetics and Ideology on History in the Cuban Film Institute” by John Mraz, Film-Historia, No. 3, 1993
- “The Historical Film is a Real History”, by Robert A. Rosenstone, Film-Historia, No. 1, 1995
- “Social Roles/Political Responsabilities: Jean Renoir’s Search for Artistic Integrity, 1928-1939” by Charles Musser, Film-Historia, No. 1, 1994
- “Hollywood, U.S.- Mexican Relations, and the Devolution of the “Golden Age” of Mexican Cinema” by Seth Fein, Film-Historia, No. 2, 1994
- “‘We’re just little people, Louis’: Marie-Antoniette on Film” by Laura Mason, Film-Historia, No. 3, 1994
- “Against the Ivory Tower: An Apologia for ‘Popular’ Historical Documentaries” by Dirk Eitzen, Film-Historia, No. 1, 1995
- “Filming the “Discovery” of America: How and Whose History Is Being Told” by Luisela Alvaray, Film-Historia, No. 1, 1995
- “Film as Historical Narrative”, by Hannu Salmi, Film-Historia, No. 1, 1995
- “The Politics of the Trilogy Form: Lucia, the Oresteia, and The Godfather”, by Peter W. Rose, Film-Historia, No. 2-3, 1993
- “Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1988): Ethnicy and a Babble of Discourses”, by Leslie Fishbein, Film-Historia, No. 2-3, 1995
- “Colonial History and Anglo-American tension in 1939: Allegheny Uprising and Drums along the Mohawk”, by K. R. M. Short, Film-Historia, No. 1, 1996
- “Cinematic Contextual History of High Noon (1952, dir. Fred Zinnemann)”, by J. M. Caparrós-Lera and Sergio Alegre, Film-Historia, No. 1, 1996
- “Spain in U.S.: cinematic relationship, 1939-1953”, by Rafael de España, Film-Historia, No. 3, 1996
- “Mothering Daughters: Subjectivity and History in the Work of Helma Sanders Brahms’s Germany Pale Mother” by Judith Keene, Film-Historia, No. 1, 1997
- “Paradise Found?: Ana/chronic Nostalgia in Belle Epoque”, by Jose F. Colmeiro, Film-Historia, No. 2, 1997
- “Germany after Unification: Views from Abroad”, by Roger Hillman, Film-Historia, No. 2, 1997
- “The Image of Ancient Rome in the Cinema”, by Carl J. Mora, Film-Historia, No. 3, 1997
- “Coping Strategies: Three Decades of Vietnam War in Hollywood”, by Eusebio V. Llácer and Esther Enjuto, Film-Historia, No. 1, 1998
- “The Royal Air Force: World War II Film Propaganda and The March of the Time”, by K. R. M. Short, Film-Historia, No. 2-3, 1998
- “Oliver Stone’s Nixon: Politics on the Edge of Darkness”, by Ian Scott, Film-Historia, No. 1, 1999
- “Images of War in Andrei Tarkovski’s. The Sacrifice: Four levels of meaning”, by Gabriel Giralt, Film-Historia, No. 1, 1999
- “Playful Subversions: Hollywood Pirates Plunder Spanish America”, by Nina Gerassi-Navarro, Film-Historia, No. 2, 1999
- “The Revolution is History: Filming the Past in Mexico and Cuba”, by John Mraz, Film-Historia, No. 2, 1999
- “El día que me quieras: History, Mith and Che Guevara”, by John Hess, Film-Historia, No. 2, 1999
- “Cantinfladas of the PRI: (Mis) Representations of Mexican Society and Democracy in the Films of Mario Moreno”, by Jeffrey Pilcher, Film-Historia, No. 2, 1999
- “Los Hermanos Mayo: Photographing Exile”, by John Mraz, Film-Historia, No. 1-2, 2000
- “Cut from Anglophilia to Anglophobia. Hollywood’s Changing Perceptions of the British” by Carl J. Mora, Film-Historia, No. 1-2, 2001
- “In search of reality through dreams: Alejandro Amenabar’s Abre los ojos”, by Marina Martin, Film-Historia, No. 1-2, 2002
- “The ideological meaning behind Greta Garbo’s star image”, by Alan McLane, Film-Historia, No. 1, 2003
- “Poor Mexican cinema, So far from Cahiers du Cinema, so close to Latino U.S.A.: A Cantankerous Essay”, by Carl J. Mora, Film-Historia, No. 1, 2003
- “The War, the Air Force and the Search for Realist Cinema in Britain, 1941-1942”, by Michael Paris, Film-Historia, No. 1, 2003
- The Spanish Film Industry, New Technologies, New Opportunities”, by Lauren Kogen, Film-Historia, No. 1, 2006
- “The Fatherless Society: Die Blechtrommel (Tin Drum)”, by Xuejuen Guo, Film-Historia, No. 1, 2007