By M. Williams
Because the golden period of silent video clips, stars were defined as display gods, goddesses and idols. this can be the tale of ways Olympus moved to Hollywood to divinise stars as Apollos and Venuses for the fashionable age, and outlined a version of stardom that continues to be with us this day.
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Additional info for Film Stardom, Myth and Classicism: The Rise of Hollywood’s Gods
Classical beauty was never a static notion or a complete experience, despite its claims to universality and timelessness. 82 These scars can themselves be beautiful, and poignant, in this ﬂuid framing of loss and recovery. There is a Pygmalionesque touch to this post-war form of classicism. 84 Place stars within this visual culture, and one can ﬁnd echoes of these phrases. 85 While classicism here is either implicit or contextual, the conception of the star image as a kind of mnemonic history is fascinating.
In the very magniﬁcence of the displays they were made to feel the more keenly the fact that this was not THEIR art, that it was not made for THEM. Calling the moving picture the ‘ﬁrst art-child of democracy’, Photoplay concludes with Lincolnian zeal that like the art of the old masters, Mozart or ‘Michael Angelo’, cinema ‘is an art of the people, for the people’. The magazine thus constructs cinema as the ultimate democratic form, not withstanding the slight aroma of cultural imperialism. There is also the irony, given the white temples, and their counterparts, springing up in the localities of the magazine’s readers, that while elitism was to be derided; the industry, apparently entering its classical period, was keen to place a big gilt and marble frame around its products often as magniﬁcent as those in that museum of the past.
Film celebrities may complain of injustice and intolerance, they may argue that their private lives are their own to do with as they please, but here they err! 2). 52 However, and perhaps partly to avoid accusations of the sacrilegious, the secularised imagery of the classical gods is usually preferred in star discourse, where a missing halo can be more obliquely rendered through an aureole of back-lit hair, the gleam of clean limbs arranged in contrapposto pose, or best of all, through language itself.