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Acting for Real: the Queen's Two Bodies

Lada Čale Feldman ; Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (119 KB) str. 5-16 preuzimanja: 176* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Čale Feldman, L. (2018). Glumiti Realno: Kraljičina dva tijela. Književna smotra, 50 (190(4)), 5-16. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Čale Feldman, Lada. "Glumiti Realno: Kraljičina dva tijela." Književna smotra, vol. 50, br. 190(4), 2018, str. 5-16. Citirano 24.06.2021.
Chicago 17th Edition
Čale Feldman, Lada. "Glumiti Realno: Kraljičina dva tijela." Književna smotra 50, br. 190(4) (2018): 5-16.
Čale Feldman, L. (2018). 'Glumiti Realno: Kraljičina dva tijela', Književna smotra, 50(190(4)), str. 5-16. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 24.06.2021.)
Čale Feldman L. Glumiti Realno: Kraljičina dva tijela. Književna smotra [Internet]. 2018 [pristupljeno 24.06.2021.];50(190(4)):5-16. Dostupno na:
L. Čale Feldman, "Glumiti Realno: Kraljičina dva tijela", Književna smotra, vol.50, br. 190(4), str. 5-16, 2018. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 24.06.2021.]

The aim of this article is to explore the politics of cultural memory in the film The Queen by Stephen Frears and Peter Morgan, which deals with the troubles of the British royal family after the scandalous death of one of its former members, Lady Diana Spencer. However, the opening quote of the film taken from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, one of playwright’s “histories”, suggests more ambitious, allegorical readings, and brings to mind the title of Kantorowicz’s book The King’s Two Bodies, together with its modern, above all psychoanalytic, interpretations. This association will be shown to be justified by the main procedure of the film, the deployment of various visual, dramaturgic and symbolic doublings of the royal figure. Through them a certain, as the character of the queen states, “shift in values” is made to appear: meant to refer to the necessity of monarchy’s modernisation, it however primarily signals irrevocable changes in the politics of monarchy’s performativity.
The audience is thus invited to appreciate the cinematic effects of the age-old theatrical metaphor underpinning the doctrine of the king’s two bodies, the one of “the player king”. Frears and Mirren’s “royal biopic” belongs to the genre that both caters to and undermines the poetics of “playing for real” (Cantrell and Luckhurst, 2010). However, unlike Hopper and Seidler’s The King’s Speech, it counts on the technological circumstances of the modern democracy. The Queen not only deconstructs the genre through the director’s skilful manipulation of various visual framings, particularly of freshly shot and documentary material, but also questions the modern cultural economy of the body of the actress. The aristocratic roots of Mirren’s art of impersonation in sober “restrain and dignity” (again, “the queen herself” speaking), seem here to be successfully opposed to the “visual pleasure” that engendered modern female cinematic stardom, epitomized in the film by shots of Lady Di’s seductive glance.

Ključne riječi
The Queen; Shakespeare’s Henry IV; Kantorowicz; acting; women; cinema; docu-drama

Hrčak ID: 213387



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