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Lecture 09: Stars Professor Aaron Baker. Previous Lecture Stage and Movie Acting Robert De Niro as Star Actor De Niro’s Performance in Raging Bull (1980)

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Presentation on theme: "Lecture 09: Stars Professor Aaron Baker. Previous Lecture Stage and Movie Acting Robert De Niro as Star Actor De Niro’s Performance in Raging Bull (1980)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Lecture 09: Stars Professor Aaron Baker

2 Previous Lecture Stage and Movie Acting Robert De Niro as Star Actor De Niro’s Performance in Raging Bull (1980) 2

3 This Lecture Movie Stars, Their Images What They Are Why They Matter to Us George Clooney 3

4 Stars and Their Images 4 Joan Crawford Lesson 10: Part I

5 Richard Dyer Three Aspects of Film Stardom: The polished public appearance s/he presents. The work required to create that appearance. The physical person who is the star. 5

6 6 What defines a movie star? A film star is a featured performer in a film but also, an image that generates interest beyond individual films.

7 7 Star Image Film Roles Journalistic ProfilesJournalistic Profiles InterviewsInterviews Gossip ColumnsGossip Columns TV Talk and Tabloid ShowsTV Talk and Tabloid Shows

8 8 Paparazzi Access to Private Life of Star Personal Style Leisure Interests Love and Family Life Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck at a Red Sox game

9 Why are we interested? Dyer: Stars intrigue us because they offer models of individual identity. 9

10 They Endorse Values About Work Gender Social Responsibility 10 DeNiro’s dedication to research and physical preparation for roles emphasizes the importance of work.

11 How to Be a Man John Wayne represented a traditional notion of masculinity based on self sufficiency toughness physical dominance. 11

12 Paul Newman Political Involvement Charitable Work Used his wealth, popularity to help others. Gave away $250 million earned by Newman’s Own Products company. 12

13 13 Typecast “Sometimes a star image becomes so fixed that even when he or she tries to break it by doing roles directly opposed to that image, the public ignores such deviations and continues to support the original image.” (Lehman and Luhr, p.150).

14 14 E.g. Sylvester Stallone tried to move beyond his action hero image with comedies like Oscar The box office failure of these films forced him back into action roles.

15 15 The Contender In 2005 he returned indirectly to the role that defined his image more than any other, Rocky, by producing and starring in the TV show about boxing The Contender.

16 16 Action Hero Stallone’s 2010 film The Expendables reaffirms his star image as an action hero.

17 17 Stars earn the biggest salaries in a film’s budget. George Clooney’s Paydays: Ocean’s Thirteen (2007) $15,000,000 Intolerable CrueltyIntolerable Cruelty (2003) $15,000,000 Ocean's ElevenOcean's Eleven (2001) $20,000,000 The Perfect StormThe Perfect Storm (2000) $8,000,000 O Brother, Where Art Thou?O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000 ) $1,000,000 Three KingsThree Kings (1999) $5,000,000 Out of SightOut of Sight (1998) $10,000,000 Batman & RobinBatman & Robin (1997) $10,000,000

18 Big Part of Film Budget Geoff King: “Star costs often account for disproportionately large percentages of [film] budgets.” “The escalation of star salaries has been one of the major factors driving up the cost of production in recent decades.”

19 Big Paydays In 2008 Will Smith made $80 million. Johnny Depp earned $72 million. Source: Forbes.com 19

20 Why Pay Stars So Much? Why Pay Stars So Much? The film industry assumes they draw viewers. A star’s Q Score measures star’s familiarity and appeal with audiences. Will Smith’s last eight films have made over $100 million each. The three Pirates of the Caribbean films have earned $2.76 billion worldwide. 20

21 Geoff King on the Value of Stars: Recognition “Hollywood generally assumes star names to be among the best guarantors of box-office success.” 159 “Stars offer that one ingredient deemed so important... The audience recognition factor, the ability to open a film, to give it presence in the [crowded] marketplace.”

