24 All About The Women…from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” [Video]
This is the only time they made separate posters and focused on them. Almost every movie iteration you see them both together because it’s a love story. That’s what you’re being told in that poster. I don’t know what these posters are telling you except do you know the title of the movie then you’ll understand but I had several students who never knew it was a remake when they went to see it. So they had no idea. The title meant nothing to them. It’s always the female that carries the story right? This is this giant poster of Ally. That’s what this is all about. All these women are the reasons these movies were made in the first place. That’s what drew the box office. That’s what drew the studios to support and every one of these is the story of a woman doing something new against the culture of her time. Facing one of the various waves of feminism right? If you think about 1937 women had had the vote for under 20 years. A bunch of women were still not voting because their husbands wouldn’t let them even though it was legal right and 54 we’re 10 years after the end of the war and the Rosie the Riveter and all that stuff when women were told to go back home, put on your pearls, and start vacuuming right? Don’t try to be in the man’s world. That’s your job. We get around to 76 and we’re in the second wave of feminism. That’s just three years after Roe versus Wade and we’re still doing the equal pay marches. We’re still looking for equal pay and if you get around to the current version, it’s ten years after the Lilly Ledbetter act, which gave fair pay to people doing the same job. So each of these movies takes place in their female characters working truly in a world where there were still feminist issues going on. Which i think is also part of what Dorothy started with.
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Connections at conferences matter! Through the most recent SCMS, I met Vicki Callahan, whose film history focus right now is on Mabel Normand. When she learned I could put together a lecture on the importance of the female voice in the A Star is Born franchise she asked me to give that lecture to her master students.
It made for a great opportunity for me to hone the ideas I’m working on for a chapter on that franchise that I’m writing for a new book from Bloomsbury: The Bloomsbury Handbook Of International Screenplay Theory. It’s always nice when one piece of research can be purposed in other ways – and it’s always fun revisiting such a female-centric film franchise – one that drew the talents of such powerful performers as Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Lady Gaga.