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In the shadow of his father Kirk's overpowering fame, Michael Douglas forged a career for himself and became recognised in his own right as an award-winning actor and producer. But fame has taken its toll on Michael's personal life. His struggles with sexual addiction, his treatment for alcoholism and drug dependency and the break-up of his first marriage show another side to Michael's success. In 2010, his troubled past came back to haunt him when Cameron, his eldest son, was sentenced to five years in prison for drug dealing. Yet, despite a rocky road, Michael has found happiness later in life. His marriage to Catherine Zeta Jones meant a second shot at fatherhood and gave him strength following a devastating diagnosis of advanced throat cancer at the age of 65. This is the compelling and remarkable story of a Hollywood son who waged a battle against the odds to achieve his fame and fortune, and has kept on fighting with every challenge he faces.
Is classical Hollywood stardom the last word on film stars? How do film stars function in non-Hollywood contexts, such as Bollywood, East Asia and Latin America, and what new developments has screen stardom undergone in recent years, both in Hollywood and elsewhere? Gathering together the most important new research on star studies, with case studies of stars from many different cultures, this diverse and dynamic collection looks at film stardom from new angles, challenging the received wisdom on the subject and raising important questions about image, performance, bodies, voices and fans in cultures across the globe. From Hollywood to Bollywood, from China to Spain, and from Poland to Mexico, this collection revisits the definitions and origins of star studies, and points the way forward to new ways of approaching the field.
A trenchant examination of an iconic American figure that explores the cultural and psychological roots of his comic genius Born Julius Marx in 1890, the brilliant comic actor who would later be known as Groucho was the most verbal of the famed comedy team, the Marx Brothers, his broad slapstick portrayals elevated by ingenious wordplay and double entendre. In his spirited biography of this beloved American iconoclast, Lee Siegel views the life of Groucho through the lens of his work on stage, screen, and television. The author uncovers the roots of the performer's outrageous intellectual acuity and hilarious insolence toward convention and authority in Groucho's early upbringing and Marx family dynamics. The first critical biography of Groucho Marx to approach his work analytically, this fascinating study draws unique connections between Groucho's comedy and his life, concentrating primarily on the brothers' classic films as a means of understanding and appreciating Julius the man. Unlike previous uncritical and mostly reverential biographies, Siegel's "bio-commentary" makes a distinctive contribution to the field of Groucho studies by attempting to tell the story of his life in terms of his work, and vice versa.
Julie Christie's prickly relationship with stardom is legendary. This fascinating text provides a comprehensive account of Christie's career, from her emergence in the 1960s to present day. It moves from analysing her star persona, to exploring her performance and her politics, and in doing so raises important questions for the film industry.
On 29 September 1981, Peter Turner received a phone call that would change his life. His former lover, Hollywood actress Gloria Grahame, had collapsed in a Lancaster hotel and was refusing medical attention. He had no choice but to take her into his chaotic and often eccentric family's home in Liverpool. Liverpool born and bred, Turner had first set eyes on Grahame when he was a young actor, living in London. Best known for her portrayal of irresistible femme fatales in films such as The Big Heat, Oklahoma and The Bad and the Beautiful, for which she won an Oscar, Grahame electrified audiences with her steely expressions and heavy lidded eyes and the heroines she bought to life were often dark and dangerous. Turner and Grahame became firm friends and remained so ever after their love affair had ended. And it was to him she turned in her final hour of need. Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool is an affectionate, moving and wryly humorous memoir of friendship, love and stardom.
There is no one quite like Brian Blessed. He's an actor, film star, trained undertaker, unlikely diplomat, secret romantic, martial artist and mountaineer. He's also a brilliant storyteller who will - and you must brace yourself -simply leap out of the pages at you. Ready? Then open Absolute Pandemonium and you'll be taken on a riotous journey from his childhood, growing up the son of a miner in Goldthorpe, to finding fame in Z-Cars. You'll see Brian falling for Katharine Hepburn on the set of The Trojan Women, suffering wires strapped round his wotsits as he was hoisted into the heavens on Flash Gordon, almost causing an international incident when meeting the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and winning round George Lucas to get the role of Boss Nass on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Along the way he takes secret revenge on headmistress Mrs Jarman and her very big bottom, punches Harold Pinter, loves and hates Peter O'Toole, woos his beautiful wife Hildegard Neil and braves the shocking death toll on cosy TV drama My Family and Other Animals. Crammed with anecdotes from his illustrious career, this is a funny, warm-hearted, life-affirming, LOUD and unique memoir from a much-loved figure.
