11:00 Keynote paper 1. Venue: space 4/5; chair: Guy Austin Neepa Majumdar (University of Pittsburgh, USA): Listening to Stardom: Considerations of Voice in Star Studies
11:50 -- 1:20 parallel panels 1&2
Panel 1 Star Voices. Venue: space 4/5; chair: Neepa Majumdar
Jennifer O’Meara (Trinity College Dublin) – Star Speed: the Fast-Talking Voices of Independent Cinema
Tom Whittaker (University of Liverpool) – Being Clint Eastwood’s Voice, Spanish Dubbing, Performance and Personification
Ann Davies (Newcastle University)--Where is the Voice of Penélope Cruz?
Panel 2 Performing Action: The Face & Body of Contemporary Male Stardom. Venue: space 7; chair: Rosie White
Lisa Purse (University of Reading) – Confronting the Impossibility of Impossible bodies: Tom Cruise as Ageing Action Star
Lucy Fife Donaldson (University of St Andrews) – Masculine Tools: the Work of Jason Statham’s Controlled Body
Faye Woods (University of Reading) – Ryan Gosling’s Face: American Masculinity and the Reluctant Man of Action in Drive
1:20 - 2:20 lunch (Culture Lab)
2:20 - 3:10 Keynote paper 2. Venue: space 4/5; chair: Sabrina Yu
Yingjin Zhang (University of California-San Diego, USA): Film Stars in the Perspective of Performance Studies
3:10 - 4:40 parallel panels 3&4
Panel 3 Global Players and Transnational Film Performance (1). Venue: space 4/5; chair: Sarah Leahy
Donna Peberdy (Southampton Solent University) – Narrative Trans-actions: Performance in the Global Ensemble
Sarah Thomas (Aberystwyth University) – After ‘M’: Transnational Influences and Echoes in Screen Performance
Sabrina Qiong Yu (Newcastle University) –Transcending the Boundaries of Language on the World Stage: Tang Wei’s Performance in Late Autumn Panel 4 Stars and Ageing (1). Venue: space 7; chair: Rosie White
Linda Berkvens (University of Sussex) – ‘When Barbara Strips off her Petticoats and Straps on her Guns’: Barbara Stanwyck, Maturity, and Stardom in the 1950s and 1960s
Gillian Kelly (University of Glasgow) – Robert Taylor: The Invisible Star
Kirsty Fairclough (University of Salford) – It’s Complicated: Meryl Streep and the Acceptable Face of Ageing Stardom in Hollywood
4:40 - 5:00 coffee
5:0 - 6:30 parallel panels 5&6
Panel 5 Global Players and Transnational Film Performance (2). Venue: space 4/5; chair: Ann Davies
Iain Robert Smith (Roehampton University) – Transnational Vamp: The Global Stardom of Bollywood Dancer Helen
Mark Gallagher (University of Nottingham) – The Mainlanding of Tony Leung Chiu-Wai
Darren Kerr (Southampton Solent University) – See You on the Other Side: Interstitial Scares in the Transnational Supernatural or Why (Transnational) Horror?
Panel 6 Stars and Ageing (2). Venue: space 7; chair: Melanie Bell
Adrian Garvey (Queen Mary, University of London) – James Mason: Performance and the Ageing Star
Lucy Bolton (Queen Mary, University of London) – Melanie Griffith: Vulgarity, Excess and Ageing Disgracefully
Sue Harris (Queen Mary, University of London) – Gerard Depardieu: The Ageing Star Body as a Site of Generational Crisis
7:30 pm conference dinner at Six, the Baltic, Gateshead
Day 2 (13 June)
9:15- 10:55 Keynote panel. Venue: space 4/5
Developing the BFI Film Stars Series, hosted by Martin Shingler (University of Sunderland) and Susan Smith (University of Sunderland)
Ginette Vincendeau (Kings College London) – Bardot and the Origins of Star Studies
Pam Cook (University of Southampton) – Nicole Kidman’s Artful Acting: How to Be an Actress and a Star
11:10-12:40 parallel panels 7 & 8
Panel 7 European Star Systems. Venue: space 7; chair: Sarah Leahy Rebecca Naughten (not affiliated) – The Industrial Contexts of National Stardom: A Spanish Case Study
Sarka Gmiterkova (Masaryk University Brno, Czech rep) – Suffer for the Fame: Jirina Stepnickova and Czech Female Film Stars, 1930-45
Catherine O'Rawe (Bristol University) – Alain Delon: Stardom, Italian Style
Panel 8 Reappropriating Hollywood Stardom. Venue: space 4/5; chair: Andrew Shail
Ania Malinowska (University of Silesia, Poland) – Heroines at the Outskirts of Culture: De-romanticising Hollywood Queens
Leonardo Boscarin (Queen’s University, Belfast) –Charles Bronson: the one (and the many). Exploring star influence in British inmate Charles Bronson and El Charles Bronson chileno Eva Bru-Dominguez (University College Cork) – Fleshing out the Past: Ava Gardner and the Dialectics of history in Isaki Lacuesta’s La noche que no acaba(2010)
12:40 – 1:40 lunch 1:40 - 3:10 parallel panels 9 & 10
Panel 9 Constructing and Marketing Stars in Early Cinema. Venue: space 7; chair: Martin Shingler Andrew Shail (Newcastle University) – The Emergence of Film Celebrity in the UK
Isak Thorsen (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) – Valdemar Psilander: an International Star in the Silent Era
Amy-Claire Scott (Newcastle University) – We Do Not Manufacture Princesses Like You Manufacture Automobiles: Hollywood Studio Stars and Manufacturing Political Flexibility in Thirty Day Princess
Panel 10 Acting, Performance and National Identity. Venue: space 4/5; chair: Stephanie Dennison
Mariapaola Pierini (Università di Torino, Italy)– Rodolfo Valentino, The Star as an Actor
