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Hollywood Divas, Indie Queens, and TV Heroines

Contemporary Screen Images of Women

Susanne Kord and Elisabeth Krimmer

Hollywood Divas, Indie Queens, and TV Heroines offers an entertaining and critical look at the representation of women in recent movies. Written in a refreshingly accessible style, the book analyzes over thirty box-office hits. The authors explore the screen personae of top stars such as Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan, and RenZe Zellweger, as well as independent movie queens like Parker Posey and TV heroines like Sarah Michelle Gellar of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A must-read book for all film buffs who are tired of the mixed gender messages of mainstream culture. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 192Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-0-7425-3708-8 • Hardback • December 2004 • $97.00 • (£65.00)
978-0-7425-3709-5 • Paperback • December 2004 • $30.00 • (£19.95)
Susanne Kord is professor at University College London. Elisabeth Krimmer is assistant professor at the University of California, Davis.
Part 1 Part I Hollywood
Chapter 2 1 Introduction
Chapter 3 2 The New-Born Identity: Julia Roberts
Chapter 4 3 Running Woman: Sandra Bullock
Chapter 5 4 Sleeping with the Enemy: Meg Ryan
Chapter 6 5 The Real World is Not Enough: Renée Zellweger
Part 7 Part II Some Alternatives
Chapter 8 6 Highlights and Low Points: Affairs of State and Kung-Fu Bunnies
Chapter 9 7 Hidden Alternatives: Judi Dench, Kathy Bates, Parker Posey, Whoopi Goldberg, and Frances McDormand
Chapter 10 8 Vamp(ire)s and Those Who Kill Them: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dana Scully
Chapter 11 9 Is This As Good As It Gets?
Chapter 12 Notes
Chapter 13 Works Cited
One of Hollywood Divas' key strengths is its attention to ambiguity and contradiction in women's representations. Kord and Krimmer examine how Hollywood films straddle progressive possibilities and traditional presumptions about women's roles. The authors are timely in their attention to the blurring of industry lines between Hollywood and Indie film production, and, even more importantly, they call on the audience to recognize the political underbelly and ideological power of all filmic representations.
Adrienne McCormick, SUNY Fredonia

Kord and Krimmer's exploration of the treatment of women in the Hollywood cinema of the last fifteen years is an accessible and engaging read. The analyses of key female stars of the 1990s and 2000s, and of the roles—some challenging, some all too familiar—they have played, are both passionate and political. This book should serve as an effective introduction to feminist cultural criticism for a wide readership.
Yvonne Tasker, University of East Anglia

Susanne Kord and Elisabeth Krimmer… have plunged into the pool of films from the 1900s and the first decade of this century to uncover the secrets of the modern representation of women on screen. The result is illuminating…and in the hands of these two talented writers, often very funny. It is rare to find an academic book that is prepared to make such unashamed value judgments.
Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Spring 2010

With analysis both scholarly and a bit snarky, Hollywood Divas looks behind the popular images of women—from Julia to Buffy—to study messages about politics, society, and gender hidden in plain sight on the screen. Movie grosses supply ironic footnotes tracing the dollar value of each film to American image consumers. This book brings to the attention of scholars and buffs the range of images available to film and television audiences in the 1990s and, through tape and DVD, far into the new millennium. The very self-contradictory messages within the same actress's work, even within a single performance, provide the basis for Susanne Kord and Elisabeth Krimmer's significant contribution to screen scholarship.
Mary Alice Money, Gordon College