Table of contents
About this book
This book offers the first comprehensive exploration of how the ancient past has shaped screen stardom in Hollywood since the silent era. It engages with debates on historical reception, gender and sexuality, nostalgia, authenticity and the uses of the past. Michael Williams gives fresh insights into ‘divinized stardom’, a highly influential and yet understudied phenomenon that predates Hollywood and continues into the digital age.
Case studies include Greta Garbo and Mata Hari (1931); Buster Crabbe and the 1930s Olympian body; the marketing of Rita Hayworth as Venus in the 1940s; sculpture and star performance in Oliver Stone’s Alexander (2004); landscape and sexuality in Troy (2004); digital afterimages of stars such as Marilyn Monroe; and the classical body in the contemporary ancient genre. The author’s richly layered ‘archaeological’ approach uses detailed textual analysis and archival research to survey the use of the myth and iconography of ancient Greece and Rome in some of stardom’s most popular and fascinating incarnations.
This interdisciplinary study will be significant for anyone interested in star studies, film and cultural history, and classical reception.
Hollywood stars antiquity Classical Hollywood The ancient world Greek gods framing the past Hollywood and the ancient past Hollywood and sculpture Stardom Greta Garbo Marilyn Monroe Buster Crabbe divinized stardom Olympian body Rita Hayworth iconography classical reception ancient Rome ancient Egypt ancient Greece
- Book Title Film Stardom and the Ancient Past
- Book Subtitle Idols, Artefacts and Epics
- DOI https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-39002-8
- Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
- Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
- eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies Literature, Cultural and Media Studies (R0)
- Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-39001-1
- Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-67859-4
- eBook ISBN 978-1-137-39002-8
- Edition Number 1
- Number of Pages XIV, 311
- Number of Illustrations 5 b/w illustrations, 16 illustrations in colour
- Buy this book on publisher's site
“In the book, the author effectively shows the links between the past and present, and therefore the ethereal nature of stardom … . Williams does so extremely successfully by examining studio portraiture, promotional materials, film texts and critical reception. … However, what makes this book even more impressive is Williams’ wealth of knowledge on the figures of the ancient past, thus he uses this in interesting and unique ways to explore the stars and their films.” (Gillian Kelly, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, January 15, 2019)