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Download Idols of Modernity: Movie Stars of the 1920s by Patrice Petro, Scott Curtis, Professor Mary Desjardins, Lucy PDF

By Patrice Petro, Scott Curtis, Professor Mary Desjardins, Lucy Fischer, Krin Gabbard, Professor Gerd Gemunden, Professor Lea Jacobs, Professor Amy Lawrence, Paula J. Massood, Professor Joanna E. Rapf, Professor Yiman Wang, Charles Wolfe

With its sharp concentrate on stardom throughout the Nineteen Twenties, Idols of Modernity unearths powerful connections and dissonances in concerns of storytelling and function that may be traced either back and forth, throughout Europe, Asia, and the us, from the silent period into the emergence of sound.

Bringing jointly the easiest new paintings on cinema and stardom within the Twenties, this illustrated assortment showcases the variety of advanced social, institutional, and aesthetic concerns at paintings in American cinema of this time. aware of stardom as an ensemble of texts, contexts, and social phenomena stretching past the cinema, significant students supply cautious research of the careers of either recognized and now forgotten stars of the silent and early sound era—Douglas Fairbanks, Buster Keaton, the Talmadge sisters, Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson, Clara Bow, Colleen Moore, Greta Garbo, Anna could Wong, Emil Jannings, Al Jolson, Ernest Morrison, Noble Johnson, Evelyn Preer, Lincoln Perry, and Marie Dressler.

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While Pickford’s persona was clearly a factor in the way journalists wrote about the couple, many of their motifs make use of ideas already established in the publicity and films of Douglas Fairbanks. Though it was motivated by love, we cannot discount the strategic advantage Fairbanks enjoyed from this union; it gave him the confidence and security to change his star persona and his product from westerns and modern-era comedies to costumed adventure films. This risky transformation eventually paid huge dividends: his swashbuckling persona delighted audiences, his films were lauded as the pinnacle of silent film art, and his imitators were legion.

By the mid-1930s he had settled into a steady stream of less celebrated roles in low-budget comedy shorts, cameo roles in features, and work behind the camera, chiefly as a gag writer and comedy advisor. In the 1950s and 1960s, he added television, commercials, and industrial films to the mix and, drawing on skills honed as a child star in vaudeville many decades before, occasionally appeared in stock company theatrical road shows and in circuses in France and Belgium. To a modest degree, then, Keaton remained in the public eye.

12 Thus, the film that was supposed to solidify Jannings’s reputation as international cinema’s premiere star performer instead became known as the film that launched Dietrich’s spectacular Hollywood career. This brings us, finally, to issues of film acting and film style. Trained in an expressionistic, theatrical tradition, Jannings, it seemed, could not com- Buster Keaton, in an MGM studio portrait made in 1928 for The Cameraman. INTRODUCTION 19 pete with Dietrich’s cooler, surface-oriented, cinematic style.

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