Salma Siddique (University of Westminster) – Goodbye Neverland: Child Star Ratan Kumar and the Move to Pakistan
Guy Austin (Newcastle University) – Performance, the body and national identity in the Algerian films of Biyouna
3:10- 4:40pm parallel panels 11&12
Panel 11 Tragic, Late and Crip Stars. Venue: space 4/5; chair: Melanie Bell
Andrea Bandhauer and Michelle Royer (University of Sydney, Australia) – Star Embodiment: Ageing and the Tragic Star
Elisabetta Girelli (University of St Andrews)--In Your Face: Montgomery Clift Comes out As Crip in The Young Lions
Leon Hunt (Brunel University) –Too Late the Hero? The Bittersweet Stardom of Donnie Yen
Panel 12 Aberrant and Unusual Stardom. Venue: space 7; chair: Yingjin Zhang
Xiaoning Lu (SOAS, University of London) – Chen Qiang: Affect Engineering and Stardom in Chinese Socialist Cinema
Lin Feng (University of Hull) – “I’m Ugly, but Gentle’: Performing xiaorenwu (little character) in Chinese Comedies
Johnny Walker (De Montfort University) – From Pinter to Pimp: Danny Dyer, Cult Stardom and the Critics
4:40 – 5:00 coffee
5:00 – 6:00 parallel panels 13&14
Panel 13 Transnational Stardom. Venue: space 7; chair: Sabrina Yu
Yiman Wang (University of California Santa Cruz, USA) – ‘Speaking in a Forked Tongue’: Anna May Wong’s Linguistic Cosmopolitanism
SooJeong Ahn (Catholic University of Korea, Korea) – Korean Wave (Hallyu) Stars into Hollywood: Lee Byung Hun from Asia to Hollywood
Panel 14 Transmedia Stardom. Venue: space 4/5; chair: Ann Davies Julie Lobalzo Wright (King’s College London) – The Crossover: Why Popular Music Stardom and Film Stardom are Often at Odds with One Another
Sarah Gilligan (Hartlepool College) – Beyond the Harry Potter Girl: Emma Watson, Fashion and Celebrity Culture
6: 10 pm Optional film viewing at Tyneside Cinema
“Behind the Candelabra”, dir. S. Soderbergh, starring Michael Douglas & Matt Damon
Day 3 (14 June)
9:15- 10:05 Keynote paper 3. Venue: space 4/5; chair: Guy Austin
Stephanie Dennison (University of Leeds): ‘I’m different from you’: Xuxa and the notion of Whiteness in Brazil
10:05 – 11:05 parallel panels 15&16
Panel 15 Ethnicity and National Identities. Venue: space 4/5; chair: Guy Austin
Jaap Kooijman (University of Amsterdam, Holland) – Whitewashing the Dreamgirls: Connecting the Star Images of Beyoncé and Diana Ross
Michael Lawrence (University of Sussex) – Sabu, Prince of Technicolor
Panel 16 At the Margins of Film Stardom. Venue: space 7; chair: Andrew Shail
Sarah Harman and Clarissa Smith (University of Sunderland) – ‘I want James Deen to Deen Me with his Deen’: The Multi-layered Stardom of James Deen
Stella Hockenhull (University of Wolverhampton) – Reel Creatures: Animals as Star Vehicles in Hollywood and non-Hollywood Cinema
11:05 -11:25 coffee
11:25 -12:55 parallel panels 17&18
Panel 17 Star and Audience. Venue: space 4/5; chair: Sabrina Yu
Lori Morimoto (Northern Virginia Community College, USA) – Transcultural Proximity and the Japanese Fandom of Hong Kong Stars, 1985-2000
Niamh Thornton (University of Ulster) – Betwixt and Between: Gender and Mexican Film Stars Online
Hanna Klien (University of Vienna, Austria) – When Stars Gaze Back: Darshan as a Concept of Stardom and Spectatorship
Panel 18 New perspectives in Star Studies. Venue: space 7; chair: Martin Shingler Andrea Bandhauer and Michelle Royer (University of Sydney, Australia) – A Volume on Stars in World Cinema: New Perspectives?
Joshua Gulam (University of Manchester) – ‘I Didn’t Want to be “The Issues Guy”…’: A New Critical Approach to George Clooney’s Philanthropy
12:55 lunch and an optional trip to a regional attraction
Soo Jeong Ahn: Korean Wave (Hallyu) Stars into Hollywood: Lee Byung Hun from Asia to Hollywood
In the international spread of popular culture from South Korea since the late 1990s, known as popularly as the “Korean Wave (hallyu in Korean)”, it was not Korean films that won the hearts of fans. Rather, it was television dramas and popular music (K-pop) that initially produced hallyu stars such as Bae Yong Joon, Lee Byung Hun and Rain, leading this trend in the regional market especially in Asia. In this sense, it draws attention that the recent hallyu stars find their way into Hollywood studio films after establishing their career in Asia. This paper explores the way in which hallyu stars have transformed their career from Asia to Hollywood by looking specifically at Lee Byung Hun who is shooting his third film (Red 2) in Hollywood after his successful debut in the sci-fi sequels G.I. Joe (2009) and G.I. Joe 2 (2012). The paper examines the ways in which hallyu stars had to take their roles as Asian male stereotype in martial arts flicks as their first steps of breaking into Hollywood. There could be risks that they alienate themselves from the local and regional markets and losing out on opportunities, as well as losing creative freedoms which potentially could be limited by big Hollywood studios. By illustrating their career trajectories from TV dramas to films, from Asia to Hollywood, the paper aims to reveal the new forms and patters of hallyu stars and the Korean Wave.
