Difference between revisions of "Rauna Næsve"

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Despite not being musically trained, Rauna's preferences had an important contribution to her films' soundtracks. She had a fondness for {{wpl|swing music}} and wished to incorporate elements of it, stating in one interview: "I thought it would sound quite grandiose—like a fanfare for the entrance of a sex goddess, if you will. That and few instruments can squeal quite like horns."  
 
Despite not being musically trained, Rauna's preferences had an important contribution to her films' soundtracks. She had a fondness for {{wpl|swing music}} and wished to incorporate elements of it, stating in one interview: "I thought it would sound quite grandiose—like a fanfare for the entrance of a sex goddess, if you will. That and few instruments can squeal quite like horns."  
  
Due to her influence, her film soundtracks developed a distinctive style, fusing contemporary {{wpl|rock music|rock}} and {{wpl|funk}}/{{wpl|soul-jazz}} with {{wpl|big band}} elements, namely "aggressive and lusty horn sections". The latter complemented her on-screen appearance and provided a metaphorical link to the Free Territories and earlier sex symbols such as [[Reda Kazan]].
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Due to her influence, her film soundtracks developed a distinctive style, fusing contemporary {{wpl|rock music|rock}}, {{wpl|funk}}, and [[Gylian jazz|soul-jazz]] with {{wpl|big band}} elements, namely "aggressive and lusty horn sections". The latter complemented her on-screen appearance and provided a metaphorical link to the Free Territories and earlier sex symbols such as [[Reda Kazan]].
  
 
===Publicity===
 
===Publicity===

Latest revision as of 09:15, 15 February 2020

Rauna Næsve
RaunaNæsve1.png
Born
Ráuna Naesvéy

(1940-10-30) 30 October 1940 (age 79)
Occupation
Years active1957–1975
Spouse(s)Paolo Giussani
Children2

Rauna Næsve (born Ráuna Naesvéy, 30 October 1940) was a Gylian actress. She was a renowned sex symbol and one of the most successful film stars of the Groovy Gylias era, whose films had a major impact on sexuality in Gylian cinema.

Her film career took off after she began a creative partnership with her husband Paolo Giussani. Together, the couple produced comedies that are considered classics of Gylian cinema. During the 1960s and 1970s, she was one of Gylias' leading film stars, and found an audience abroad through the Gylian Invasion.

As a comedian, Rauna was known for one-liners and innunedo-laden dialogue, her physical comedy and slapstick talents, and her sex appeal. Her comedies were characterised by rapid-fire humour and raunchy sensibilities, in which she portrayed ebulliently sexual, charismatic women who lived by their wits.

A shrewd self-publicist, Rauna staged publicity stunts to enhance her celebrity and was a popular media personality. She was the first Gylian actress to license her likeness and produce an extensive range of merchandise, a lucrative venture that made her one of the richest Gylian celebrities.

She retired from acting at the age of 35. Her work was tremendously influential on Gylian cinematic eroticism and pornography, and she is considered an iconic figure of the Golden Revolution. She was also one of the first famous Gylians to cultivate the image of a glamorous superstar, setting a precedent for subsequent artists.

Early life

She was born Ráuna Naesvéy on 30 October 1940 in Naesven, a village in the Free Territories. Due to Naesven's position near the front of the Liberation War, the villagers were evacuated in 1945 to safer accommodation in northern Tandar.

Ráuna was a polite and optimistic child, whose parents encouraged her creative interests. She attended volunteer classes, where she was prone to laziness and focusing only on subjects that interested her. She has mild dyslexia, which mainly manifests as pronunciation respelling. She learned French and English as foreign languages.

The family briefly returned to Naesven in 1948, then moved to Ďasla in 1950. Ráuna spent most of her time playing with other children and attending the local cinemathèque. Her favourite films were silent comedies, whose humour transcended language barriers, and animated cartoon shorts, of which she wrote, "I didn't have a clue what they were saying most of the time, but I still laughed."

In adolescence, Ráuna went through a significant growth spurt; she gained a large bust and reached 1,73 m in height. Her new height and physique brought her more attention from peers, which she enjoyed. She started growing her hair long after having it cut short for most of her childhood.

She drifted into the workforce as a teenager, working various odd jobs and part-time positions. By her own admission, she chose jobs that required little effort, so she could spend most of her time daydreaming.

