HC1. What is Hollywood?

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HC1. What is Hollywood?

  1. 1. Introduction to Hollywood CinemaWhat is Hollywood?<br />Prof. Julia Leyda<br />September 8, 2010<br />
  2. 2. quiz<br /> What is Hollywood? Write a description of what you think Hollywood means. <br />(10 minutes)<br />
  3. 3. meanings of “Hollywood”<br />literal place on the map, in Los Angeles, CA (although not all studios are in that area)<br />name of mainstream film industry in the US (although not all US-owned)<br />also “Classical Hollywood” can refer to:<br />time period, approx. 1930s-60s<br />dominant style of movies from that time<br />
  4. 4. what is Hollywood cinema?<br />the institution of “Hollywood” as…<br />aesthetic: movie as a work of art<br />formal properties can be interpreted, categorized by genre<br />cultural: represents and influences its context<br />social, political aspects; “American society just as it wanted to see itself” (Bazin)<br />cultural constraints: Production Code (1930-68) and heteronormative happy endings<br />commercial: profit-driven global industry<br />production<br />distribution<br />reception<br />
  5. 5. how do we study Hollywood cinema?<br />… and its products: the movies <br />film history<br />star system<br />genres, auteurs<br />technological advances<br />film analysis<br />form<br />content<br />interpretation<br />
  6. 6. timeline of Hollywood eras<br />1890s earliest movie cameras and projectors<br />1910s-20s height of silent cinema<br />1930s-60s Golden Age, Studio Era, or Classical Hollywood<br />late 60s-80s New Hollywood, Post-Classical or Hollywood Renaissance; franchise movies<br />1980s-90s video; independents<br />
  7. 7. how should we categorize cinema?<br />similar to literature:<br />open to interpretation of symbols, story, character<br />as an art form, can be studied as other arts are<br />often movies are based on literary works<br />different in important ways:<br />literature isn’t a major global industry<br />novels aren’t created by a team of producers, writers, directors, editors, cinematographers, etc.<br />reading is a text-only, individually paced, solitary experience<br />
  8. 8. Hollywood’s “commercial aesthetic”<br />turning our viewing pleasure into a product we can buy<br />movies are made with the primary motive of selling as many tickets as possible<br />appeal to widest possible audience<br />repeat viewings<br />awards (Oscars) increase box office success<br />
  9. 9.
  10. 10. example: Titanic (1997)<br />combines genres popular with both men and women: love story plus action-adventure<br />combines narrative (story and history) with spectacle (action and effects)<br />…and in the proper order (quiet first half, thrilling action later)<br />repeat viewings by teen fans <br />11 Oscars show industry approval: it does well what a Hollywood movie should do<br />
  11. 11. example: Sullivan’s Travels (1941)<br />satire about Hollywood’s commercial aesthetic<br />what do audiences want?<br />who can decide what audiences want?<br />serious realism vs. escapist movies<br />art vs. entertainment<br />which is more profitable?<br />ST itself is a comedy, not a serious art movie<br />
  12. 12. Sullivan: ... I want this picture to be a commentary on modern conditions, stark realism, the problems that confront the average man.<br />Lebrand: But with a little sex.<br />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.<br />Lebrand: But with a little sex.<br />Sullivan: With a little sex in it.<br />Hadrian: How about a nice musical?<br />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!<br />Hadrian: Maybe they'd like to forget that.<br />
  13. 13. Sullivan’s Travels (1941)<br />
  14. 14. Sullivan’s Travels (1941)<br />
  15. 15. globalized Hollywood industry<br />financing:<br />foreign companies buy studios (Sony-Columbia)<br />foreign investors (German 20% in 2000)<br />revenues: <br />silent cinema traveled easily, but sound brought language barriers<br />movies are a huge US export (action!)<br />personnel:<br />foreign talent often move to Hollywood<br />
  16. 16. globalized Hollywood content <br />spaghetti westerns: 1960s Italian productions, shot in Spain, using UK and US actors<br />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)<br />influences: Spain’s Almodovar specializes in melodramas that refer to Classical Hollywood women’s films<br />
  17. 17. discussion topics<br />Why do you want to study Hollywood cinema?<br />What’s another example of the commercial aesthetic among recent movies?<br />How often do you go to the cinema? Rent a movie? Download a movie? Watch a movie on television?<br />Do you think Hollywood cinema is still globally dominant?<br />Hollywood has remade several Japanese films recently—what do you think of them?<br />

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