Micky Flanagan is one of Britain's best-loved cheeky-chappy comedians, thanks to his stand-up routines about how he's gone from growing up in London's East End in the 1970s to his life now in middle-class suburbia. To date he has two sell-out tours under his belt, nominations from the British Comedy Awards and the Edinburgh Fringe (for Best Comedy Newcomer), not to mention regular stints on 8 Out of 10 Cats, Mock the Week and The Last Leg, as well as guest appearances on The Jonathan Ross Show, Alan Carr: Chatty Man, The Graham Norton Show and The One Show. Yet a career as a professional comedian was not something that he had ever dreamed of when, as a troublesome teen, he left school aged 15 to work in a fish market. Abi Smith looks at how Micky, who was laughed at by his teachers when he said he wanted to be a vet, has triumphed from his early days working as a fish porter in the East End and as a dishwasher in New York. In this page-turning biography you'll also discover why his mum labelled him a drama queen, and how he tried his hand at various professions - including trainee teacher and painter and decorator - before having the last laugh by becoming one of the country's most popular funny men. So, pour yourself a cup of Rosie Lee, take the weight off your plates and prepare for a right giraffe as you read this engaging tale of 'an East Boy done good'.
Much of the theater of antiquity is marked by erasures: missing origins, broken genres, fragments of plays, ruins of architecture, absented gods, remains of older practices imperfectly buried and ghosting through the civic productions that replaced them. Ruins: Classical Theater and Broken Memory traces the remains, the remembering, and the forgetting of performance traditions of classical theater. The book argues that it is only when we look back over the accumulation of small evidence over a thousand-year sweep of classical theater that the remarkable and unequaled endurance of the tradition emerges. In the absence of more evidence, Odai Johnson turns instead to the absence itself, pressing its most legible gaps into a narrative about scars, vanishings, erasures, and silence: all the breakages that constitute the ruins of antiquity. In ten wide-ranging case studies, theater history and performance theory are brought together to examine the texts, artifacts, and icons left behind, reading them in fresh ways to offer an elegantly written, extended meditation on "how the aesthetic of ruins offered a model for an ideal that dislodged and ultimately stood in for the historic."
Miriam Hopkins (1902-1972) first captured moviegoers' attention in daring precode films such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), The Story of Temple Drake (1933), and Ernst Lubitsch's Trouble in Paradise (1932). Though she enjoyed popular and critical acclaim in her long career - receiving an Academy Award nomination for Becky Sharp (1935) and a Golden Globe nomination for The Heiress (1949) - she is most often remembered for being one of the most difficult actresses of Hollywood's golden age. Whether she was fighting with studio moguls over her roles or feuding with her avowed archrival, Bette Davis, her reputation for temperamental behavior is legendary. In the first comprehensive biography of this colorful performer, Allan R. Ellenberger illuminates Hopkins's fascinating life and legacy. Her freewheeling film career was exceptional in studio-era Hollywood, and she managed to establish herself as a top star at Paramount, RKO, Goldwyn, and Warner Bros. Over the course of five decades, Hopkins appeared in thirty-six films, forty stage plays, and countless radio programs. Later, she emerged as a pioneer of TV drama. Ellenberger also explores Hopkins's private life, including her relationships with such intellectuals as Theodore Dreiser, Dorothy Parker, Gertrude Stein, and Tennessee Williams. Although she was never blacklisted for her suspected Communist leanings, her association with these freethinkers and her involvement with certain political organizations led the FBI to keep a file on her for nearly forty years. This skillful biography treats readers to the intriguing stories and controversies surrounding Hopkins and her career, but also looks beyond her Hollywood persona to explore the star as an uncompromising artist. The result is an entertaining portrait of a brilliant yet underappreciated performer.
Actor. Musician. Heartthrob. Feminist icon (sort of). There's only one Ryan Gosling. Women want him. Men want to be him. Most Tumblr blogs are about him. No mere Hollywood pretty boy, he's symbolic of everything modern manhood should aspire to. Packed with trivia, jokes and over 100 full-colour photos, '100 Reasons to Love Ryan Gosling' provides scientifically irrefutable evidence of exactly why Ryan is so damn loveable.
Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Catherine Deneuve... Feted, adored and desired, successful movie actresses are icons of modern culture. But what was it that made them true stars? Was it looks, talent, drive, personality - or just plain luck? What was the first captivating image or unforgettable line that etched them indelibly on our collective memory - and transformed the screen actress of the passing movie credit into the screen goddess of eternal legend? In a sequence of elegant pen-portraits, George Tiffin takes a microscope to the movies and the moments that established 75 female icons of cinema. These penportraits are supplemented by quotes, notes and anecdotes, including script excerpts from key scenes. From Oscar-winners to ingenues, and from grande dames to femmes fatales, A STAR IS BORN is a seductive celebration of the eternal feminine at the heart of the movie business - and an informal and engaging history of cinema itself.
Vade Mecum brings together Richard Skinner's best essays, reviews and interviews from 1992-2014. There are close critical engagements with writers (Kazuo Ishiguro, Italo Calvino, Shakespeare's The Tempest) and composers (Erik Satie, Iannis Xenakis, Luc Ferrari), meditations on films and filmmakers (Antonioni, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Chinatown) and idiosyncratic reflections on Werner Herzog's Of Walking in Ice and Steely Dan.
This book showcases the mix of daring acrobatics, beautiful costuming, stunning visuals, and dynamic choreography that make Marco Balich's events nothing less than awe-inspiring. A magnificent visual journey presenting over ten years of high-profile shows and ceremonies staged by Marco Balich, this beautifully illustrated book features his dramatic and moving work on events across the world. Projects such as the recent Olympic ceremonies and the America's Cup World Series reveal insight into the qualities of a large-scale event designer and the work of a team that has helped him astound millions of people. The book also features special contributions by Isabel Allende, Sophia Loren, Yoko Ono, Alessandro Del Piero, and Roberto Bolle.
Beyond the stereotypical expectation of glitter and sequins, comes a personal and inspirational journey of overcoming fear, rejection and insecurity. This story isn't solely about a drag-queen, but rather, it's a journey of real life experiences which many of us have faced throughout life, written by a gay man who happens to be a drag-queen. It's a story which is relevant in today's society, regardless of one's own sexuality. This book was written to bring inspiration and hope to anyone who may need positive affirmation to love the life they live, or for anyone who needs to understand first-hand what it can be like to fight, a sometimes losing battle, for self acceptance. Whoever the reader, it shows that it is possible to overcome extreme adversity and survive those horrendous experiences which seem determined to destroy us. "In a world where society dictates 'right' from 'wrong', a young boy struggles with the pressure of living up to the expectations of others. Desperately seeking acceptance and finding only rejection, he is isolated and on the brink of despair. There seems to be no escape from the years of relentless school-ground bullying and victimization he suffers, which at times, is almost too much to bear. He feels as though his spirit has been crushed, but this young scared boy still harbors a burning desire to break free and be true to himself. Later in life, a tremendous gut-wrenching loss would set him on another course, and a journey of true self-discovery. Armed with the knowledge of his past experiences, his eyes are opened to a wonderland of pleasures, and through determination and sacrifice, he leaves a life of secrecy and sexual defiance behind him. Discovering the world of drag, he becomes more of a man than he thought he would be, and more of a woman than he thought he ever could be. From Darkness to Diva is an empowering tale of overcoming fear and insecurity, with an uplifting message of triumph."
Despite the increasing popularity of academic filmmaking programs in the United States, some of contemporary America's most exciting film directors have emerged from the theater world. "Directors: From Stage to Screen and Back Again" features a series of interviews with directors who did just that, transitioning from work on stage productions to work in television and on full-length features. Taken together, these interviews demonstrate the myriad ways in which a theater background can engender innovative and stimulating work in film. As unique and idiosyncratic as the personalities they feature, the directors' conversations with Susan Lehman range over a vast field of topics. Each one traces its subject's personal artistic journey and explores how he or she handled the challenge of moving from stage to screen. Combined with a foreword by Emmy award-winning screenwriter Steve Brown, the directors' collective knowledge and experience will be invaluable to scholars, aspiring filmmakers, theater aficionados, and film enthusiasts.
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