On Hollywood

The Place, The Industry

On Hollywood

Why is the U.S. motion picture industry concentrated in Hollywood and why does it remain there in the age of globalization? Allen Scott uses the tools of economic geography to explore these questions and to provide a number of highly original answers. The conceptual roots of his analysis go back to Alfred Marshall's theory of industrial districts and pick up on modern ideas about business clusters as sites of efficient and innovative production. On Hollywood builds on this work by adding major new empirical elements. By examining the history of motion-picture production from the early twentieth century to the present through this analytic lens, Scott is able to show why the industry (which was initially focused on New York) had shifted the majority of its production to Southern California by 1919. He also addresses in detail the bases of Hollywood's long-standing creative energies and competitive advantages. At the same time, the book explores the steady globalization of Hollywood's market reach as well as the cultural and political dilemmas posed by this phenomenon. On Hollywood will appeal not only to general readers with an interest in the motion-picture industry, but also to economic geographers, business professionals, regional development practitioners, and cultural theorists as well.

The Asian Influence on Hollywood Action Films

The Asian Influence on Hollywood Action Films

Filmmakers of the Pacific Rim have been delivering punches and flying kicks to the Hollywood movie industry for years. This book explores the ways in which the storytelling and cinematic techniques of Asian popular culture have migrated from grainy, low-budget martial arts movies to box-office blockbusters such as The Magnificent Seven, Star Wars, The Matrix and Transformers. While special effects gained prominence, the raw and gritty power of live combat emerged as an audience favorite, spawning Asian stars Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan and martial arts–trained stars Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal. As well as capturing the sheer onscreen adrenaline rush that characterizes the films discussed, this work explores the impact of violent cinematic entertainment and why it is often misunderstood. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

From Hobbits to Hollywood

Essays on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings

From Hobbits to Hollywood

Peter Jackson's film version of The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) is the grandest achievement of 21st century cinema so far. But it is also linked to topical and social concerns including war, terrorism, and cultural imperialism. Its style, symbols, narrative, and structure seem always already linked to politics, cultural definition, problems of cinematic style, and the elemenal mythologies that most profoundly capture our imaginations.From Hobbits to Hollywood: Essays on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings treats Jackson's trilogy as having two conditions of existence: an aesthetic and a political. Like other cultural artefacts, it leads a double life asobjet d'art and public statement about the world, so that nothing in it is ever just cinematically beautiful or tasteful, and nothing is ever just a message or an opinion.Written by leading scholars in the study of cinema and cultureFrom Hobbits to Hollywood gives Jackson's trilogy the fullest scholarly interrogation to date. Ranging from interpretations ofThe Lord of the Rings' ideological and philosophical implications, through discussions of its changing fandoms and its incorporation into the Hollywood industry of stars, technology, genre, and merchandising, to considerations of CGI effects, acting, architecture and style, the essays contained here open a new vista of criticism and light, for ardent fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, followers of Jackson, and all those who yearn for a deeper appreciation of cinema and its relation to culture.

Film Flam

Essays on Hollywood

Film Flam

A noted screenwriter himself, Pulitzer Prize-winner Larry McMurtry knows his Hollywood. In Film Flam, he takes a funny, original, and penetrating look at the movie industry and gives us the truth about the moguls, fads, flops, and box-office hits. With successful movies and television miniseries made from several of his novels -- Terms of Endearment, The Last Picture Show, Lonesome Dove, and Hud -- McMurtry writes with an outsider's irony of the industry and an insider's experience. In these essays he illuminates the plight of the screenwriter, cuts a clean, often hilarious path through the excesses of film reviewing, and takes on some of the worst trends in the industry: the decline of the Western, the disappearance of love in the movies, and the quality of the stars themselves. From his recollections of the day Hollywood entered McMurtry's own life as he ate meat loaf in Fort Worth to the pleasures he found in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Film Flam is one of the best books ever written about Hollywood.

