Generational Cycles – A Star Is (Re-) Born
Editor | On 31, Oct 2019
The Star Is Born story has become an iconic one: Fading star discovers and nurtures the next generation star, and then dies. It is a classic Hero’s Journey tale. One with, quite literally, a death of the ‘old’ way and a succession of the new. It is the jump from one s-curve to the next writ large. Hollywood has remade the story five times already, four using the title, A Star Is Born. Looking at the four, we see a number of interesting patterns. Firstly, the ages of the new stars at the time they made their respective versions of the film:
Janet Gaynor – 31
Judy Garland – 32
Barbra Streisand – 34
Lady Gaga – 32
Then look at the Generations map above and what that means in terms of their place in generational history. Lady Gaga was a year or two too late with her 2018 version (but then, it did have a longer gestation period as is common in modern-day Hollywood), but all four occurred at a generational transition point.
With that in mind, it is also telling that the generational hand-over between the old and new generations fits with the patterns of the generations: Bradley Cooper’s jaded, alienated, authenticity-locked Nomad, handing over to Lady Gaga’s Hero. Kris Kristofferson’s sensitive artist handing over to narcissistic Streisand (who also produced the film) in the 1976 version. Heroic James Mason handing over to sensitive Judy Garland in the 1954 version. Alienated Frederic March handing over to heroic Janet Gaynor in 1937.
Note too how there wasn’t a version to catch the generational shift in the mid-1990s. A reluctance of the narcissists to hand over to the alienated Nomad next generation perhaps? Personally, I’d vote for someone to fill in the gap. One of narcissists-supreme, Crosby, Stills or Nash handing over the reins to Ari-Up of the Slits maybe?