Guy Austin: Performance, the body and national identity in the Algerian films of Biyouna
At the age of 50, the female Algerian singer and actor Biyouna—already a well-known music and TV star in Algeria—embarked on a film career which has been successful in Algeria, France, and beyond. This paper will consider Biyouna’s film performance not in a transnational mode but as an embodiment of specific cultural and social issues at stake in Algeria at the time of her break-through film Viva Algeria (Nadir Mokneche, 2004). In particular the paper will address the gendered performance of the star body in Viva Algeria (and to a lesser extent in her other Algerian films), situating this in regard to Algeria’s so-called civil war of the 1990s, the ideological discourse around the display of women’s bodies, and the contemporary violence against women on the part of radical Islamist factions. There will be close analysis of the function of dance, performance, and memory in Biyouna’s performance, and reference will be made to theories of performance by Paul McDonald, Susan Hayward and others regarding the relation between the voice and body of the actor and the “social containment of desire” (McDonald) or the “ideological censorship” of the body (Hayward).
Andrea Bandhauer & Michelle Royer: Star Embodiment: Ageing and the Tragic Star
This paper will argue that the body is not simply an object of spectacle. It is also the site of performance: that of the inner life of a star. By taking two examples, Romy Schneider as the embodiment of the tragic and the filming of the bodies of aging stars (as for instance in Amour by Michael Haneke), this paper will show that an actor always reveals something that pertains to the real. Romy Schneider embodied characters on the edge, women who are both strong and fragile and on a road that often leads to disaster. On screen, her capacity to receive and demand romantic love constitutes both her power and her weakness and ultimately, the characters she played are almost always victims of the devastating consequences being risked by her absolute surrender to passion. What is shown on screen seems to respond to, replicate and even evoke the tragedy surrounding her private life, which was eagerly followed and scrutinised by the media. This paper will show that it is this blending of the private and the screen persona - the fact that the audience was watching her on screen character(s) perform tragic destinies that could be considered as projections of her troubled private life – that created the authenticity, charisma and aura, that, as Dyer states, the audience demands of a star to be accepted “in the spirit in which she or he is offered” (Dyer, 1991). This paper will also investigate the recording of human aging by cinema through the filming of the physical body of stars. Because of its very nature as ‘art of perception’ to quote Merleau-Ponty, cinema always reveals to spectators, often unconsciously, the process of aging. Through the filming of bodies, faces and voices of stars, cinema records the effects of time: although cinema is an art of manipulation of the real, it cannot conceal ageing bodies, it can use them and groom them but the body of the actor always escapes its control. This paper will argue that when viewers watch Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva in Amour (Haneke, 2012) they don’t simply watch the fictional story of an old couple’s end of life, they also witness the declining bodies of two actors and the evolution of the acting skills of two stars whose faces and bodies have become very familiar over many years of media and film exposure.
Andrea Bandhauer & Michelle Royer: A Volume on Stars in World Cinema: New Perspectives?
This paper will discuss aspects of an upcoming book titled Stars in World Cinema (Michelle Royer and Andrea Bandhauer (eds) I.B. Tauris, 2013) which comprises essays on European, African, Asian, Latin American and Australasian stars and systems. Contributors from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds explore stars of national cinemas, western and non-western cinemas in their connectedness outside of the Hollywood model, and reflect on the global and local functions of stars in the world. The book aims at promoting new forms of interdisciplinarity by adopting a hybrid and multiple perspective on stars and the star industries while focusing on the expertise of scholars who are involved in national cinemas. What is of particular interest to us is the polycentric approach to cinema articulated in the book. This paper will discuss the book not only as a series of essays but as an attempt to map the world of stardom in their specificity and interconnectedness: attentive to details and local geographies but highlighting common reliefs and links between various areas of stardom.
Linda Berkvens: “When Barbara Strips off her Petticoats and Straps on her Guns”: Barbara Stanwyck, Maturity, and Stardom in the 1950s and 1960s
“When Barbara strips off her petticoats and straps on her guns” is the tag line for Barbara Stanwyck’s 1954 film Cattle Queen of Montana (d. Allan Dwan, US) and it indicates one of the major shifts that took place in Stanwyck’s career and image in the 1950s and 1960s. Unlike many of the female stars of her generation that were forced to end their careers in the 1950s because there were insufficient parts for mature women (i.e. women over forty), Stanwyck “stripped off her petticoats” and extended her film career until well into the 1960s by performing in B Westerns and television series. Stanwyck’s maturity, emphasized by her rapidly greying hair, affected the roles she played but also turned Stanwyck into a role model for mature women. This paper will consider Stanwyck’s unique position as a role model for mature women in the 1950s and 1960s. It will also examine the reasons for Stanwyck’s popularity as a mature female star in the 1950s and 1960s when the general notion that feminine ideals were “youthful and thus vulnerable to deterioration with age” (Stacey 226). The research is done by using original primary materials. It will demonstrate the construction of Stanwyck’s image by locating it in its original context and it will offer explanations for the fashionability of Stanwyck as a mature star in the 1950s and 1960s.
