Last week I got my finger nails painted ‘Jungle Red’ and headed down to the BFI Southbank to an afternoon of talks about the ultimate Hollywood star, subject of a major BFI retrospective and star of The Women (where her character Crystal wears the eponymous shade of polish) and Mildred Pierce – two Hollywood classics which will be on nationwide re-release next month – Joan Crawford.
The event was part of Fierce: The Untameable Joan Crawford, a two-month season ‘revelling in the formidable and versatile Hollywood star’ which runs between August and October and featured three female speakers (look mum, no mans!) Sight and Sound critic Pamela Hutchinson, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Queen Mary University of London Lucy Bolton and journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed. The three speakers all talked about their affection for Crawford and about various aspects of her stardom and performances. As I am just putting the finishing touches to a journal article about film star fan club magazines and invisible film star labour, which uses Crawford as a case study, I was keen to hear what these three experts had to say.