- Exist not just in the films but in photos, public appearances, magazines.
- From WWII on – Audiences keen to consume details of stars’ lives.
- Hollywood seen as glamorous to British viewers
- American stars epitomised ideology of consumerism.
- Audiences did not want the ordinary but the unattainable.
- Stars presented more mature, complete, confident self-images. Articulated through glamorous dress, hair, makeup and general physical appearance. Offered utopian fantasies and transcendence i.e. losing oneself, opportunity to escape for a while.
How is the spectator linked to the character?
- Use of camera and editing to build an ‘I’ picture.
- The way the character leads us through the story, encouraging sympathy and sharing of knowledge.
- Important for gendered identities, in that media texts construct images of idealised self.
- Use of mirrors in films to provide idealised or distorted or potential for destruction of images (The Phantom of the Opera / Talented Mr Ripley)
Cinematic identification fantasies
- Devotion – viewers may say they have seen every film a star has made or a film e.g. Titanic, umpteen times
- Adoration – fantasised romance.
- Worship – goddesses!
- Transcendence – escapism
- Aspiration – fan wants to be like star.
- Inspiration – stars offer audiences more powerful and confident images of self, we would like to have their confidence, strength, independence.
Extra-cinematic identification processes
- Pretending – Dressing like them, role playing
- Imitation – adopting gestures, speech patterns.
- Resembling – selecting an element of physical appearance one has which is like the star’s e.g. eyes, legs…
- Copying – hair or clothing – magazines often offer this possibility – remember Jennifer Anniston’s hair style?
Points worth noting:
- Consumption is female by tradition!
- Shopping encourages connection between desiring and having.
- Cinema screens are shop windows – offer us endless opportunities to have the look , the life style, the gadgets etc. and merchandising extends this.
- Product placement – Aston Martins, Minis, etc. all advertised within and in promotional material for the films.
- Woman is a commodity too! Idealisation of femininity: thin, long legged, active, sexual being…