Polf16

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Y200 Politics and Film, Lecture #16
April 5, 2011

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Polf16

  1. 1. Y200 Politics and Film April 5, 2011
  2. 2. Interesting Films about Hollywood <ul><li>A Star is Born (1954) </li></ul><ul><li>Sunset Boulevard (1950 </li></ul><ul><li>The Day of the Locust (1975) </li></ul><ul><li>The Front (1976) </li></ul><ul><li>The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) </li></ul><ul><li>Guilty by Suspicion (1991) </li></ul>Gloria Swanson
  3. 3. Recent Films about Hollywood <ul><li>Postcards from the Edge (1990) </li></ul><ul><li>Barton Fink (1991) </li></ul><ul><li>Ed Wood (1994) </li></ul><ul><li>Get Shorty (1995) </li></ul><ul><li>Wag the Dog (1997) </li></ul><ul><li>Gods and Monsters (1998) </li></ul><ul><li>Bowfinger (1999) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Important Documentaries about Hollywood <ul><li>Naked Hollywood (1991) </li></ul><ul><li>Visions of Light (1992) </li></ul><ul><li>The First 100 Years: A Celebration of American Movies (1995) </li></ul><ul><li>The Celluloid Closet (1995) </li></ul><ul><li>Special Effects: Anything Can Happen (1996) </li></ul><ul><li>Hollywoodism (1998) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Books about Hollywood <ul><li>Julia Phillips, You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again </li></ul><ul><li>Robert Evans, The Boy Stays in the Picture </li></ul><ul><li>Ian Grey, Sex, Stupidity and Greed </li></ul><ul><li>Lynda Obst, Hello, He Lied </li></ul><ul><li>Peter Bart, The Gross </li></ul><ul><li>Nancy Griffin and Kim Masters, Hit and Run (about Jon Peters and Peter Guber at Sony) </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Power of Hollywood <ul><li>Hollywood can reinforce or undermine prevailing myths and hegemonial ideologies (but it usually reinforces them). </li></ul><ul><li>Hollywood can anoint or suppress new creative voices in society. </li></ul><ul><li>By granting so much power to a private entity, the United States has made its culture highly dependent on market forces. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Political Constraints <ul><li>Legacies of Hollywood History </li></ul><ul><ul><li>past censorship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the Hayes Commission (1930s) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the Production Code </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>McCarthyism and the “Red Scare” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>corporate censorship -- “Citizen Kane” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hollywood ambitions for political influence </li></ul><ul><li>Continuing criticisms of bias in film-making </li></ul>
  8. 8. Culture in the Marketplace <ul><li>Contemporary Hollywood is mostly self-regulated to avoid censorship </li></ul><ul><li>Hollywood provides content that appeals to both the strengths and weaknesses of mass audiences: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>it is anti-elitist, democratic, pro human rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in the quest for viewers, it erodes norms about depicting violence and pornography and it undermines community and civility </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Hope for the Future? <ul><li>Growing importance of independent studios in supplying the demand for new films. </li></ul><ul><li>New film festivals like Sundance that make it easier for independents to hook with big studios for distribution deals. </li></ul><ul><li>Internet-based video and film operations that provide new ways to discover talent. </li></ul>

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