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The stars of fame,
This review is from: Gods Like Us: On Movie Stardom and Modern Fame (Hardcover)
Ty Burr has written a book which on the cover says it is about movie stardom and modern fame. In his introduction he says he is writing a history of movie stardom, then says his book is not solely about movies, but as the decades move forward, "the gates open to different kinds of stars, TV...pop music ...and the internet". Television, with the exception of Lucille Ball is hardly touched upon, not much is told about pop music, with the exception of Michael Jackson. There are some mixed messages both, as to what the book is covering and Burr's feelings toward the celebrities. At times he is dismissive and at others full of wonder at their talent; but always in incredulity at the fame these people hold and its effect on the public. It is at many times a very cynical look at the world of fame.
The beginnings of the motion picture industry is recounted, the star system and the first stars; Lillian Gish and Mary Pickford. The question of why and how we obsess over movie stars is never really answered. There is a chronological history of the movies...the need to laugh in the 80's and the rise of the action heroes like Harrison Ford, the change of attitude reflected in Animal House. The introduction of MTV and the internet winds up this history.
This is a good account, but scattered in its focus and it still leaves the question for the reader to answer themselves on how and why we are fascinated by movie stars.