Blog Entry #3
In week four we learned more about the training of the stars to be, not only how they came about but how they were trained and what were the purpose of the training that they received. Many actors had formal training which helped hone their skills in the acting department making it technically sound and fundamental. But not all had actors and actresses had the means and funds to get formally trained and go to school for acting but they started learning through informal methods in a sense by learning on their own or just jumping straight in and getting experience. This can be seen from the movie that we had to watch this week called All about Eve , and in this film it was about a shy women who started off by trying to get close to her favorite play actress and she started off by being her assistant. And as the movie goes on the young woman who followed the actress around started to take her ways and mimic her style so she can begin the informal process of trying to be like her mentor, she basically followed in their her foot steps and in more ways than other deceived her to become the best actress, and even after she backstabbed her mentor to get to where she still was able to strive to be great. But in the end she started to get a follower that resembled her from the beginning of the film. This shows how one can become great just by doing some things informally and that can go a long way for people. In this case it worked out for the best because she learned necessary skills for her job in a way that her gained her goals. Also during this week we were assigned to research other actors and actress and how they were trained to become a star and for my research I decided to look into Robert Downey Jr. and his stardom and how he became known. Robert Downey Jr was a star since he was a kid, his father was a film maker and he often put his kids and wife into his own movies. After that at such a young age during his schooling years he eventually went to an acting school and so he can hone his skills, but he left his school to go out west to Hollywood and started his career. After he took up many gigs but couldn’t keep stay out of the light because of his drug use. But this was just one of the many reasons why understanding a stars formal and informal educational background in the world of cinema is important because you are able to see how it separates the stars and make each one of their experiences individual for each actor and actress. This is why the understand of a stars background helps us understand the jobs they do when they entertain because it helps make a good experience and helps them perfect their craft.
Blog Entry #2
During week three we took a slight shift in gears in what we were learning, we were still learning about personas and how they helped the actors and actresses become more noticed in the industry. But now we started talking about different categories of people and their personas, basically which group they fit into. So basically we stepped back from looking adjust Marilyn Monroe and then we started looking at other stars in the industry, to see how they would be portrayed in their movies, and the main star that we focused on was Marlene Dietrich. Dietrich, she changed the idea of women in the film industry during this era because in this time women were known for using their bodies and their sexuality to help them further their careers. But Dietrich was able to change this stereotype because her character in Blonde Venus was a more mysterious women but still were able to use her body just a little bit to get what she wanted. Dietrich’s character was just a women who was able to be mysterious but was still able to get what she truly desired and that was to be loved. This showed us that women could be seen in a different light and how women could manipulate men, and this was by her character being a Femme Fatale character. A Femme Fatale is basically translated to dangerous woman, and this gave a whole new perception and connotation to women in this industry; this is because they went against the norms of women being able to out think and over smarting men trying to get what they want. This goes against the norm because at this time in society, the society was still very patriarchal and ran by men in this country and want them to be seen as the dominant sex. But with Dietrich doing this, it went against everything that the community and society stood for at this time. And with this it gave women a sense of empowerment because it showed them that they were able to stand and fight against the patriarchal society they lived in but they just needed a push or a helping hand to help guide them into taking a steps towards a world of equality and gender neutrality in the way we live in the states. Also we talked about how stars wanted to have different stories so they tried to be unique in their own ways. The stars wanted to find their own path with their life, they wanted to separate from their costar counterparts in the film industry.
Blog Entry #1
Weeks: 1 and 2
As we began our term, we started learning about what a star was. Not only what they were but how they came about, what made them what they are in a sense. We learned that stars follow a certain system that helped them get noticed in the world of film and cinema called the star system. There were many ways that helped the stars gain notoriety in the industry and this was from doing interviews and events, to some women actresses being pin-ups and in different magazines that gave them publicity. One of the ways the star system helped the actors and actress gain the public’s eye in and this was done by having the stars create their own personas. Personas was basically how the stars were seen by the pubic, this also create a certain vibe that they would have. During this the film industry wanted their stars to have a persona so it could balance out from their regular lives; this is because if a star was able keep up the same image as their roles in the films they’re in it would let the audience know what they would be getting out of the film. This left the ability for the actors and actresses to be able to have the consistency in their personal lives and their acting lives, it kept them more intertwined with their personas that they created. And as we learned about the purpose of personas, we used the classic example of Marilyn Monroe and her persona of being the sexy blond type. With this we dove into the history of Marilyn Monroe because she was a very important figure in the film industry because she was one of the earliest female actress who helped further the roles of women in the film industry. And there was many for stars to get a jump start like I mentioned early, and for Monroe she used her jump start to help build her persona as well. Monroe started her career by being a Pin-up model and from there she was the first cover model for Playboy; so her persona was in a sense was more provocative because she posed nude and did other publicity events that made her be seen as a sex symbol. This was done by Monroe being able to use her body in a way of advantage that helped her gain notoriety. But as Monroe moved on to the movie scenes she took up the persona of the dumb blonde type in her career. For these weeks we had to watch the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and this movie helped her show how she can play the dumb blonde type because she was a spouse who went on a trip with a friend and then she started to cheat on her soon to be husband because of other men and their wealth. This helped prove to use that Marilyn Monroe was able to play the dumb blonde in this era.
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