Career

Beginnings

While working as a receptionist, Ráuna was asked by a local photographer to pose for a portrait. The image became the March 1957 cover of teen, and the resulting attention led her to consider a career in entertainment.

She began acting in 1957. Initially, she had no agent or manager, and simply loitered around the Work Exchange Administration and local film sets asking for parts. She initially appeared in bit parts and minor roles, which made no use of her physical or comedic talents.

The turning point of Ráuna's career was meeting director Paolo Giussani in 1960. The two began a romantic relationship and married later that year. They became creative partners and established their own production company, Parafilm. She changed her stage name to "Rauna Næsve", inspired by her husband's pun on her surname, "Nice-babe".

Rauna and Paolo developed a distinctive style with their first films together. When their first film earned moderate commercial success, he remarked to her, "We found our calling."

Stardom

Rauna in a 1960s publicity photo

Rauna gained her breakthrough with Big Juicy Ones (1962), her first film to unite all the elements of her success — light comedy, bawdy humour, and a promotional campaign that jocularly emphasised her appearance.

From 1962 to 1976, Rauna and Paolo worked at a steady pace, releasing 1–2 films per year. Most of them bore campy double entendre titles — Too Much Woman, A Lot to Bare, A Nice Pair, Too Hot to Handle and Nice and Hard among them. The films generally had low budgets but were carefully produced and extensively rehearsed, adding to their financial viability.

Once established, the couple's style developed into a distinctive subgenre. Beneath their buoyant tone and formulaic surface, they synthesised a variety of elements: the abundant innuendo that took orgone films closer to pornography, the fast-paced banter of screwball comedy, sophisticated physical comedy, tied together with camera work and editing that drew on influences from nouvelle vague to animation.

Throughout the period, Rauna's films were the most financially successful films in Gylias by admissions, and she shared the distinction of most successful Gylian film star with Brigitte Nyman and Alike Demetriou, with whom she was friends and collaborated. Compared to Brigitte and Alike, Rauna placed her sex appeal at the forefront of her career.

Although she emphasised her sex symbol status, Rauna had a wide appeal that crossed demographics. Children enjoyed her kind yet playful characters and the films' cartoonish humour. She was conscious of her young fanbase, maintaining a positive public image and playing up character traits that appealed to children — innocent rebelliousness, plucky energy, and daydreaming.

Capitalising on her popularity, she licensed her likeness and created celebrity dolls of herself. Initially a modest endeavour for young fans, her stardom brought increased demand, and she expanded into a great variety of items. Her merchandising became highly successful, cementing her iconic stature. She became one of the richest Gylian celebrities, with an estimated net worth of Ŧ20 billion in 1969.

Rauna's fame spread to other endeavours. She and Paolo collaborated with the Public Health Agency to produce public information films promoting sex education and awareness of breast disease. In 1969, she appeared in the promotional clip for The Beaties' "Come Together", filmed walking outside and lip syncing the song. Her involvement made it one of the Beaties' most famous videos. (Two years before, she had appeared on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.)

Rauna prided herself on her physique, and took steps during her career to maintain a healthy cleavage. She maintained a relatively consistent weight, exercised daily, and routinely wore sports bras in private to reduce the risk of ptosis, as well as flesh-coloured bras in films to support her breasts.

Retirement

During a break after wrapping up promotion of Keeping It Up (1975), Rauna underwent a mild reduction mammaplasty, as a precaution against back pain. Unexpected complications forced surgeons to perform a greater reduction than anticipated. When awakened and informed of what happened, she stood silently for several moments, and then joked, "Lovely, now I can close my shirt properly!", causing everyone to laugh.

Rauna had made plans to retire from acting to avoid a decline in her films' quality, stating in interviews she intended to do so at age 40. The surgery hastened this, and she announced her retirement shortly afterwards.

In retirement, Rauna stayed out of the spotlight, and spent time with her children and friends. She and Paolo left behind the more extravagant lifestyle of their stardom years, and moved into more modest accommodation.

Parafilm's catalogue was brought to home video in the 1980s and then to Proton in the 1990s. Rauna renewed her films' copyrights only once, in 1970, and let them enter public domain in retirement.

