Betwixt and between, forever sixteen

Set 15, 2017 | Artigos, Publicações

Betwixt and between, forever sixteen: American silent cinema and the emergence of female adolescence

  • Diana W. Anselmo
  • 2017
  • Screen
  • Volume 58, Número 3
  • 251–284
  • Idioma: Inglês
  • DOI: 10.1093/screen/hjx029
  • ISSN: 0036-9543 / 1460-2474 (online)

At the dawn of twentieth century, amidst a whirlwind of technological and storytelling innovation, American cinema produced a new film type. Sporting a diminutive physique, fair skin, above-ankle hemlines and loose ringlets, the ‘sweet-sixteen’ figure became one of early Hollywood’s most popular and profitable representations of femininity. A study of fan scrapbooks and actresses’ star texts reveals that, throughout the 1910s, not only did a significant number of box-office queens – such as Mary Pickford, Marguerite Clark and Mary Miles Minter – embody the appearance of unchanging nubility and the coming-of-age narrative typical of the sweet-sixteen archetype, but also that movie girl fans identified with them, collecting print ephemera and crafting collages honouring sweet-sixteen picture personalities.

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