Stars in Our Eyes: The Star Phenomenon in the Contemporary Era
The media star has become a powerful, almost unparalleled, cultural sign, even as the star system has undergone radical transformation since the era of the Hollywood studio system. Today's film industry continues to market and promote its products through actors in ways that seek to capture the often elusive quality that a star can embody. Using contemporary stars such as Robert De Niro, Keanu Reeves, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Dennis Hopper, this anthology of essays applies a variety of theoretical tools in its attempt to understand how we interpret stars, and how we can begin to understand their cultural significance.
Likewise, the study explores how the star system has become an increasingly complex phenomenon within society at large, extending its impact beyond the cinema into music, sports, and fashion. Many of the essays collected here consider this shift and examine how personae including the director (Sam Peckinpah), the royalty (Princess Diana) and even the digital star (Lara Croft) have captured the cultural imagination and have come to attain qualities as star-like as those of the silver screen.