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Woman fictional character
Related: actor - character - damsel - femme fatal - fiction - lolita - model - pin-up - stereotype - vamp - women
Icons: Barbarella - Candy - Emmanuelle - Eve - Eugenie - Fanny - Gwendoline - Judith - Juliette - Justine - Lilith - Medusa - Salome - Twiggy - Valentina
Actresses: Asia Argento - Ewa Aulin - Theda Bara - Brigitte Bardot - Florinda Bolkan - Louise Brooks - Clara Bow - Marilyn Chambers - Marlene Dietrich - Edwige Fenech - Eva Ionesco - Laura Gemser - Grace Jones - Hedy Lamarr - Christina Lindberg - Sophia Loren - Linda Lovelace - Jayne Mansfield - Mary Mendum - Soledad Miranda - Marilyn Monroe - Rosalba Neri - Bettie Page - Romy Schneider - Barbara Steele
Barbara Steele, photocredit unidentified
Theda Bara in a publicity shot for A Fool There Was (1915) - Frank Powell [Amazon.com]
DefinitionAn actor is a person who acts, or plays a role in an artistic production. The term commonly refers to someone working in movies, television, live theatre, or radio, and can occasionally denote a street entertainer. Besides playing dramatic roles, actors may also sing or dance or work only on radio or as a voice artist. A female actor is an actress, although an increasingly large group feel that the term "actor" should be redefined as being gender-neutral and used for both men and women. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actor [Dec 2004]
A fictional character is any person who appears in a work of fiction. More accurately, a fictional character is the person or conscious entity we imagine to exist within the world of such a work. In addition to people, characters can be aliens, animals, gods or, occasionally, inanimate objects. Characters are almost always at the center of fictional texts, especially novels and plays. It is, in fact, hard to imagine a novel or play without characters, though such texts have been attempted (James Joyce's Finnegans Wake is one of the most famous examples). In poetry, there is almost always some sort of person present, but often only in the form of a narrator or an imagined listener.
In various forms of theatre, performance arts and cinema (except for animation and CGI movies), fictional characters are performed by actors, dancers and singers. In animations and puppetry, they are voiced by voice actors, though there have been several examples, particularly, in machinima, where characters are voiced by computer generated voices. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fictional_character [Apr 2005]
Movie stardom and the sexual revolution [...]Beautiful women and extremely handsome men were rigorously selected to become movie stars and when they were cast in movies with romantic scenes of love, kissing, hugging, and flirting, an entire culture was transformed as it became more acceptable to show feelings of affection in public. The very conservative mood leading up to the twentieth century gave way to a growing erotic milieu as popularized by the movie industry emanating from the studios of places like Hollywood.
Nudity on screen was at first rare. But with the passage of time people became more tolerant of partial nudity for men and the display of female actress's breasts, at first to adult audiences, and later to more general ones. The invention of television made it possible for scenes of love and romance to be broadcast into any home with a "TV". A whole genre of actors who were particularly well-endowed with charisma and “sex appeal" arose. Thus an entire culture arose which was steeped in and eroticized by movie and TV culture, far removed from the more inhibiting times of an "old fashioned" morality rooted in "Bible-thumping" religion.
Famous names in entertainment became not just "stars" but also "goddesses". Beautiful women such as Marilyn Monroe, Raquel Welch, Brigitte Bardot, Jane Fonda, Sophia Loren, Madonna and later young imitators, were explicit in casting a sexual aura about themselves as actresses and to the celebrity-hungry media. A love scene in every movie was accepted as the norm. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_revolution [Oct 2004]
image sourced here.
image sourced here.
see also: Femina Ridens (1969)
Elke Sommer, photocredit unidentified
Grace Jones in Vamp (1986) - Richard Wenk
[Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Vamp is a colloquial term applied to describe a particular type of femme fatale, popular in silent films. The term is a shortening of the word vampire, and is used to describe a woman who is glamorous in an exotic, stylised and usually overstated manner. She is usually noted for her striking features, dark clothing and hair, and cosmetics which darken and accentuate the eyes and lips. Her character is a heartless seductress, and the men she seduces are usually shown as helpless victims unable to resist her. From the perspective of American film audiences, she is often seen as foreign, usually of undetermined Eastern European or Asian ancestry. She was designed as the sexual counterpoint of the wholesome actresses such as Lillian Gish and Mary Pickford. Among the notable vamps of the silent screen were Theda Bara, Pola Negri, and in her earliest film appearances, Myrna Loy. Television star Jackée Harry was popularly classified as a vamp, many years after the age of the vamp was supposed to have ended. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vamp_%28woman%29 [Apr 2005]
Cult Movie Stars (1991) - Danny Peary [...]
Cult Movies Stars - Danny Peary [Amazon.com]
Cult Movie Stars sounds like a publisher's idea for a follow-up to Peary's best known books, but if it isn't in the same league as those, it's certainly worth owning. Peary deals with 750 performers, ranging from major stars like Dietrich, Davis and Bogart, to horror actors, skin-flick starlets and even British comedians (at last an American book which recognises the Sid James phenomenon, even if it does mistakenly say he was in Carry On Nurse). Certainly one can quibble about the selection criteria (De Niro is included but not Pacino; I looked in vain for Mariana Hill; and to bring the book up to date, perhaps the likes of Winona Ryder and Christian Slater should have been present) - but that would be to miss the point. This does not attempt to be a definitive reference book but an appealing dip into the world of cult stars - hence there is no attempt to provide complete filmographies, just a smattering of the stars' most interesting output.
Peary writes: ‘My intention is to get movie fans to seek out particular stars and show why others are so devoted to them.’ His mini-essays succeed at this, communicating a real enthusiasm for cultural icons and obscure exploitation stars alike. His criticism is concise and full of insight - and he has a talent for useful subjective writing. Of Natalie Wood, he writes: ‘It's such a relief when Santa gets her the home she dreams about in Miracle on 34th Street, when James Dean loves her in Rebel Without a Cause ...I just wish someone was there for her in Splendor in the Grass. She was my favourite actress and, like many, I get chills when, in that picture, she almost drowns.’
[Book that got me started in being interested in offbeat cinema: About movie stars and their films who developed a cult audience. Riveting read. Limited availability.]
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