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23rd March, 2020

Liverpool Film Seminar: Professor Mandy Merck


Event Details

23rd March, 2020
17:30 - 19:30
University of Liverpool, Library School of the Arts, 19-23 Abercromby Square

The Liverpool Film Seminar is a collaboration between the Departments of Film Studies at Liverpool John Moores University and Communication and Media at the University of Liverpool that began in 2010.

Professor Mandy Merck (Royal Holloway) will present a talk entitled “A Star is Born – Again” for the Liverpool Film Seminar

Here is an abstract of the talk:

The Pygmalion myth of a male creator’s love for his female creation has enjoyed an abiding life on screen.  From 1937 to 2018, Hollywood has made and remade the story of a talented nobody discovered by a waning star four times, always with remarkable success.  Recharged with rock music and the addition of cocaine, A Star Is Born has long since switched its original Oscar scenes to the Grammys while diluting the male star’s dominance, but the iron law of succession is still in force: for a star to rise, another must fall.  In addition to this edict feminist commentators have recently noted another laid down in these films:  women’s success is a threat to men.  Reviewing all four versions in the light of the #Me Too movement, this talk – from Mandy Merck’s forthcoming study Cinema’s Melodramatic Celebrity considers this perennial narrative of contested celebrity at a time when the ‘forgotten man’ is attempting a comeback.

Mandy Merck is Professor of Media Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London.  Cinema’s Melodramatic Celebrity: Film, Fame and Personal Worth will be published by BFI Bloomsbury this autumn.

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