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Exporting Perilous PaulinePearl White and the Serial Film Craze$
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Marina Dahlquist

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037689

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037689.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

Fascinations for the Nation

Fascinations for the Nation

American Serial Film, Czechoslovakia, and the Afterlives of Pearl White

(p.126) Chapter 5 Fascinations for the Nation
Exporting Perilous Pauline

Kevin B. Johnson

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the delayed but still strong and lasting impression that Pearl White left on Czechoslovakia's critics, viewers, and avant-garde movement. Drawing on a series of articles in Czech periodicals from the late 1910s to the 1930s, it considers the issues presented by White and the American serial films regarding the international market, the need to come to terms with Hollywood's global reach, and the impact of glocalized Americana for local production. The chapter first looks at the sudden influx of American films in Czechoslovakia after World War I before discussing how America was perceived as a model of democracy and cultural modernity in the early years of the First Czechoslovak Republic. It then explores how White fueled the fantasies of the Czech populace as well as the ways that she was appropriated and re-imagined in the service of various discourses that spoke for the mental and physical well-being of the nation. It also analyzes White's Czech career within the context of larger issues related to spectatorship, film aesthetics, and the creation of star mythology.

Keywords:   avant-garde movement, Pearl White, American serial films, international market, Hollywood, Czechoslovakia, democracy, cultural modernity, spectatorship, film aesthetics

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