Catalogue


Film stardom, myth and classicism : the rise of Hollywood's gods /
Michael Williams.
imprint
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
description
x, 252 p.
ISBN
0230355447 (hardback), 9780230355446 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
isbn
0230355447 (hardback)
9780230355446 (hardback)
abstract
"Since the golden era of silent movies stars have been described as screen gods, goddesses and idols. But why did Hollywood, that most modernity industry, first look back to antiquity as it built its stars? This book presents a unique insight into the origins of screen stardom in the 1910s and 20s to explore how the myth and iconography of ancient Greece and Rome was deployed to create modern Apollo and Venuses of the screen. Drawing from extensive research into studio production files, fan-magazines and the popular reception of stars in America and Britain, this study explores how the sculptural gods of the past enabled the flickering shadows on the screen to seem more present and alive. Classicism permitted films to encode different sexualities for their audience, and present stars who embodied traditions of the Grand Tour for a post-war context where the ruins of past civilisations had become strangely resonant. The book presents detailed discussion of leading players such as Ramon Novarro, Greta Garbo and Rudolph Valentino, and major films such as Ben-Hur and Flesh and the Devil to show how classicism enabled star discourse to transform actors into icons. This is the story of how Olympus moved to Hollywood to divinise stars as icons for a modern age and defined a model of stardom that is still with us today"--
catalogue key
8729129
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 235-242) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Michael Williams is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Southampton, UK. He is author of Ivor Novello: Screen Idol and is co-editor of British Silent Cinema and the Great War published by Palgrave Macmillan. He has also written on stardom, film and antiquity, British cinema, landscape, sexuality and the heritage film.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Williams' book is exemplary in its pursuit of illuminating parallels between the contemporary gods/goddesses and their classical antecedents. The particular period post-WW1 with its emphasis on heroes and broken men, on loss and celebration, on the marble memorialising of real-life heroes as compared with the potency of the star images caught in a complex mode of evanescence and permanence, is imbued with both poignancy for what is lost and the exhilaration of what the 'divinisation' (author's word) of the star phenomenon represents." - Brian McFarlane, Monash University, Australia
'Williams' book is exemplary in its pursuit of illuminating parallels between the contemporary gods/goddesses and their classical antecedents. The particular period post-WW1 with its emphasis on heroes and broken men, on loss and celebration, on the marble memorialising of real-life heroes as compared with the potency of the star images caught in a complex mode of evanescence and permanence, is imbued with both poignancy for what is lost and the exhilaration of what the 'divinisation' (author's word) of the star phenomenon represents.' - Brian McFarlane, Monash University, Australia
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Library of Congress Summary
"Since the golden era of silent movies stars have been described as screen gods, goddesses and idols. But why did Hollywood, that most modernity industry, first look back to antiquity as it built its stars? This book presents a unique insight into the origins of screen stardom in the 1910s and 20s to explore how the myth and iconography of ancient Greece and Rome was deployed to create modern Apollo and Venuses of the screen. Drawing from extensive research into studio production files, fan-magazines and the popular reception of stars in America and Britain, this study explores how the sculptural gods of the past enabled the flickering shadows on the screen to seem more present and alive. Classicism permitted films to encode different sexualities for their audience, and present stars who embodied traditions of the Grand Tour for a post-war context where the ruins of past civilisations had become strangely resonant. The book presents detailed discussion of leading players such as Ramon Novarro, Greta Garbo and Rudolph Valentino, and major films such as Ben-Hur and Flesh and the Devil to show how classicism enabled star discourse to transform actors into icons. This is the story of how Olympus moved to Hollywood to divinise stars as icons for a modern age and defined a model of stardom that is still with us today"--
Unpaid Annotation
"Since the golden era of silent movies, stars have been described as screen gods, goddesses and idols. But why did Hollywood, that most modern industry, first look back to antiquity as it built its stars? This book presents a unique insight into the origins of screen stardom in the 1910s and 1920s to explore how the myth and iconography of ancient Greece and Rome were deployed to create modern Apollo and Venuses of the screen. Drawing from extensive research into studio production files, fan-magazines and the popular reception of stars in America and Britain, this study explores how the sculptural gods of the past enabled the flickering shadows on the screen to seem more present and alive. Classicism permitted films to encode different sexualities for their audience, and present stars who embodied traditions of the Grand Tour for a post-war context where the ruins of past civilisations had become strangely resonant. The book presents detailed discussion of leading players such as Ramon Novarro, Greta Garbo and Rudolph Valentino, and major films such as Ben-Hur and Flesh and the Devil, to show how classicism enabled star discourse to transform actors into icons. This is the story of how Olympus moved to Hollywood to divinise stars as icons for a modern age and defined a model of stardom that is still with us today"--
Description for Bookstore
An exploration of how Hollywood used the myth and iconography of Greek and Roman antiquity in constructing the image of the greatest stars of the silent era, that still persists today
Long Description
Since the golden era of silent movies stars have been described as screen gods, goddesses and idols. But why did Hollywood, that most modernity industry, first look back to antiquity as it built its stars? This book presents a unique insight into the origins of screen stardom in the 1910s and 20s to explore how the myth and iconography of ancient Greece and Rome was deployed to create modern Apollo and Venuses of the screen. Drawing from extensive research into studio production files, fan-magazines and the popular reception of stars in America and Britain, this study explores how the sculptural gods of the past enabled the flickering shadows on the screen to seem more present and alive. Classicism permitted films to encode different sexualities for their audience, and present stars who embodied traditions of the Grand Tour for a post-war context where the ruins of past civilisations had become strangely resonant. The book presents detailed discussion of leading players such as Ramon Novarro, Greta Garbo and Rudolph Valentino, and major films such as Ben-Hur and Flesh and the Devil to show how classicism enabled star discourse to transform actors into icons. This is the story of how Olympus moved to Hollywood to divinise stars as icons for a modern age and defined a model of stardom that is still with us today.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Since the golden era of silent movies, stars have been described as screen gods, goddesses and idols. This is the story of how Olympus moved to Hollywood to divinise stars as Apollos and Venuses for the modern age, and defined a model of stardom that is still with us today.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. viii
Acknowledgementsp. ix
Introduction: Olympus Moves to Hollywoodp. 1
Charting the Firmament
Shadows of Desire: War, Youth and the Classical Vernacularp. 27
Swanson Venus and Apollo Arlen: Sculpting the Star Bodyp. 54
Flights to Antiquity
The Flight to Antiquityp. 85
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925) and the Idolisation of Ramon Novarrop. 113
Undying Pasts
The Undying Past: Flesh and the Devil (1926)p. 145
'A Monument to Youth and Romance': The Death of Rudolph Valentinop. 174
Conclusion: The End of the Golden Age?p. 202
Notesp. 208
Bibliographyp. 235
Indexp. 243
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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