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Stardom and Celebrity. Goal: To be able to compare how stardom and celebrity are portrayed in the film. How do they differ?.

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Stardom and Celebrity

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    1. Stardom and Celebrity Goal: To be able to comparehow stardom and celebrity are portrayed in the film

    2. How do they differ? To consider: 1) Definitions 2) Characteristics 3) Effect of the label 4) Longevity 5) Who in the film is a star / celebrity? 6) Can you name a modern day star and celebrity? 7) Look at you ideas for 5 and 6. What sets them apart?

    3. Margo: ‘a true star’ • Margo is a real star, a woman of substance who emphasises that stars are born rather than made. She uses performance to reveal star qualities. These qualities were first revealed when she was just 4 years old in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. • Addison: "Margo Channing is a star of the theatre...Margo is a great star. A true star. She never was or will be anything less or anything else."

    4. How is Margo’s star status emphasised in the dressing room?

    5. How is Margo’s star status emphasised in the dressing room?

    6. Margo: ‘a true star’ • Mankiewiczpresents the idea that stardom has more longevity. Margo is a star through and through; she is one of the last ‘old-fashioned’ stars. • These star qualities lead Margo to perform both on and off stage; it is part of her nature. • Karen: "Then stop being a star. And stop treating your guests as your supporting cast...It's about time Margo realized that what's attractive on stage need not necessarily be attractive off.” • Lloyd: “The stars never die and never change.”

    7. How does the set highlight Margo’s star status?

    8. Margo: ‘a true star’ • Margo is a performer and this has brought her star status. She has not sought celebrity status or public adoration. In fact, she shuns public spaces, maintaining a distance between herself and her audience. • Margo refers to fans as ‘autograph fiends…those little beasts that run around in packs like coyotes.’ She sees her profession as a “rat race” where “everybody's guilty till they're proved innocent!" • Margo allows Eve the kind of access that is the ultimate goal of celebrity culture and is punished for it.

    9. Margo: ‘a true star’ • Margo is aware of the all-consuming nature of stardom and this leads her to question her true identity. • “So many people know me. I wish I did. I wish someone would tell me about me.” • This, combined with her acute awareness of the ‘use by date’ placed on female actresses and the age difference between her and Bill, leads her to fear what her future holds. • "Bill's in love with Margo Channing. He's fought with her, worked with her, and loved her. But ten years from now, Margo Channing will have ceased to exist. And what's left will be - what?”

    10. How is cinematography used to suggest that stardom is all-consuming?

    11. How does cinematography reinforce the importance of age and gender?

    12. Margo: ‘a true star’ • Whilst Margo’s star status will be remembered, her profession as a theatre actress will inevitably come to a close. This fear leads Margo to shape a new future for herself. • ”Do you know what I'm going to be?...A married lady...No more make believe off stage or on.” • "Funny business, a woman's career. The things you drop on your way up the ladder so you can move faster. You forget you'll need them again when you get back to being a woman.” • Mankiewicz suggests thatbeing both a star and a ‘woman’ is near impossible, since one must be assertive in a manly fashion.

    13. Eve: a light that will go out • Eve craves stardom and celebrity status. • “[Tomorrow]” will bring me everything I've ever wanted. The end of an old road. The beginning of a new one…paved with…stars.”

    14. Eve: a light that will go out • Eve seeks public adoration. She desperately wants to be accepted and to belong. Her goal is to become Margo. • “To know, every night, that different hundreds of people love you. They smile, and their eyes shine. You've pleased them. They want you. You belong. Just that alone is worth anything.” • Eve achieves celebrity status: “She's the profiled, covered, revealed, reported. What she eats and what she wears and whom she knows and where she was, and when and where she's going.” • Notably, Eve doesn’t hesitate to head to Hollywood at the end of the film. She is not concerned solely with the adoration of the theatre.

    15. How is cinematography used to suggest that Eve wishes to be Margo?

    16. How is cinematography used to suggest that Eve wishes to be Margo?

    17. Eve: a light that will go out • "We know her humility, her devotion, her loyalty to her art, her love, her deep and abiding love for us, for what we are and what we do, the theatre. She has had one wish, one prayer, one dream - to belong to us. Tonight, her dream has come true. And henceforth, we shall dream the same of her. Eve. Eve the Golden Girl, the Cover Girl, the Girl Next Door, the Girl on the Moon.”

    18. Eve’s success symbolised by the Sarah Siddons Award

    19. Eve: a light that will go out • Eve’s rise to celebrity is driven by her ruthless corrupting ambition and Addison, who uses his position to publicise Eve and create controversy. • He writes about “the lamentable practice … of permitting...mature actresses to continue playing roles requiring a youth and vigor which they retain but a dim memory.”

    20. Eve: a light that will go out • However, no matter how good her performance, she will only ever be a “carbon copy”. She can never replace Margo. • She is “the light which flashes on top of [the tower]” built by playwrights and directors. • She “dazzles the eye” but lacks the charisma and authenticity of a true star. • Eve is no more than an empty celebritywith a lack of heart or conscience. This leads Margo to tell her “to put that award where [her] heart ought to be."

    21. How does cinematography emphasise the superficial celebrity appeal of Eve?

    22. How does cinematography emphasise the superficial celebrity appeal of Eve?

    23. How does cinematography show Eve’s lack of substance?

    24. Stardom vs. Celebrity • In contrast, Eve is replaceable – Phoebe is next in a long line of Eves. She wants fame “more than anything else in the world.” • Mankiewiczforecasts a future in which the star performance has been overtaken by the endless repeatable and reproducible celebrity entertainer. • This form of celebrity is both formulaic and bland.

    25. How is cinematography used to show that Eve is a replaceable celebrity?

    26. Stardom vs. Celebrity • Neither stardom nor celebrity bring contentment to the women in the film. • Reflects the conservative values held at the time (women and corrupting ambition). • Eve is left isolated, dissatisfied and empty. • Margo is paranoid about her age, questions her identity and worries about her future. • The men in the film do not seem to pursue stardom; they are successful and enjoy a greater degree of contentment. They gain the ‘minor awards’ having constructed the ‘tower’ upon which the celebrity’s light dazzles and shines.

    27. Consolidation • What is Mankiewicz’s message about stardom and celebrity? • Write a paragraph to explore this question, ensuring that you use well-explained evidence (quotations and cinematic devices) to support your ideas.