Chanel No. 5 Films and the question of Stardom.

These are a couple of the Chanel No. 5 Films which have come out in recent years. This merging of entertainment and advertising is called ‘Branded Content’ – which as the name suggests is working towards marketing a certain Brand Name. In this case, it’s the classic Chanel Number 5 perfume, which has had female endorsements from Marilyn Monroe to Catherine Deneuve. It’s interesting to note – through the main choice of female actress – the way stardom works.

1. Both films reference each actresses’ most known and popular film – Amelie for Audrey Tautou and Moulin Rouge for Nicole Kidman

2. Both films were directed by the same director as the films listed above – Baz Lurhmann for Kidman’s Chanel No. 5 and Jean-Pierre Jeunet for Amelie.

3. Look at the way nationality is rendered in each film – the subtle differences between European Femininity and White American Femininity (despite Kidman’s Australian roots).

4. Both films have a marked different visual aesthetic despite the fact that they are selling the same product. Look at the pinkish tones paired with Kidman’s blonde hair as opposed to the yellow tones paired with Tautou.

Each star has a different persona that is built over a career of appearing in films, advertisements, magazines, talk shows, and inter-textual materials. A star’s on-screen and off-screen persona as well as their public and private life begin to merge. If you’re interested in stardom as a formal discourse, I would suggest Richard Dyer’s book Stars (London: BFI Publishing, 1979) – in which Dyer sets out to distinguish between stars as a social phenomenon, stars as images, and stars as signs. Furthermore, he analyses the tensions between ‘character’, star, and performance.

I leave you with a question from Dyer to ponder over stardom and performance…

Are stars a phenomenon of production (arising from what the makers of films provide) or of consumption (arising from what the audience for films demands)? (Stars, Pg. 9)

5 FROZEN Things

“Let it go” – performed by Idina Menzel

1. Idina Menzel’s post-Wicked on Broadway and Rent the Film. Her voice is absolutely flawless and carries the character of Elsa to perfection

2. Disney is back. The Princess and the Frog didn’t quite work, but the snappy one-word titles are proving to be a success for the legendary animation studio. Tangled and Frozen usher in new traditions and new heroines. Amen.

3. Elsa’s change in character and confidence is one of the best I’ve seen on screen. I don’t know what feminists have to say about her freeing transformation, but it’s nothing short of powerful.

4. A quote for the song we can all apply to our everyday lives, even if we can’t generate snowflakes with our hands:

“It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all”

5. I’ve recently seen some of the most beautiful fan art of Elsa and Anna. A quick search around the internet will lead you to wonderful young talent.

Better When…

1. Grapes are better when frozen.

2. Coffee always tastes better when there’s a design (in the foam, with chocolate sprinkles, etc.)

3. Sketchbooks are better when filled up.

4. Warm mugs fill my hands better when it’s raining outside

5. “I’ll tell you one thing, it’s always better when we’re together” – Jack Johnson (‘Better Together’)

“What do you wear to bed?”

1. A new commercial from Chanel no. 5 discussing Marilyn Monroe’s famous quote and the media  that follows the sex symbol, movie actress, and international star. My gosh, I am always impressed by her carefree persona.

2. This video is very visually pleasing and well edited – from the font choices to the classy white-and-black backgrounds. This ad displays archived footage, new images, text, recordings, and a voice-over. Almost imitating a documentary film style – an investigation into Marilyn’s legacy in the 50s. However, the fascination with Marilyn continues to elicit excitement and allure as this Channel ad demonstrates perfectly. Plus, for the high class image that Chanel No. 5 wants to promote, I believe this video serves its goal of glamour and appeal very well.

Oh la la, Marilyn’s star persona never get old: “I’ve never fooled anyone. I’ve let people fool themselves. They didn’t bother to find out who and what I was. Instead they would invent a character for me. I wouldn’t argue with them. They were obviously loving somebody I wasn’t.”