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HC1. What is Hollywood?
 

HC1. What is Hollywood?

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    HC1. What is Hollywood? HC1. What is Hollywood? Presentation Transcript

    • Introduction to Hollywood CinemaWhat is Hollywood?
      Prof. Julia Leyda
      September 8, 2010
    • quiz
      What is Hollywood? Write a description of what you think Hollywood means.
      (10 minutes)
    • meanings of “Hollywood”
      literal place on the map, in Los Angeles, CA (although not all studios are in that area)
      name of mainstream film industry in the US (although not all US-owned)
      also “Classical Hollywood” can refer to:
      time period, approx. 1930s-60s
      dominant style of movies from that time
    • what is Hollywood cinema?
      the institution of “Hollywood” as…
      aesthetic: movie as a work of art
      formal properties can be interpreted, categorized by genre
      cultural: represents and influences its context
      social, political aspects; “American society just as it wanted to see itself” (Bazin)
      cultural constraints: Production Code (1930-68) and heteronormative happy endings
      commercial: profit-driven global industry
      production
      distribution
      reception
    • how do we study Hollywood cinema?
      … and its products: the movies
      film history
      star system
      genres, auteurs
      technological advances
      film analysis
      form
      content
      interpretation
    • timeline of Hollywood eras
      1890s earliest movie cameras and projectors
      1910s-20s height of silent cinema
      1930s-60s Golden Age, Studio Era, or Classical Hollywood
      late 60s-80s New Hollywood, Post-Classical or Hollywood Renaissance; franchise movies
      1980s-90s video; independents
    • how should we categorize cinema?
      similar to literature:
      open to interpretation of symbols, story, character
      as an art form, can be studied as other arts are
      often movies are based on literary works
      different in important ways:
      literature isn’t a major global industry
      novels aren’t created by a team of producers, writers, directors, editors, cinematographers, etc.
      reading is a text-only, individually paced, solitary experience
    • Hollywood’s “commercial aesthetic”
      turning our viewing pleasure into a product we can buy
      movies are made with the primary motive of selling as many tickets as possible
      appeal to widest possible audience
      repeat viewings
      awards (Oscars) increase box office success
    • example: Titanic (1997)
      combines genres popular with both men and women: love story plus action-adventure
      combines narrative (story and history) with spectacle (action and effects)
      …and in the proper order (quiet first half, thrilling action later)
      repeat viewings by teen fans
      11 Oscars show industry approval: it does well what a Hollywood movie should do
    • example: Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
      satire about Hollywood’s commercial aesthetic
      what do audiences want?
      who can decide what audiences want?
      serious realism vs. escapist movies
      art vs. entertainment
      which is more profitable?
      ST itself is a comedy, not a serious art movie
    • Sullivan: ... I want this picture to be a commentary on modern conditions, stark realism, the problems that confront the average man.
      Lebrand: But with a little sex.
      Sullivan: A little, but I don't want to stress it. I want this picture to be a document. I want to hold a mirror up to life. I want this to be a picture of dignity - a true canvas of the suffering of humanity.
      Lebrand: But with a little sex.
      Sullivan: With a little sex in it.
      Hadrian: How about a nice musical?
      Sullivan: How can you talk about musicals at a time like this? With the world committing suicide, with corpses piling up in the street, with grim death gargling at you from every corner, with people slaughtered like sheep!
      Hadrian: Maybe they'd like to forget that.
    • Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
    • Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
    • globalized Hollywood industry
      financing:
      foreign companies buy studios (Sony-Columbia)
      foreign investors (German 20% in 2000)
      revenues:
      silent cinema traveled easily, but sound brought language barriers
      movies are a huge US export (action!)
      personnel:
      foreign talent often move to Hollywood
    • globalized Hollywood content
      spaghetti westerns: 1960s Italian productions, shot in Spain, using UK and US actors
      remakes: Kurosawa’s 1954 Seven Samurai 七人の侍 adapted as a US western, The Magnificent Seven (1960), which inspired India’s biggest blockbuster, Sholay (1975)
      influences: Spain’s Almodovar specializes in melodramas that refer to Classical Hollywood women’s films
    • discussion topics
      Why do you want to study Hollywood cinema?
      What’s another example of the commercial aesthetic among recent movies?
      How often do you go to the cinema? Rent a movie? Download a movie? Watch a movie on television?
      Do you think Hollywood cinema is still globally dominant?
      Hollywood has remade several Japanese films recently—what do you think of them?