She became a participant in the Social Partnership Program in the 1990s.

She appeared in Rasa Ḑeşéy's documentary series Nation Building (1999), recalling her experience with filmmaking and stardom; Our Clothes (2012), commenting on her erotic use of clothing; and Happy Orgasms (2013), reflecting on her influence on Gylian pornography.

She wrote her autobiography, which was published in 2010.

Artistry

Rauna was described by a biographer as "multi-talented, and so confident in her talents she made a game out of implying she only had two." Her appearance was crucial to her success: she had a voluptuous figure, expressive blue eyes, and long strawberry blonde hair. Her trademark wardrobe consisted of pleated gray skirts and white shirts, which she only buttoned below her cleavage. Many reviews credited her with exploiting the erotic potential of shirts to the hilt.

Unafraid of formula, Rauna played essentially the same character in all her films: a clever, smooth-talking, irresistibly charismatic woman, unafraid to use her appearance and wiles to get what she wants, capable of getting into or out of any situation. Drawing on her childhood, she infused her characters with playfulness, mischievousness, and idealism, approaching everything with a spirited joie de vivre that reassured audiences she would be alright no matter what.

She was a versatile comedian, equally adept at ribaldry, physical humour, and clever repartee. She detested pathos and wanted audiences to leave her films "happy to be alive". She made effective use of her acting skills, interspersing comedy with quieter scenes that portrayed her sympathetically comforting and encouraging others.

Sex symbol

Rauna's on-screen sexuality was upbeat and breezy, revelling in the fun of flirting and thrill of romantic pursuit. She modelled her characters as modern female Casanovas, going from place to place having picaresque adventures and numerous relationships or one-night stands along the way.

With Gylias' lack of censorship or nudity taboos, her films could be as explicit as desired. Nevertheless, she preferred to rely on bawdiness for her comedy, believing that detailed depictions of sexuality excluded viewers with different preferences.

Rauna delighted in pushing the limits of suggestiveness, and excelled at turning anything and everything into a double entendre. She "gleefully squeezed out every drop of raunch words like 'pump' and 'hard' could yield", and delivered her sauciest lines with a wink to the audience. Her approach is summed up in an emblematic scene from A Nice Pair, where she playfully adjusts her love interest's head towards her chest as she declares, "My breasts are down here."

She portrayed her characters as empowered and in control of their sexuality, and honestly acknowledged the challenges of her physique. She focused attention almost exclusively on her face and breasts, ignoring any other partialisms. To further tease viewers, her nude scenes were desexualised, while close-up shots of her clothed cleavage where the most sexually charged.

Filmmaking

Rauna exercised complete creative control over her films. She closely collaborated with Paolo in writing scripts and planning, and oversaw every aspect of the making of her films, from production to post-production and promotion.

While she and Paolo retained the final say in their pictures, they invited input from collaborators and incorporated ideas they liked. During her career, she built a regular team of collaborators, whose contributions were acknowledged in interviews.

Despite not being musically trained, Rauna's preferences had an important contribution to her films' soundtracks. She had a fondness for swing music and wished to incorporate elements of it, stating in one interview: "I thought it would sound quite grandiose—like a fanfare for the entrance of a sex goddess, if you will. That and few instruments can squeal quite like horns."

Due to her influence, her film soundtracks developed a distinctive style, fusing contemporary rock, funk, and soul-jazz with big band elements, namely "aggressive and lusty horn sections". The latter complemented her on-screen appearance and provided a metaphorical link to the Free Territories and earlier sex symbols such as Reda Kazan.

Publicity

Rauna handled her own publicity and cultivated a glamorous public image. She playfully adopted trappings of movie stardom, allowing the public to perceive her as portraying the fantasy of being a film star.

Her interviews and public appearances emphasised her wit and sassy personality, and she revealed the intelligence and tenderness beneath her sex symbol image. In reference to her films' relaxed atmosphere and detailed planning, she quipped, "Honey, it takes a lot of intelligence to make movies this stupid."

She undertook brief promotional activities on the release of her films, lasting one or two months, and then took time off until production of a new film began. This prevented her from becoming overexposed.