Lucy Bolton: Melanie Griffith: Vulgarity, Excess and Ageing Disgracefully
This paper will argue that the star image of Melanie Griffith is centred on vulgarity and excess, created by her film roles in the 1980s, elements of her physicality and off-screen life, and that this has led to connotations of cheapness, artifice, and aging disgracefully, which are reflected in the roles she continues to play. Griffith’s acting career began when she was a child, but her stardom began with the film Body Double in 1984 in which she played porn actress Holly Body. This excessive and parodic film set the scene for many of Griffith’s roles over the next decade: sexually provocative, dangerous characters, stripping, dancing, and teasing their way through the eighties. Griffith played prostitutes, mistresses and molls, and her combination of baby-voice and voluptuous body helped her create a persona focussed on bawdy sex. Integral to this image was the visual excess of the decade, with all its garish colour and exaggerated proportions. Although Griffith has played many dramatic roles over her forty-year career, the associations of bawdiness, excess and sexual availability have remained as integral parts of her persona, seeing her play roles of aging sex-bombs, such as the mother of Lolita (1997) or the mistress of William Randolph Hearst in RKO281 (1999). The colour and style of her emergent starring roles, combined with Griffith’s physical characteristics and appearance-altering plastic surgery, have led to a popular image of a sex-bomb aging disgracefully and embarrassingly. This paper analyses the trajectory of Griffith’s career in light of colour, costume, performance and physicality, and examines the specific contexts that led to her star image being fixed in the eighties.
Leonardo Boscarin: Charles Bronson: the one (and the many). Exploring star influence in British inmate Charles Bronson and El Charles Bronson chileno
In 1975, Chilean underdog Fenelón Guajardo López won a TV prize of look-alikes impersonating American actor Charles Bronson. Since then, the now eighty something ad-painter has been subjected to the highs and lows of success inherited from an actor that he has never encountered but on screen. Similarly, in 1987 British inmate Michael Gordon Peterson changed his name to Charles Bronson to market his image as ‘the most infamous prisoner in recent history’. Despite the fact that he had never seen a Bronson’s film, it is fair to say that now he is more popular than the American actor he claims to impersonate. Indeed, a search in Amazon sorts his autobiographical books before any Bronson’s film or memorabilia. While the Chilean impersonator appeared in his own documentary and performed in a western with an unknown Italian director, Bronson the inmate has been the subject of a recent film about his life (Bronson, 2009). How do these subjects appropriate the image of Charles Bronson to capitalise into the actor success? Which traits of his image do they highlight and which are they concealing? Could we consider impersonators as off-screen sources to understand Charles Bronson image? Can this practice help to fill/bridge the gap between stars and audience ‘in which both desire and identification circulate’ (Shingler, 2012)? Considering image as an unstable ‘substance’ that can be lent by studios and eventually be stolen by fans, my paper seeks to take these two case studies to address questions of violence, masculinity, and success in the public/intimate space in countries as different as England and Chile.
Eva Bru-Dominguez: Fleshing out the Past: Ava Gardner and the Dialectics of history in Isaki Lacuesta’s La noche que no acaba (2010)
For many years, a life-size bronze sculpture of Ava Gardner has towered over the picturesque coastal town of Tossa de Mar (Catalonia), attracting foreign and local visitors alike. Commissioned to celebrate the Hollywood actress’s stay in the village during the shooting of Albert Lewin’s Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951), this statue symbolises the indelible mark left by the star in this particular socio-cultural environment. In La noche que no acaba [All night long] (2010), Isaki Lacuesta documents Gardner’s movements around Spain, from her arrival at this then little known fishing town in 1950, to the years she spent in Madrid surrounded by the newly emerging social elite that flourished under general Franco’s dictatorship (1939-75). Here, the director juxtaposes footage of the young and old Gardner with testimonials from those who came close to her during those years, ultimately engaging in a transnational dialogue that is mostly mediated through the aging body of the star. Moreover, Lacuesta’s careful recovery and editing of archival materials results in the reframing of Gardner’s bodily traces raising questions about corporeal presence and its relationship with time and space. This paper seeks to explore Lacuesta’s dissection of a local history and society through the figure of Ava Gardner. Attentive to the methodologies and debates addressed by star studies scholars who have argued for more context-sensitive approaches to the cinema (Gledhill 1991, Staiger 1992, Stacey 1994), I will draw on the writings of performance studies scholar, Joseph Roach to examine Spain’s uncanny relationship with its past.
Pam Cook: Nicole Kidman’s Artful Acting: How to Be an Actress and a Star
Following her move to Hollywood from Australia and her bid for major stardom in the early 1990s, Nicole Kidman developed a distinctive acting style characterised by artifice. My paper will look at the different manifestations of this 'actorly' performance style in films such as To Die For (Gus Van Sant, 1995), Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999) and Australia (Baz Luhrmann, 2008), exploring performance as a response to industrial and cultural developments in contemporary global media. Kidman's histrionic acting has been described as postmodernist in the way it draws attention to the construction of gender. I shall extend this perception by teasing out the impact of her postcolonial Australian background on her performance style and enactment of white, modern femininity.
