Archive for the 'Star Studies' Category

Dr Andrew Klevan, Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Oxford, UK, discusses the rationale behind his recent book on Hollywood film star Barbara Stanwyck (London: BFI/Palgrave, 2013) with Film Studies For Free. He also talks about some of the issues that arise when film performance is the object of study, around intention and attribution of agency and value.

Stanwyck's illustrious career began in the 1920s and spanned sixty years. During that period she starred in major films of many genres and worked with some of the most distinguished Hollywood directors. Devoting each chapter of his monograph to a significant quality of Stanwyck's performances, Klevan foregrounds crucial scenes from her exemplary films, including Stella Dallas (1937), The Lady Eve (1941), and Double Indemnity (1944). Through the lens of her achievement, Klevan examines the wider concerns of these films while revisiting classic topics from Film Studies - psychoanalysis, medium reflexivity, and the representation of female roles such as the 'sacrificial mother' and the 'femme fatale'. In paying close attention to the various aspects of Stanwyck's skilfully executed performances, this book enhances familiar understandings and aims to provide fresh illumination.

Read the accompanying entry "Magnifying Mirror: On Barbara Stanwyck and Film Performance Studies" at Film Studies For Free. And watch a short video essay on Stanwyck's performance in the mirror sequence of Stella Dallas here.

In October 2013, Dr Catherine Grant of Film Studies For Free talked to Dr Tamar Jeffers McDonald, Reader in Film Studies at the University of Kent, UK, about her new book Doris Day Confidential: Hollywood Sex and Stardom (London: I B Tauris, 2013).This book poses as a central question, amongst others, “Why do we assume Doris Day always plays a virgin?” In previous work (the edited collection Virgin Territory, 2010, and an article on Rock Hudson from 2007 - see details here) Jeffers McDonald has examined what ‘playing a virgin’ might mean and consist of; now she turns her attention to how this dominant idea has been circulated, through studying the film fan periodicals which advanced and then froze Day’s stardom, a methodology she explores in detail in this interview. Please visit the Film Studies For Free full website entry on Studying Movie Magazines and Fan Culture! Online Research and Methodology Resources for further information about this interview.

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Welcome to the podcast channel for the Film Studies For Free website. Founded in August 2008, FSFF is a pluralist, pro bono, and purely positive web-archive of examples of, links to, and comment on, online, Open Access, film and moving image studies resources of note. FSFF is lovingly tended (in a personal capacity) by Catherine Grant, of Film Studies at the University of Sussex.