22 22 The Star System For the first 15 years of commerical cinema ( ) there were no stars. Early producers worried if actors were publicized, they would ask for big salaries. Other producers introduced the concept of movie stars because they believed audiences would pay to see them.

23 23 Classic Hollywood Saw the creation and control of stars by studios. Stars were under exclusive contract. Studios built their images by selecting film roles and publicity campaigns.

24 24 Independent Producers As the studio system declined in the 1950s and 60s, major stars became independent producers. This is still the a common practice today.

25 25 Stars and Race Before the 1960s very few Hollywood stars were African American. Sidney Pottier broke this barrier in the late 1950s and 1960s.

26 26 Stars and Race Will Smith and Denzel Washington Now A List Stars Yet Overall Still Few African American or Non White Stars

27 27 Linear Analysis While typecasting is a challenge for some stars, as with directors and genres, star images can also be analyzed in terms of how they develop and change.

28 28 George Clooney Lesson 09: Part II

29 29 TV Star Clooney got his first big role in a TV series, ER His character, Dr. Doug Ross was attractive, charming, talented—but a rebel.

30 30 Geoff King: As Dr. Ross in ER, Clooney was a “sometimes prickly,awkward,rebellious, womanizing, but essentially decent and caring pediatrician...prepared to break the rules in his treatment of children.” 148

31 31 Charming Outsider Clooney has maintained this attractive rebel image in numerous roles. He has played thieves in six films. Clip #1: Clooney’s thief character introduced in Out of Sight (1998)

32 32 Star Image in From Dawn to Dusk (1996) Clooney as Seth Gecko Geoff King: “a nasty piece of work” Violent, Menacing Kidnapping killing with brother Richard (Quentin Tarentino)

33 33 King: Clooney Against Type “familiar Clooney associations continue to resonate beneath the surface of Seth Gecko” 37 Clooney Star Image (good outsider) Maintains Audience Identification Clip #2 Warning: violence and strong language

34 Personification vs. Impersonation Barry King: Personification offers the attractiveness of the star. What s/he is as a person. Impersonation asks the performer to create the character in the story. Impersonation for King defines good acting. 34

35 35 Expanded Range Modified his leading man imageModified his leading man image Self-deprecating comic rolesSelf-deprecating comic roles O Brother, Where Art Thou (2000), Welcome to Collinwood (2002), O Brother, Where Art Thou (2000), Welcome to Collinwood (2002), Intolerable Cruelty (2003), and Burn After Reading (2008).

36 36 Clooney and Comedy Clooney as Divorce Lawyer Comic Self Absorption, Overconfident Meets His Match in Catherine Zeta- Jones’ Character Clip # 3

37 37 Offscreen Clooney’s image has been that of a fun loving batchelor. Voted Sexist Man Alive by People Magazine Bet Michele Pfeiffer and Nicole Kidman $10,000 he wouldn’t be father before forty. Bought a villa on Italy’s Lake Como

38 38 Like many stars, Clooney downplays the idea of stardom as mainly a commercial phenomenon: “It’s not about the opening weekend, It’s about career, building a set of films you’re proud of. Period.”

39 39 Hollywood Gives Audiences What Want Central to appeal of stars, genre films remakes, happy endings is Hollywood’s strategy of selling audiences what they have bought and liked in the past. Yet successful stars often want to avoid typecasting, grow creatively, make meaningful films.

40 40 Politics Produced the HBO series on Washington lobbyists, K Street. In 2004 Clooney supported his father, Nick’s, candidacy for a congressional seat in Kentucky. Addressed the U.S. Congress about war in Dafur.

41 Three Kings 1999 War Film Stars: Clooney, Mark Wahlbergh, Ice Cube Action But also– First Iraq War, Politics 41

42 42 Clip 4 As you watch the following scene from Three Kings, look the political dimension this role added to Clooney’s attractive rebel star image.

43 43 Several of His Recent Films have emphasized Clooney’s liberal political views: -Up in the Air Michael Clayton The Good German Syriana 2005

44 44 End of Lecture 9

45 45 Next Time: Film Theory


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