Screen Style: Fashion And Femininity In 1930S Hollywood (Commerce and Mass Culture) (Vol 2)

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9780816633135: Screen Style: Fashion And Femininity In 1930S Hollywood (Commerce and Mass Culture) (Vol 2)
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Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich-all were icons of beauty and glamour in 1930s Hollywood. Screen Style reveals the impact of celebrities like these on women filmgoers, looking beyond the surface of the films and fashions of the era-often described as forms of escapism from the difficult realities of the Depression-to show how Hollywood presented women with models for self-determination during a time of rapid social change. Revealing the public and cinematic fascination with the strong-willed women featured in so many movies-ambitious gold diggers, career-minded working girls, social climbers, dangerous androgynous females, and other exotics-Sarah Berry presents a lively look at films, fan magazines, and advertising of that time.

Sarah Berry writes on film, media, and cultural studies and designs interactive multimedia projects. She teaches film studies at Portland State University.

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In the second in the "Commerce and Mass Culture" series, Berry (film and media studies, Coll. of Staten Island, CUNY) attempts to explore "the relationship between popular fashion and Hollywood films of the 1930s," arguing that both were significant aspects of "the decade's shifting definitions of femininity." She discusses popular fashion, costume as spectacle, beauty and cosmetics, and the popularity of trousers for women in the context both of film and the fashion and cosmetics industries, as well as styles that became popular in the 1930s. Although Berry has obviously done her research, her writing style leaves something to be desired. She fails to define some terminology and provides weak transitions between subjects. Her undirected narrative seems disjointed, and it is difficult to determine the point, and point of view, of each chapter. Furthermore, the initial argument seems rather obvious. This academic book may be useful for students of popular culture, but it is not very accessible to the lay reader in spite of the popular-interest topic. Recommended for academic libraries or libraries with a large motion picture or fashion collection.
-Julia Stump, Voorheesville P.L., New York
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2000
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