Movie Talk: Affective Impressions of Celebrity Interviews on the Cinematic Experience
Gill, Dana Kathryn
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In her 1992 account of the genre Life Writing, Marlene Kadar suggests that writing is personal, even if it is not autobiographical; a writer will leave behind hints of themselves in the piece no matter their intention. The same can be said about film. This paper is interested in interrogating the relationship between celebrity and film reception. Looking closely at the impact of celebrity interviews in the affective understanding of film, this paper will examine the ways in which personal narratives interact with the marketing production of horror films. How might these stories aid in the production of empathy, sympathy, or compassion in relation to the violent narratives on screen? Within the context of film, the autobiographical elements are scattered across those who conceptualized, produced, directed, edited, and acted in the finished product we see on screen. Auteur theory has traced the connection between directors and writers of films to their overall reception and perception. As well, the connection of celebrity to the success of a film is mostly conceptualized within the financial success of the feature. This paper explores instead the connection of the actors in the writing of the films’ story. The experience of actors is often highlighted during promotional interviews before and after the release of the film. These interviews are highly structured based on how the production team has designed the ways in which the film should be marketed. However, oftentimes these interviews reveal personal connections to the finished screen product that resonate within the experiences of those who see the film. This paper questions the compelling nature of these narratives. Further, how are the personal narratives upheld by celebrity important in not only the selling of the film and the creation of a fan culture – but also become inseparable from our ability to read the film?