Bio-pics : a life in pictures by Ellen Cheshire

By Ellen Cheshire

Bio-pics: A existence in photographs bargains a sequence of case reviews which throw mild in this most original of genres. Is the bio-pic a style in its personal correct? Or are such motion pictures in simple terms footnotes in different extra conventional genres corresponding to the western or gown drama, looking on the historic determine less than scrutiny. not like different style kinds bio-pics possible proportion no generic iconography, codes or conventions. they are often set wherever and at any time. What hyperlinks them is sort of easily that the flicks depict the lifetime of an 'important' individual. via a gently chosen diversity of thematically associated (English-language) bio-pics published given that 1990 this publication explores key concerns surrounding their resurgence, narrative constitution, creation, topic illustration or misrepresentation, and demanding reaction. the movies below dialogue are grouped round a occupation (writers, singers, politicians, sportsmen, criminals, artists) taking into consideration comparisons to be drawn in methods to comparable topic matter.

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Scorsese stated: It kept reminding me of Greek mythology and the curse of the family and how they deal with it. I was thinking about the Minotaur and the labyrinth. Basically through his whole life Hughes is trying to escape the labyrinth, but he’s the labyrinth. … Howard Hughes at this point in his life, his flaw, the curse so to speak, is the curse for all of us in terms of a nation, a country that acquires wealth like empires. I love studying ancient history and seeing how empires rise and fall.

Pekar’s stories are grounded in realism and naturalism, and the film’s cinematography reflects this by working in earthy tones and sourcing film 54 BIO-PICS stock to complement the grey and browns (no primary or bright colours) of the Cleveland landscape. The documentary sequences are filmed in a completely artificial environment, a painted white studio space with vibrant colours, playfully subverting the usual aesthetics of non-reality versus reality. Here, the ‘documentary’ sequences are as much a fantasy as the core ‘fiction’.

Later, when they are filming in Italy, they are seen riding vespas à la Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday (1953). The film’s examination of the genre is further revealed when, as part of Darin’s success, there are plans to film ‘a self-portrait on film’, leading to discussions of how it should be structured, which adds a pleasing postmodern dimension highlighting and exposing some of the problems inherent in the genre. Perhaps, as a knowing nod to Spacey’s actual age of 45 (playing a man who died at 37), there are quips about Darin himself being too old to play the screen version of himself.

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