Through their recycling of film stars from the past, experi-
mental videos and films make big claims about media, history,
memory, and subjectivity. The question of whether the images
of Hollywood film stars have “corrupted” us or become “a part
of” us is a point of departure for this experimental work. While
Braderman et al. explore the place of past stars in our social
imaginary through a self- conscious play with film form and film
history informed by critical theory, I have argued throughout
this book that star recycling has involved the complicity of audi-
ences, producers, and acting labor in many different kinds of
media, going all the way back to the years immediately follow-
ing the emergence of the film star in the early twentieth century.
Which stars get recycled, what purposes their recycling
serves, and which media recycles them are the result of many
factors, including the iterative possibilities afforded by their
originating media formats and institutions (which affects their
availability as material objects to be reseen as well as the status
of their legal ownership), the competition over them among
media struggling for economic and social hegemony, and the
historically situated valences and flexibility of the star’s on- and
off- screen personas. Although the last factor suggests the neces-
sity for a star to meet certain social and psychological criteria
to become a meaningful part of a culture’s social imaginary, the
possibility of a star enduring in that imaginary or resurfacing in
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