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Ronald Meyer on Krystyna Janda and Celebrity Culture
June 5, 2024

Ronald Meyer contributed the chapter “Krystyna Janda: My Way” to the volume “Starlight and Stargazers: Slavic Screen Celebrities,” edited by Helena Goscilo (Academic Studies Press, April 2024). Janda (b. 1952), Polish star of stage and screen for over 45 years, with more than 180 roles to her credit, celebrated her 70th birthday with the premiere of her autobiographical monodrama “My Way.”


From the Publisher:

Celebrification has thrived for centuries in literature, theater, music, and other cultural spheres, as vividly illustrated by Byron, Sarah Bernhardt, and Paganini. It especially effloresced in cinema after the symbolically named Lumière brothers pioneered movies as light-projected “moving life” to be contemplated and shared in the intimate darkness of theaters. Actors and actresses such as Valentino and Garbo acquired the status of divine beings whose life on and offscreen stimulated fascination and a passionate devotion most frequently invested in religious figures. The recent explosion in social media has only amplified immeasurably the scale and intensity of that adulation. Yearning for the seemingly transcendent, fans as mere mortals seek contact with celebrities as objects of worship that, like nocturnal stars, are simultaneously remote yet accessible. Starlight and Stargazers examines the multifaceted nature and specific manifestations of film celebrification in Czechoslovakia/the Czech Republic, Poland, Soviet Russia/Russia, and Ukraine before and after 1991.


Photo: Krystyna Janda performing “My Way.” Source: Krystyna Janda website: