Curator & Art
Everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes, Andy Warhol
There have always been respected Big Screen models and celebrities. In classical American films history, one of the main features to become a respected actor/actress is to get the admiration of people after performing the same role during his/her entire film career.
Despite all the lies behind the scenes, actresses always got more support from their followers. In the nineties, it was hard to distinguish between the actress and the persona itself, due to the ‘Star-system’, a method used by movie studios. Only movies with an excellent promotion generated enough income to be considered as profitable. The ‘Star-system’ shows women as instruments in the androcentist cinema tradition” (Amar, 2003).
We have been suffering from daily social pressure even now in XXI century. It is difficult to surpass some features of the greatest divas in the history of cinema, such as Grace Kelly’s angelic face, Lauran Bacall’s inspiring and intense look, Audrey Hepburn’s naïve performances and Marilyn Monroe’s eccentricities.
Models were considered as mud figures that remains the same after they dry out. The struggle between feminine models versus real women continues surprisingly intact nowadays. “Women wander between images established in Western’s binary game of performance. Film language also known as classical narrative cinema classifies women in two different groups by means of narrative and performance structures: Versatile women (mothers, daughters, wives…) and Inflexible women (prostitutes, femme fatale, hookers…). Due to the importance given to the former role, a hierarchy of values was created” (Siles Ojeda, 2005).
The box office gross and popularity go together since decades. The “production values”, as experienced actors and actresses who are able to perform a role in and out of the Big Screen are known, have more income than respect. Spectators are only aware about some parts of the process their roles play.
What is considered more dangerous? The attempt to be a sex object such as Marilyn Monroe or to become the sick lead actress in a pitiful life? Why is the idea of a masculine hero something to be accepted? It was a feature in classical Hollywood films, girls with cancer are in fashion thanks to movies such as The fault in our stars and Now is good, in which masculine figures are necessary to fulfill the requirements of the movie.
These beloved idols are always the same girls who expect a hero in their long wait, such as the lead character in The Twilight Saga, the romantic ones in film series based on Federico Moccia’s novels or the submissive one in 50 Shades of Grey.
There are a few movies which plot is not about a couple which get together because fate has decided it, being men the victorious figure.
However, there is a movie that really called my attention. The script is not full of little princes and princesses and it has an unexpected ending which may satisfy the audience. I am talking about ‘A Five Star Life’ (Maria Sole Tognazzi, 2013). Stereotypes aside, it shows a lead character who doesn’t care about being married or having children and make the audience think about other ways to be happy because people don’t depend on others when making this decision.
Then, what’s up with Hollywood?
Hollywood is not changing. There are women changing their image every week, using Botox to feel young and trying to imitate the lives their characters have. It is a wrong idea to think that the fascination created by the star-system is gone. Anyway, these film stars grew and work for the same unstoppable system which seems to be immortal. Stars such as Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman represent the never-ending Golden Age for Hollywood.
Translated by José María Ares Martínez
You can read this in spanish here.