Beauty in Hollywood by Karen Durbin

Julianne Moore by Gilles Bensimon
  • “We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces.”
  • “a beauty that easily looked cruel”
  • The original meaning of glamour: magic, a spell.
  • Films are escapism.
  • Womens struggle in Hollywood is about “sex and sexual definition”.
  • USA cultural puritanism meant Hollywood divided women into good girls and bad girls.
  • Both men and women share anxiety about a “bad” woman’s “dark and dangerous thrills”.
  • Lulu: “the dark thrill-to dream of being dangerous and desirable”
  • Mary Pickford was the ultimate “good girl”.
  • The 1934 Hays Code repressed/censored film and made it conservative. It asserted sex as a greater threat to public morals than violence.
  • Camille Paglia correctly identified the pre-Code cinema era as “the twentieth-century’s first sexual revolution”.
  • “the irreverent liberationist spirit of the 1930s”
  • Hitchcock “championed the openly sexual woman”.
  • Blaxploitation prefigured the attitude and content of rap music.
  • Hollywood responded to feminism with male buddy films and won’t give female directors second chances.
  • Through the 2000’s women in Hollywood (actresses and directors) were still greatly shortchanged but had more niche opportunities.
  • An incomplete list of films mentioned: Becoming Jane, Pandora’s Box (Lulu), The Blue Angel, Madame Satan, Thou Shalt Not (documentary about pre-Code cinema), Queen Christina, Mildred Pierce, Notorious
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