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Gals, Guns, and Dolls: A film noir classic zeroes in on a ‘wicked woman’ and her all-seeing doll
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 30 June 2016 16:12

Photos courtesy of Movie Star News

What is it about 1940s and 1950s crime dramas and dolls? Besides featuring "broads" who are nicknamed "dolls," "dollface," and "dollies," these hardboiled molls frequently come with actual playthings: namely boudoir and/or porcelain dolls. Back in the 1920s, these very same dolls, designed for adult women, became must-have collectibles: a celebrated sign of female independence and purchasing power. Fast-forward 20 years, and the notion of a liberated woman was seen as downright scary. (And so were her glazed-over dolls!)

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Silence Is Golden: Talkin’ up dolls and how they blazed across the 1920s!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 23 June 2016 14:34

Photos Courtesy of Movie Star News

If you are seeking a diversion to take your mind off the ill winds that are blowing, you can't go wrong with the movie "The Artist." A critically-acclaimed awards darling in 2011, the film was a modern-day silent opus. It told the story of an actor confronting his possible demise as a Hollywood leading man — talkies are taking over — and the screenplay unfolds as an actual silent film. You sit and you read the dialogue as you watch emotions flicker across the screen. It's a satisfying and peaceful encounter — quite the opposite of the usual frenetic summer blockbuster fare.

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Ode to Orlando’s Deceased: Why should we, doll enthusiasts, pray and play loudly?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 16 June 2016 19:50

If you're a musical theater aficionado, like I am, this was quite the week. History was made with "Hamilton" netting 11 Tony Awards, ushering in a new sound and look to what constitutes a Broadway musical. Also, for the first time in the annals of the award ceremony, all four winners in the musical-acting category were African American. The Best Actor, Actress, Featured Actor, and Featured Actress were all talented black performers. It was quite an achievement, but a pall was cast over the accomplishment due to the Orlando massacre.

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Wedding Belles: Say “I do” to These Beautiful and Radiant Bride Dolls
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 09 June 2016 21:34

Marriage is a tricky thing. One's wedding day is realistically a finite amount of time — the ceremony begins at three o'clock and the reception ends at ten p.m. It's a seven-hour window — give or take a couple hours — and it can be as lavish or as simplistic as the "tying the knot" spouses choose it to be. A wedding can be measured and predicted. A marriage is something else altogether.

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Doll Doppelgangers: You’ll be surprised to see who has gained that honor!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Friday, 03 June 2016 20:15

Last year, Mattel honored a group of six females — five women and one little girl — with doll doppelgangers that were termed "Sheroes." Created to be auctioned off for a charity of each person's selection, the dolls were unveiled in New York City during Variety magazine's annual luncheon to honor powerful women in the media and in the arts.

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Cher and Cher Alike: Happy 70th Birthday, Foxy Lady!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 26 May 2016 20:02

One of my most memorable celebrity encounters — and there have been a few — involves a very well-known clothing designer, businesswoman, producer, philanthropist, actress, and singer named Cher. Yep, the one-name sensation has a remarkable résumé, and my path crossed with hers back in early 1999.

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The “Friends” View of Dolls: Are you Monica, Phoebe, or Rachel?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Friday, 20 May 2016 14:12

The other night, I happened to be battling a severe bout of insomnia. This wasn't a simple matter of counting sheep for a couple hours and not falling asleep. No, this was a full-blown case of having said sheep turn around evilly, stampede through my brain, malevolently jump out of my head, scamper down my back, and then run frantically around my home. Oh, should I mention that I had a high temperature and was self-medicating with NyQuil and orange juice? Yes, I was sick, feverish, and wide-awake. That meant I was ripe for unintentional TV bingeing.

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Play Misty for Me: Misty Copeland Becomes a Barbie
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 12 May 2016 20:25

During the first week of May, Mattel announced their newest doll release. Part of their #DreamBig and #Sheroes campaign, the Misty Copeland Barbie doll is an interesting hybrid of real-life accomplishment and wish fulfillment, true achievement tinged with superhuman agility. For anyone who hasn't been paying attention, Misty Copeland is a ballerina who has left the prim-and-proper rehearsal room and has turned the performing art of dance into something sultry, sexy, and surreal. Equally at home responding to Stravinsky as she is to hip-hop, Copeland launched beyond the dance barre and broke down the barrier between classical and cool, ultramodern and time-honored traditions. She set the bar high for herself, and has set it even harder for anyone who is going to try to follow in her "en pointe" footsteps.

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A Mother’s Memoir: Gloria Vanderbilt Has Lived Her Life Through Dolls
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 05 May 2016 19:59

If I were to pick any person on the planet with whom I have a surprising number of things in common, it certainly wouldn't seem that a 92-year-old multimillionaire heiress, New York City socialite, and world-famous fashion designer would top the list. However, if the nonagenarian in question is Gloria Vanderbilt, then I would have to say, "Yep, it's extremely odd, but true." In fact, for all of us doll devotees at "The Doll Chronicles," we all have much in our personal lives that corresponds with Ms. Vanderbilt's public and private obsession with dolls.

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Myth or Reality? The Rise of the Female Warrior
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 28 April 2016 20:22

Beginning in late April, and snaking its way through the spring and into early summer, "Game of Thrones" has once again taken over the Sunday-night viewing berth on HBO. I was one of the GOT-ties who tuned in to see whether there would be more dragon soaring, armies roaring, and covert royalty touring. (Yay, I made a rhyme, and didn't give away spoilers!) It's hard when there is a cast of dozens of lead players to follow every character's triumphant ascension or humiliating derision, so the return of Season Six valiantly tried to catch us up with what's been happening in this politically charged parallel world. The one lesson I took away from this season premiere is that women are ruling this universe, and are mightily and unapologetically fighting to keep on top or to scrape their way up from the bottom.

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