Ann Davies: Where is the Voice of Penélope Cruz?
This paper considers the ways in which the voice of the Spanish star Penélope Cruz goes unheard. Although Cruz’s natural voice is both distinctive and fairly consistent in her roles, it is subject to erasure in different ways within the film text and outside it. Within her films the use of English (as in, for example, Vanilla Sky and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin) and lip-synching (Volver) serve to ensure that her active performance is submerged. This phenomenon is even more apparent in the discourse surrounding Cruz as star, wherein other directors and actors speak for her (Almodóvar for Volver and Los abrazos rotos/Broken Embraces, Tom Cruise for Vanilla Sky). The muted Cruz is at odds with the rapid-fire delivery of Spanish and English in her films that appears to match the fiery persona promoted in her films. This paper explores these anomalies in order to question where, if anywhere, the voice of Cruz can be located.
Stephanie Dennison: ‘I’m Different from You’: Xuxa and the Notion of Whiteness in Brazil
Maria da Graça Meneghel (born 1963) is one of the most successful television presenters, recording artists, production company heads and film stars that Brazil has ever produced. Catapulted to stardom in the early 1980s as the blue-eyed, blonde-haired new kid on the block in modelling, and girlfriend of footballer Pelé, in a matter of years Xuxa (as she is known) had become one of the most instantly recognisable and influential media stars in the country. Although she is ostensibly a children’s entertainer, her star text has traditionally hinged on both her overt sexuality and on her representation of colour. This paper will consider in particular the construction of whiteness in Xuxa’s star text. Scant attention has been paid to the varieties of whiteness that exist in ‘melting-pot’ nations such as Brazil. If whiteness is fluid and unstable in the North American and Northern European context, it is much more so in Latin America, and Brazil in particular, with its large mixed-race population and the tradition of racial self-identification. The paper questions the usefulness of the tropes of whiteness suggested by Richard Dyer in White (1997) when applied to Latin American stars.
Lucy Fife Donaldson: Masculine Tools: The Work of Jason Statham’s Controlled Body
As an action movie star, Jason Statham’s chief asset is his body. Physicality dominates his on-screen presence, discussion of his acting skills and attention to his appeal. His body works hard both as a performer, in terms of physical effort he puts in to his films as stressed by interviews where he claims to do most of his own stunts, and as a persona, in terms of identification of Statham-as-star with physicality and this as a focus of attention in publicity material. Statham’s body operates as a conduit for a particular masculinity of ordered agency, effectiveness and single-mindedness. Yet, this order is frequently threatened by the possibility of rupture by physical defeat, excess and queer sensibilities. By considering the body as tool for performer and persona this paper will address the nature of the body Statham presents and is represented by. Statham’s physical presence is characterised by order and precision: he is the man that gets things done. The possibility of losing control and the rupture of secure masculinity is suppressed by the nexus of the effort/precision/ mastery at the heart of Statham’s star-image. Taking The Mechanic (Simon West, 2011) as a case study, this paper will explore the way his physical performance in this film draws on the Statham persona to create an ur-Statham-text about the slippage between rupture and control, and what this negotiation articulates about the male star action body, both critically and ideologically.
Kirsty Fairclough: It’s Complicated: Meryl Streep and the Acceptable Face of Ageing Stardom in Hollywood
For nearly forty years Meryl Streep has been considered one of the greatest actors of her generation. Since the 2008 release of her most commercially successful film to date, Mamma Mia! Streep has become synonymous with the perceived new visibility of the mature woman in Hollywood and has been a vocal critic against ageism. This noticeable increase of older women on screen has been posited as a progressive move towards inclusivity. Streep recently starred in a number of these highly commercially successful films and she has been labelled as ushering in a new era in the visibility of older women gaining major roles in Hollywood. This paper will consider how Streep has been pivotal to the perceived recognition of older women on screen in major roles. It will explore how it may appear that through Streep’s success the maturing female star is now beginning to be revered not rejected. It will examine how despite the perceived positive nature of these shifts, this acceptance appears only possible when it is linked to the legitimacy of the craft of acting, where certain actresses such as Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, Glenn Close and Helen Mirren are spared unremitting scrutiny of their ageing process and are allowed to mature on screen because they are considered authentic talents therefore acceptable as ageing women. This paper will therefore examine Streep’s career in the context of an increasingly gerontophobic Hollywood and will consider how Streep acts as an imaginary marker of acceptable ageing in an industry in which growing old is not only feared but deeply reviled.
Lin Feng: “I’m Ugly, but Gentle”: performing xiaorenwu (little character) in Chinese Comedies
The popularity of chouxing (ugly star) in the Chinese cinema since the late 1980s has challenged the star system in Chinese film industry during the previous decades when a male actor’s handsome appearance was regarded as an important criterion for him being cast as a leading man. Directing the public attention to a male star’s physical appearance by stressing the attributive adjective chou, this newly-coined word raises a number of questions: how the cinematic emphasis on a male star’s physical appearance engages with the social interpretation of a star’s screen charisma? And how the construction of a chouxing’s stardom articulates with the social perception of a man’s sexuality in mainland China since the late 1980s? To answer the questions, I take Ge You as a case study and explore the star’s impersonation of xiaorenwu (little character) in Chinese comedies. I argue that the Chinese cinema’s emphasis of a chouxing’s physical appearance is a visual manifest of the character’s imperfectness and ordinariness. Nonetheless, despite of that the cinematic emphasis of the star’s unattractive appearance often signifies a xiaorenwu’s unprivileged social status, it neither marginalises nor makes thecharactera social outsider. Instead, the imperfectness and ordinariness has endowed the xiaorenwu with the power as an insider of the Chinese society where the patriarchal ideology was and still is dominating the social voice. As an insider, Ge’s xiaorenwu not only has the power to define the notions of tradition and modern from a heterosexual man’s perspective, but also uses his dominant position to invite the general public to mock and even marginalise those whose sexuality do not fulfil the gender paradigm defined by the patriarchal structure.
