Hollywood actresses like Marlene Dietrich entered human consciousness as carefully wrought, precisely designed icons. To an extent they needed acting skills; for, yes they played roles in films with plots. But there was more to it than performance, much more. Over the years Hollywood truly became a dream factory, and so it remains, except today this ability to manufacture dream imagery has stretched beyond the boundaries of the film industry, embracing television, as well as the music industry via videos.
Perfectly crafted illusions like Marlene Dietrich embed in our minds as outlines. Close our eyes and we can alter these outlines, forcing whatever flesh and blood entity exists at the core to manifest. In the end, Hollywood produced a ghostly veneer made palpable by focusing upon it.
© 2004 Peter Schmideg