Simona Busni

Stardom and Alienation: Melodrama's (New) Femmes Étonnantes in the Fifties

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Stardom; Alienation; Woman; Melodrama; the Fifties.

This essay aims to focus on what characterizes star status in the rhetorical frame provided by melodrama, following the idea that stars operate like signs within a system of metamorphic processes which, in fact, functions in a similar way to that of melodrama itself. These considerations gain particular value when connected to Italian popular cinema of the fifties, whose divas were defined as «mutant» or «alien». Of what does this mutation consist? And how does melodrama come into the question? In particular, the article will analyse the innovative features of two actress, Silvana Mangano and Lucia Bosè, playing with the term «alienation», used by Simone de Beauvoir in her epochal volume "The Second Sex" (1949).

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