Mark Gallagher: The Mainlanding of Tony Leung Chiu-Wai Hong Kong–born actor Tony Leung Chiu-Wai rose to prominence as a local star of Hong Kong television dramas and subsequently earned visibility in a range of regionally produced, internationally distributed art and popular films. Even as Leung has participated in successful Hong Kong productions such as the industry-reviving Infernal Affairs (2002), he has starred too in numerous co-productions with mainland Chinese companies, ranging from the global hit Hero (2002) to the regional success Lust, Caution (2007). His most recent roles have been in ideologically uncontroversial—or explicitly pro-state—mainland co-productions, including Red Cliff (2008), The Great Magician (2011) and The Silent War (2012). He will next appear as martial-arts icon Ip Man in the long-delayed The Grandmaster, a China/Hong Kong co-production from Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai. Leung’s global reputation has depended strongly on his repeated collaborations with director Wong. His work in the past decade in Mandarin-language productions newly positions him as a mainland box-office attraction. The transit from local to international to mainland productions involves numerous markers of stardom and creative practice. This paper investigates Leung’s choice of roles and modulation of performance style to remain artistically active in greater China’s evolving industrial environment. It devotes particular attention to Leung’s performances in and critical responses to The Great Magician and The Silent War. Overall, the paper draws conclusions about Hong Kong and mainland Chinese industries’ management of performing talent and contributes to understandings of the evolving dynamics of interconnected East Asian screen industries.
Sarah Gilligan: Beyond the Harry Potter Girl: Emma Watson, Fashion and Celebrity Culture
Since 2009, the star-celebrity persona of Emma Watson has undergone a transformation from 'nerdy girl' to rising fashion icon. Despite ditching the ‘Harry Potter girl’ image with a range of glossy magazine photo shoots by celebrity fashion photographers (Rankin, Testino and Lubomorksi) and advertising campaigns for Burberry, Lancome and People Tree, her cross media, off screen persona is characterised by a seemingly incompatible mix of familiarity and difference in which she is self consciously 'playing Emma Watson'. Watson does not simply exist as a silenced fashion portrait - her voice forms an integral part of her representation as an ethical, yet fashion forward consumer through tie-in featurettes and interviews available online. Watson forms part of a trend in contemporary popular culture of fuelling the conspicuous consumption of designer brands and high end beauty products to ever younger consumers during a recession. Rather than teens being encouraged through niche and style magazines (Lynge-Jorlén 2012) to experiment and create their own looks via the consumption of second hand /vintage clothes (see McRobbie 1989) and affordable make-up, Watson becomes a source of unattainable branded aspiration. Yet to assume that fans slavishly aspire to copy Watson's designer looks is to eradicate the consumer of individual agency and their ability to 'read' the fashion image as a performative image. Therefore in examining the complexity of star-spectator relations within the contemporary media landscape, Star Studies needs to examine both ‘trickle down’ and ‘bubble up’ fashion consumption (Polhemus 2010), together with audience’s digital participatory practices (Jenkins 2006).
Adrian Garvey: James Mason: Performance and the Ageing Star
Focussing on James Mason’s later film work, this paper will consider the ways in which a star persona is modulated and becomes more complex over time. In a 50 year film career, James Mason’s star persona encompassed the Byronic brute of Gainsborough melodrama, the vulnerable fractured masculinity seen in Odd Man Out (1947), A Star is Born (1954) and Bigger Than Life (1956), and the perverse sexuality suggested in The Seventh Veil (1945) and Lolita (1962). While some of these tropes are echoed in the flawed patriarchs of Georgy Girl (1966), Age of Consent (1969), Springand Port Wine (1970) and Mandingo (1975), other late performances, culminating in The Shooting Party (1985), introduce a gentle, melancholic register. Closely analysing the detail of voice, expression, gesture and movement, I will examine Mason’s performances in key late films as paradigms of aging stardom and masculinity on screen. Contemporary critical responses will also be assessed, to consider how Mason - always a critic’s favourite - came to be constructed as a consummate screen actor in this period.
Elisabetta Girelli: In Your Face: Montgomery Clift Comes out As Crip in The Young Lions
In 1956 Montgomery Clift was one of Hollywood’s hottest stars, a critically acclaimed actor whose image, however, largely rested on his stunning good looks; Clift’s heart-throb status vanished overnight when, on 12 May 1956, his perfectly beautiful face was destroyed in a car crash. Although every care was placed on Clift’s recovery and face reconstruction, he emerged from the accident with his left cheek paralysed, his features uncannily altered, and a suddenly aged appearance. No longer an object of erotic desire, and burdened by physical and mental pain, Clift was now mercilessly scrutinised by public and press, and constantly compared to his former self; yet in his first film after the accident, The Young Lions (1958), Clift took the extraordinary decision to change his already-battered looks for the worst. By making his ears stick out almost horizontally, wearing a prosthetic nose, and shedding an excessive amount of weight, Clift presented a highly disturbing image, in dramatic contrast to his co-stars Marlon Brando and Dean Martin. This paper analyses Clift’s deliberate self-distortion as an act of defiance, an explicit declaration of deviancy from the requirements and expectations of the star system. In the light of queer and crip theory, Clift’s sensationally alien appearance can be read as a denaturalising strategy, challenging orthodox notions of stardom and affirming a new, openly aberrant identity.
