slide1 n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Rudolph Valentino and the Origins of American Visual Culture Eric Davis davis@polisci.rutgers PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Rudolph Valentino and the Origins of American Visual Culture Eric Davis davis@polisci.rutgers

Rudolph Valentino and the Origins of American Visual Culture Eric Davis davis@polisci.rutgers

153 Vues Download Presentation
Télécharger la présentation

Rudolph Valentino and the Origins of American Visual Culture Eric Davis davis@polisci.rutgers

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

  1. Rudolph Valentino and the Origins of American Visual Culture Eric Davis The Reading, Writing and Researching History in RGV Liberty FellowshipAlbuquerque, NM Public SchoolsAmerican Institute for History EducationDecember 5, 2009

  2. 2010 Year the Internet could slow to a global crawl because of a surge in video overloading its current capacity $137 billion Amount that infrastructure investors will have to invest – more than double the amount planned – to keep up with video demand Source: Time Magazine, December 10, 2007 The Internet and the Power ofVisual Culture

  3. Visual culture in video and film form often stresses periods of limited concentration Visual culture undermines person’s reading abilities because decreases amount of time devoted to texts Moving images cannot be revisited, reviewed and contemplated in way that is possible with the text/page Visual images develop different types of skills than texts, and engage the imagination in different ways Visual images often linked to spectacle and escapism Why do students need to understand visual culture’s social and political impact?

  4. Visual culture shortens citizen’s attention span Visual culture impedes citizen’s ability to comprehend complex arguments by stressing “sound bites” and simplified messages Visual culture can be about edification but all too often is about manipulating personal insecurities Visual culture highlights tension between civic engagement and consumption/material gain Visual culture stresses the “here and now” and thus undermines respect for history and lessons it can teach How does visual culture threaten democracy?

  5. Represented rise of motion picture and new type of visual learning Film as genre meant as form of entertainment, to manipulate audiences and to foster escapism New visual culture linked above all to profit making As film, The Sheik represented a new “war of the sexes” that emerged in “Roaring Twenties” The Sheik reflected tensions of changing demographic basis of American society and race relations Film promoted extensive stereotyping of Middle East Why is The Sheik important cultural event?

  6. Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926) Source:

  7. "Women are not in love with me but with the picture of me on the screen. I am merely the canvas on which women paint their dreams. "--Rudolph Valentino - 1923 The notion of “spectacle”

  8. Film tells the story of a woman (Agnes Ayres) who refuses to become an appendage of a man (her British fiancé) It was very risqué because it suggested the theme of miscegenation and possible rape The Sheik demonstrates the power of love and tenderness to overcome coarseness and brutality It fundamentally challenged existing definitions of masculinity, infuriating men, but attracting large numbers of women As a film, The Sheik blurred the boundaries between the masculine and the feminine The film’s denouement allows all to end well because the Sheik is really not an Arab, but was born an Englishman who was brought up by Arabs and educated in Europe Why was The Sheik so popular?

  9. “The flaming light of desire burning in his eyes turned her sick and faint. Her body throbbed with the consciousness of a knowledge that appalled her, and each separate nerve in her system shrank against the understanding that had come to her under the consuming fire of his ardent gaze, and in the fierce embrace that was drawing her shaking limbs closer and closer to the man’s own pulsating body – ‘Oh you brute! You brute!’ she wailed, until his kisses silenced her.” From The Sheik, by Edith Hull, London: E. Nash & Grayson, 1919. (ebook download available at: Edith Hull, The Sheikh (excerpt)

  10. Represents the rise of the Hollywood “star system,” where studios placed actors in a fantasy world Demonstrates the new role of technology in making images larger than life Symbolizes new modalities of sexuality: the sensitive male as opposed to the “cave man, ” and emergence of homosexuality as part of public discourse The Sheik became a weapon in the struggle between the sexes, loved by women but hated by men Why is Rudolph Valentino significant for understanding the 1920s?

  11. Rudolph Valentino and the “war of the sexes” during the 1920s

  12. Star system developed by large studios in 1920s Film first intended for working classes (stage actors rejected it as pantomine, circus or worse) The star system emphasized image, rather than acting Stars were forced to keep a public persona and only appear under staged conditions Theodosia Goodman’s name changed to Theda Bara, and fictious bio made her out to be « Arab siren » Valentino likewise became first a « Latin Lover » due to his role as tango dancer in Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and then the exotic star of The Sheik The Hollywood film industry and Star System

  13. Overtones of sexual conquest and miscegenation

  14. Rudolph Valentino as both effeminate and violent

  15. Spectacle and the concept of the (masculine) gaze

  16. What was the role of exoticism in 1920s America? • Loss of 19th century « Republican ideal » - the rugged individual • Rise of the regulated office (time clock) and assembly line – regulated life • Routinization of daily life stimulated need for escape, among men and women entering labor force • For many immigrant women, escape found through silent film matinees, satirized in Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) • Raises question: escape from what and escape to what?

  17. Stereotyping the Middle East as the realm of the violent

  18. The marketing of Rudolph Valentino

  19. Scenes from Rudolph Valentino’s films

  20. Marketing even after death (in mode of Michael Jackson?)

  21. The image lives on even after the star is gone Elvis Presley, Harum Scarum (1965)

  22. Miriam Hansen, From Babel to Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991 Emily Leider, Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003 Edith Maude Hull, The Sheik: A Novel, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001(originally published by E. Nash and Grayson in 1919 – one of the most widely read novels of 1920s; international best seller, 1921-1922) Bibliography