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Title: Spain made flesh :reflections and projections of the national in contemporary Spanish stardom, 1992-2007
Authors: Naughten, Rebecca Claire
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis uses Higson’s (2000) approach to national cinemas (that they look inward and outward to define their boundaries) to investigate how Spanish stardom interacted with the national between 1992 and 2007. The thesis examines four specific stars as case studies, and finds that there is a correlation between the cinema produced and the stars created, and that stars are as reflective of their national cinema as they are of current cultural perceptions and conceptions of nationness. The thesis therefore provides a detailed investigation of contemporary Spanish stardom within the framework of the interrelations between Spanish cinema and the four chosen stars in their reflections and projections of the national. Perriam (2003), Babington (2001), and Vincendeau (2000) show that the relationship between stars and the national informs the shape and content of their stardom, but this thesis argues that stars negotiate industrial imperatives as well as the cultural contexts of their nation; the national, cultural, and industrial converge in the star image. In investigating the stardom of Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, Eduardo Noriega, and Paz Vega –who emerged at different points during the period– this thesis finds that the manner in which Spanish stars interacted with the national onscreen gradually changed owing to factors specific to the Spanish film industry in this era. Textual analysis of star images and performances and cultural contextualisation are employed to argue that as the influences within Spanish cinema have become more culturally diverse, and the boundaries of ‘Spanish cinema’ have expanded, newer Spanish stars are less obviously ingrained with Spanishness and their reflections and projections of the national become less overt. Although this is suggestive of a gradual dilution of national characteristics within Spanish cinema and stardom, this thesis finds that the newer stars nonetheless still reveal something of their changing Spanish culture and society.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Modern Languages

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