Sarka Gmiterkova : Suffer for the Fame: Jiřina Štěpničková and Czech Female Film Stars, 1930–45
Despite being widely recognized and fondly remembered in popular circles, the star system that was a central part of the Czechoslovak cinema of the 1930s and early-to-mid 1940s has drawn scant attention from academics. Accordingly, this presentation begins to shed much needed new scholarly light on this key aspect of the nation’s film culture by way of a case study of the Czech star Jiřina Štěpničková in the period 1930–45.This specific Czech actress whose stardom was articulated in terms of national and artistic discourses embodied key parts in films considered as classical in Czech cinema history - namely Maryša (Marysa, 1935), Babička (Granny, 1940) and Muzikantská Liduška (Liduska and Her Musician, 1940).I adapt concepts developed in the study of Hollywood stardom to argue that, during the period, Czech film stardom was intimately bound up with conceptions of stardom related to nineteenth-century Czech theatre. This situation, I suggest, had profound implications for the female stars of Czech cinema. On the one hand, a parallel career on the stage served to confirm their artistic standing based on the comparative prestige attached to the theatre. On the other, however, it imposed upon female film stars strict moral and social codes relating to appropriate femininity, notions of acting quality, and citizenship. In short: how to be a good woman, a good actress, and a national icon.
Joshua Gulam: ‘I Didn’t Want to be “The Issues Guy” …’: A New Critical Approach to George Clooney’s Philanthropy
For over a decade George Clooney has combined a successful film career, with high-profile philanthropic work for organizations such as the United Nations. He has received multiple humanitarian awards, along with high praise from journalists. These accolades confirm Clooney as one of the more celebrated examples of a film star-turned-philanthropist. Focusing on Clooney, I examine how philanthropic power - the power to speak on important social, political and humanitarian issues - attaches itself to certain stars. The aim is to trace how Clooney has translated his star power into philanthropic credentials. Through close analysis of press clippings and critical reception materials, I show that Clooney’s credibility as a philanthropist derives not only from his everyman persona, but also from his reputation as a star of ‘good’ Hollywood films; it is precisely because he has made acclaimed issue movies such as Syriana, that Clooney is able to speak about South Sudan. This paper contributes to debates about star philanthropy. Much of the scholarship has concentrated on the media attention stars bring to campaigns. In a departure from this broad approach, I look more closely at the widely held distinctions between different types of star philanthropist; the purpose is to open up new critical approaches to the cultural politics of do-gooding stars. Why has Clooney had more success as a philanthropist than figures like Madonna or Sharon Stone? The answer lies not just in the quantifiable outcomes of their philanthropy, but also in the cultural value attributed to each star’s cinematic work.
Sarah Harman & Clarissa Smith: ‘I want James Deen to Deen Me with his Deen’: The Multi-layered Stardom of James Deen
This paper examines the alternative economy of porn stardom through the career and performances of James Deen. Variously described as the ‘Tom Cruise of porn’, the ‘skinny boy from Pasedena’ and the ‘everyman on planet porn’, Deen has won numerous awards and been the subject of incredulous star-profiles in mainstream media. Male performers in porn are not supposed to be visible; as props for the female star’s orgasmic performance male stars are simply stand-ins for the male viewer but Deen has achieved a visibility that re-writes those rules. What is it about Deen that makes him a star? In interviews he suggests it is his professionalism and his single-mindedness - sex is his raison d’etre - his passion for ensuring that a scene works emotionally as well as physically so that his female star is ready to go the extra mile for the scene whether hardcore BDSM, straight gonzo or feature adult films; others claim it is his boyish looks, his skinny body, his unthreatening onscreen presence – assessments which perhaps sideline his ability to make ‘degradation look good’ in his hardcore work at Kink.com. What is certain is that he has a huge female fan base and appears set to make the seemingly impossible crossover to ‘legitimate’ filmmaking alongside Lindsay Lohan. In this paper, Deen’s stardom will be examined through his performance style, the aesthetic and narrative qualities of his films as well as the seeming incongruity of his porn-god status.
Sue Harris: Gérard Depardieu: The Ageing Star Body as a Site of Generational Crisis
Now in his fifth decade of filmmaking, with close to 200 films under his belt Gérard Depardieu is the generational touchstone of post-New Wave French cinema. This is particularly evident in the roles that bracket his career, from the early 1970s to today. From Bertand Blier’s Les Valseuses (1973) onwards, Depardieu’s early roles provided French cinema with a new template for a disaffected male underclass, with Depardieu standing for a generation of young men cut loose from the prosperity and aspirations of the post-war economic boom, and the political and social institutions of post-1968 France. His recent roles (Quand j’étais chanteur, Giannoli, 2006; La tête en friche, Becker, 2010; Potiche, Ozon, 2010; and Mammuth, Delépine & Kervern, 2010) have brought his career full circle, offering us cinematic portraits of aging, socially fixed and culturally impoverished figures. Across a spectrum of roles, from provincial club singer, to illiterate handyman, to factory shop steward, to retiring abattoir hand, Depardieu increasingly incarnates a figure of quiet ruin, his performance of social degradation reinforced visually and culturally by the bloated actor’s much publicised, late-career obesity. The star himself thus becomes the vehicle for a critique of material obsolesce and working class masculinity in decline, symbolically adrift in a France he no longer understands, in which he is excessively present, but on which he seems to have left no official trace. He thus stands as a site of generational reflection on the transformation of French working class male identity in contemporary France.
