Carmen Miranda (Film Stars)

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Press:BFI Publishing British Film Institute; 2013 edition (April 2, 2013)
Publication Date:2013-4
Author Name:Shaw, Lisa
Edition:2013th Edition


This is the first book-length study of Carmen Miranda in English. 
It traces her origins as a radio singer, recording artist and film star in Brazil in the 1930s, before exploring in depth her Hollywood screen roles and the construction of her long-lasting star persona in the USA.

From the Back Cover

Carmen Miranda was not only the first Latin American star to be invited to imprint her hands and feet outside Grauman's ChineseTheatre in Hollywood, she was also, for a period, the highest paid female star in the US. 
Lisa Shaw's study of Miranda's film career and star persona traces her emergence as one of the first stars of the Brazilian film industry and her subsequent triumph in Hollywood.Shaw charts Miranda's transition from singer to film star, analysing how her star persona drew on performance techniques honed during her singing career.
She examines shifts in Miranda's star identity after her move to Broadway in 1939, and Hollywood a year later, with her identification as an 'ethnic' star emphasised by extravagant baiana costumes.Shaw shows how Miranda consciously constructed an identity that both endorsed and subverted stereotypes about Latin Americaduring the era of the 'Good Neighbor Policy', and explores Miranda's appeal across mainstream and marginalised audiences, both in the US and Brazil.
Finally, she considers why Miranda's image is still instantly recognisable, examining her impact on material culture, particularly women's fashions, both during her lifetime and until the present day, and the role played in the consecration of her 'tropical' star persona by imitators, ranging from Bugs Bunny, Lucille Ball and Mickey Rooney, to contemporary Carmen Miranda imitators of both genders

About the Author

LISA SHAW is a Reader in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at the University of Liverpool. 
She is the author of The Social History of the Brazilian Samba (1999), and co-author (with Stephanie Dennison) of Popular Cinema in Brazil (2004) and Brazilian National Cinema (2007).
She co-edited (with Rob Stone) the book Screening Songs in Hispanic and Lusophone Cinema (2012), and was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust to complete a research project entitled 'Tropical Travels: Brazilian Popular Culture Abroad, 1870-1945' in 2012.


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Comment List (Total:3)

  •     In my opinion, as a Brazilian scholar, this is an amazing book about Carmen Miranda! Shaw knew how to explore the creative agency of this so impressive Brazilian artist. I strong reccomend this. Thank you, Lisa Shaw!
  •     This is NOT a biography of Carmen Miranda. This a scholarly analysis of her image and her influence on popular culture, but does not include basic biographical information. The product description does not make this clear. I was expecting a biography of Carmen Miranda. This is not one.
  •     As a CARMEN MIRANDA COLLECTOR I enjoyed this book. If you are looking for a very personal bio of Carmen this is may not be the book for you. But do not count it out! However Shaw goes into details of her all films, the sets, costumes and recordings in Brazil where she was a major star before coming to America, Then all of her films here in America are detailed. Shaw describes her costumes, including her jewelry,hats and of course her platform shoes. Her songs and her unique one-of-a-kind persona in film and how her image and name became marketable in the 1940s and even today. By reading this book you realize how exploited she was. She spoke perfect English after she was here for a few years but the studio heads told her she had keep up with the accent. She was the highest paid female entertainer in the mid-1940s but after the war her image was no longer marketable, she was filmed in B&W and appeared in films she did not like due to her contract. Did two Technicolor musical films for MGM and her last was a B&W basic parody of herself. Her film career was over. This book also has some nice photos and is a MUST HAVE for any CARMEN MIRANDA FAN and for those intersted in Hollywood Musicals in the 1940s and into the early 50s..

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