Will the real Anna Karina please stand up?

Posted in Uncategorized by Joie on June 5, 2008

Joining the nostalgia-as-commodity bandwagon, featuring current Hollywood starlets donning personas from the ye old days of cinema, Kate Beckinsale has seemingly picked a figure too established in the indie circles. French New Wave icon. Jean-Luc Godard’s longtime muse. A Tinkerbell in modern leggings before the advent of American Apparel. Ms. Beckinsale thought if she starred in a David Gorden Green film, she would have some sort of street creds to pull it off. The results was less promising, which makes us question her rather brilliant performance of the “lost, tired” mother in Snow Angels.

Looking at the photoshoot video below, the mash-up technique of Youtube aesthetics proved to be a wise choice to de-differentiate the robotic posings by Beckinsale and the nerdy infectious pantomime by Karina. By intention alone, the alteration between footages was supposed to create a seamless transition from body to body, past to present, English to French, instead, we are presented with a clunky disparity…who’s imitating who? The camera is there, the girls’ purpose is to flaunt. Beckinsale reaches for the Victoria’s Secret model manual and let the apparatus survey her Russian doll sultriness. Karina opts to make the camera chase after her, always a step ahead of the dance. Even if Beckinsale was the original, Karina would make a lovely (and better) remake, the opposite can’t be said.

From desperate publicity stunts to shameless publicity plugs, LiLo(han) and Jessica Alba have already excavated the graves of their “idols” and turned those bodies themselves.  From the look of things, the trend isn’t going to end anytime soon. The only exception to this rule is the Hitchcock homage in Vanity Fair.

If Fredric Jameson is correct about nostalgia truly being a longing for the present, though only having the past as the means to representation, could we not choose to mimic a more recent past? Note to Annie Leibovitz: place Nicole Kidman in recreations of her previous roles for the next Hollywood issue.

Which do you prefer? 😉


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