Stella Hockenhull: Reel Creatures: Animals as Star Vehicles in Hollywood and non- Hollywood Cinema
In Hazanavicius’s 2011 film, The Artist,the central character, George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is accompanied by his dog, Jack (Uggie). Throughout the film, the spectator witnesses Jack, a small terrier, behave in a cognisant and legible manner, executing a succession of tricks such as walking on his hind legs with front legs aloft, and gazing at his ‘owner’, begging while seated on his haunches. Uggie thus presents ‘restored behaviour’ (Schechner 2002), which is a performance that is rehearsed and repeated in a number of other films and situations, for example Water for Elephants (Lawrence 2011). Additionally, the success and press coverage of the film resulted in huge acclaim for its canine star: Uggie received a special mention for his performance at the Prix Lumière Awards in France, and won the Palm Dog Awardat the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Also, in recognition for his part, Uggie shared the prize for the best canine performance awarded by The Seattle Times, along with Cosmo, the canine character in Beginners (Mills 2010). Not only does Uggie produce a performance, he is also presented as a star persona through various accolades, accorded this status by the press and the industry; indeed his ‘acting’ was described by critics as “the best performance, human or animal, in any film I’ve seen this year”. In the light of existing scholarship on Star Theory (Dyer 1979, Shingler 2012), and within the theoretical framework of Star Studies, this paper examines the notion of the animal in Hollywood and non Hollywood films as star vehicle.
Leon Hunt: Too Late the Hero? The Bittersweet Stardom of Donnie Yen
In my book Kung Fu Cult Masters: From Bruce Lee to Crouching Tiger (2003) I described Jet Li as the last major Chinese Martial Arts star. I was aware of (and admired) Donnie Yen, and yet his star status seemed constrained by an industry that was largely losing interest in ‘authentic’ performers and had mainly confined him to supporting roles in film and starring roles on TV. While Yen had a cult following the west, it was not enough to propel him to the international stardom enjoyed by Li and others. His Hollywood career more closely resembles that of Collin Chou, employed to play martial arts muscle in Highlander Endgame (2000) and Blade 2 (2002.) Even in Hero (2002), Yen seemed to have been primarily drafted in to provide a distinguished opponent for Jet Li. His belated promotion to major stardom, then, is an interesting development. As Hong Kong cinema struggles to re-establish its global popularity, Yen is exactly the kind of star to attract the kind of international attention it once enjoyed – perhaps the last such star to have not already broken through to a global audience. And yet Yen is approaching 50 and (at the risk of repeating the rash claim about Jet Li) the last of his kind. His recent films, I will argue, have in some ways breathed new life into local generic traditions – the post-blockbuster wuxia genre (Seven Swords, 14 Blades, The Lost Bladesman), the classic kung fu film (Ip Man 1 and 2, Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen) and the urban fighting film (SPL, Flashpoint.) And yet at the same time, they signal an inability for Hong Kong cinema to move forward – none of these films reinvent action cinema in quite the same way that writers like Ackbar Abbas (2000) and Vivian Lee (2009) have argued for the Hong Kong movies of pre- and post-Handover periods. This paper examines Yen’s career from SPL (2006) onwards, in particular his connection to the legacy of Bruce Lee and his teacher Ip Man, and a nostalgia for the ‘authenticity’ of earlier martial arts cinema.
Darren Kerr: See You on the Other Side: Interstitial Scares in the Transnational Supernatural or Why (Transnational) Horror?
Recent foreign-language films have revived the appeal of the supernatural and owe their success to the transnational flow of gothic-horror cinema where the relationship between Hollywood and its various others is ‘complex, evolving and mutually influential’ (Schneider and Williams 2005: 2). The intersecting and interstitial nature of this relationship not only poses questions around re-appropriation, generic exchange and cultural production but also crucially returns us to a more fundamental question in horror cinema: that of its (resurgent) appeal. Andrew Tudor’s seminal essay ‘Why Horror?’ (1997) posits that American horror’s appeal is often aligned to the return of the repressed, the uncanny and structural psychoanalysis.But in the moment where ‘other’ horror cinemas appear to succeed in delivering dread where its American counterparts fail, what has not been considered is the influence and affect of performance. Performance, I argue, tends to become universalised and homogenised in American horrors leaving its trail bloodied but its chills anaemic. This paper will explore the intricate generic and cultural exchange at play in the relationship between Hollywood horrors and their international others through an examination of performance in films including The Devil’s Backbone (2001), Dark Water (2002), A Tale of Two Sisters (2003), [Rec] (2007), The Orphanage (2007) and The Silent House (2010). Drawing on Richard Bauman’s 1975 and 2000 studies respectively, it will examine performance in terms of actions and events located distinctly in space, place and time in order to cast light on dark performance within gothic horrors as a mode of expression that is ‘put on display, objectified, marked out to a degree from its discursive surroundings and opened up to scrutiny and evaluation by an audience’ (2000: 1).