Business ventures

An image of one of Rauna's dolls

Although Rauna made a career out of playing underemployed and whimsical slackers, she was an astute businesswoman. She established a subsidiary company, Nicework, to handle merchandising licenses. Throughout her career, she produced a vast amount of merchandising. These included:

  • T-shirts with her likeness and reproductions of her wardrobe (including breast prostheses to reproduce her proportions)
  • Celebrity dolls
  • Photobooks collecting photographs of her
  • Calendars with tongue-in-cheek seasonally-appropriate images of herself
  • Lunchboxes and bentō boxes with her image
  • Colouring and activity books (generally aimed at the children in her audience)
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Stationery with her image on the front
  • A pinball machine based on her films

Rauna focused on providing value for money in merchandising. She kept prices low and designed the products with an emphasis on quality and artistry. She brought in acclaimed photographers such as Annemarie Beaulieu to create portraits for her photobooks and calendars. She published her conventional and nude portraits in separate photobooks, in order to reach the right audiences.

Although her merchandising operations were extensive by Gylian standards, she protected her image and was careful to keep the products ancillary to her film career. She maintained high standards of quality for her products, refused to endorse or advertise other commercial products, and did not produce collectables.

She did not promote her products. As a result, her merchandise sold via word of mouth and quality, rather than simply capitalising on her popularity.

Rauna's merchandising added to her popularity, and ensured that she became a household name and cultural icon. Capital described her as "the most extensively-merchandised woman in Gylian history".

Legacy

Rauna is considered an icon of Gylian pop culture and one of its most famous sex symbols. Her lighthearted, sexually confident persona captivated the public, and her films became the foundation of erotic depictions in Gylian pop culture: playful, celebratory, and cheeky. Her influence on Gylian eroticism is captured in the title of a book on the history of on-screen sexuality: Before and After Rauna.

Rauna's films were galvanising on the development of postwar pornography, which preserved the ebullient comedy of her work but dispensed with her self-imposed limitations. Several of Gylias' most successful pornographers cultivated a similar public image and style as Rauna, notably Moana Pozzi and Frauke Stark.

The centrality of her physique in her career led some to humorously credit her with popularising breast fetishism or teaching Gylian audiences "how to be aroused by large cleavage." Her mischievous elements provided inspiration for sexually alluring "wicked" characters, such as Kleptechne's Aurelia Nyşel, Carmen Silva, and The Case of the Facts's advocate Mitsuki. Her forthright and self-confident characterisation was a fundamental influence on nénédie.

Rauna's tongue-in-cheek "superstar" persona served as a model for other famous Gylians who similarly mixed self-confidence and self-parody in their public images, including Asuka, Marie-Agnès Delaunay, Agathe Sanna, and Gertrude Karagianis. Her prolific yet under control merchandising set a precedent for its acceptance — it came into wider use in the 1990s, notably through Chikageki films and Dreamwave Productions' media franchises.

She has been frequently referenced, homaged, and sampled in various areas of pop culture. She appears on the cover of the Beaties' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Stella Star celebrated her career in the songs "Rauna Næsve TNT", "Rauna Rauna", and "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Rauna Dolls", and built their own extensive merchandising operation based on her model. Several illustrators and animators have specifically cited Rauna as an influence on the portrayal and characterisation of large-breasted female characters.

Personal life

Rauna and Paolo Giussani married on 31 October 1960, after a whirlwind courtship. They have two children. At the pinnacle of their career, his lower profile led to their perception as a successful but unusual celebrity supercouple.

In the heyday of her career, Rauna was known for her flamboyant lifestyle, of which she quipped, "I try to be as good at making money as I am at spending it." Her spendthrift habits were due to her generosity towards others.

Rauna's former mansion

In 1964–1976, she and her family lived in a 500 m² mansion in the hills east of Şenri, Envadra. Painted pink and decorated with eccentric luxuries, the mansion was the site of regular parties, open to whoever wished to attend. Rauna would joke she caused the Mişeyáke–Şenri high-speed rail to be built to improve attendance at her parties.

Rauna expressed fondness for anarchism but stated she thought it worked better in fiction because "you have more control over it." Her characters' peripatetic lifestyles, easygoing nature, and ability to unconventionally enrich others' lives reflected her anarchist sympathies and the revolutionary exuberance of the times. She preferenced the LSDP first in federal elections from 1969 to 1985, and subsequently switched first preferences to LND.