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Feeling and the Filmed Body: Judy Garland and the Kinesics of Suffering

Adrienne L. McLean
Film Quarterly
Vol. 55, No. 3 (Spring 2002), pp. 2-15
DOI: 10.1525/fq.2002.55.3.2
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/fq.2002.55.3.2
Page Count: 14
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Feeling and the Filmed Body: Judy Garland and the Kinesics of Suffering
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Abstract

This article employs effort-shape analysis, a system for studying movement used in dance therapy and notation, to explore Judy Garland's star image in light of its frequent association with suffering and neurosis. It presents a detailed analysis of Garland's physiognomy and the energy and shape of her movements and gestures through space and time. In doing so, it suggests that Garland's neurotic star image can be traced in no small part to the paradoxical relationship of her body to the demands made upon it by the conventions of both Hollywood stardom and the generic film musical and, concomitantly, to the insecurities and anxieties generated kinetically and somatically by "failure" to meet those demands.

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