Hollywood

Mecca of the Movies

Hollywood

Blaise Cendrars, one of twentieth-century France's most gifted men of letters, came to Hollywood in 1936 for the newspaper Paris-Soir. Already a well-known poet, Cendrars was a celebrity journalist whose perceptive dispatches from the American dream factory captivated millions. These articles were later published as Hollywood: Mecca of the Movies, which has since appeared in many languages. Remarkably, this is its first translation into English. Hollywood in 1936 was crowded with stars, moguls, directors, scouts, and script girls. Though no stranger to filmmaking (he had worked with director Abel Gance), Cendrars was spurned by the industry greats with whom he sought to hobnob. His response was to invent a wildly funny Hollywood of his own, embellishing his adventures and mixing them with black humor, star anecdotes, and wry social commentary. Part diary, part tall tale, this book records Cendrars's experiences on Hollywood's streets and at its studios and hottest clubs. His impressions of the town's drifters, star-crazed sailors, and undiscovered talent are recounted in a personal, conversational style that anticipates the "new journalism" of writers such as Tom Wolfe. Perfectly complemented by his friend Jean Guérin's witty drawings, and following the tradition of European travel writing, Cendrars's "little book about Hollywood" offers an astute, entertaining look at 1930s America as reflected in its unique movie mecca.

Selling Shakespeare to Hollywood

The Marketing of Filmed Shakespeare Adaptations from 1989 Into the New Millennium

Selling Shakespeare to Hollywood

Breaking from traditional critiques of Shakespeare films based on either the aesthetics of the films or on a comparison between the film and source text, this new analysis of recent Shakespeare movies seeks to explain what makes such films commercial successes. Focusing particularly on three sub-genres—the teen Shakespeare film, the hybrid Shakespeare film, and the “faithful” adaptation—the author argues that the commercial success of the most popular films stems from blurring the line between the “traditional Shakespeare” and a more modern interpretation of the texts.

The Hidden Art of Hollywood: In Defense of the Studio Era Film

In Defense of the Studio Era Film

The Hidden Art of Hollywood: In Defense of the Studio Era Film

Although we tend to accord our highest praise to films with strong messages, Hollywood is resolutely unserious in its goals, and closer perhaps to music than to literature in this regard. Thus, in order to appreciate Hollywood's classic movies, we have to understand them as the result of a style of filmmaking that justifies itself through the grace and beauty of its form. This beauty, when seen, challenges our notion of film as the poorer cousin of the high arts, or as worthwhile only when it serves a social purpose. The Hidden Art of Hollywood draws from a huge fund of recorded interviews with the directors, writers, cinematographers, set designers, producers, and actors who were a part of the studio process, in order to give the filmmakers themselves the chance to explain a very elusive phenomenon: the glancing beauty of the Hollywood film. While the greatness of the classic Hollywood film is, for many of us, settled business, there are also a great number who have difficulty understanding why these films—which can often seem dated and unrealistic compared to modern fare—are taken as seriously as they are. Although we tend to accord our highest praise to films with strong and often didactic messages, Hollywood is resolutely unserious in its goals, and closer perhaps to music than to literature in this regard. Thus, in order to appreciate classic American movies, we have to understand them as the result of a style of filmmaking that justifies itself not through ideas or social relevance, but through the grace and beauty of its form. The beauty of the Hollywood film challenges our notion of film as the poorer cousin of the high arts, or as worthwhile only when it serves a social purpose. In his effort to answer the many questions that classic American cinema suggests, author John Fawell considers previous criticism of Hollywood, but also draws from a huge fund of recorded interviews with the directors, writers, cinematographers, set designers, producers, and actors who were a part of the studio process, in order to give the filmmakers themselves the chance to explain a very elusive phenomenon: the glancing beauty of the Hollywood film. The films of certain great auteurs, including Charlie Chaplin, Ernst Lubitsch, Preston Sturges, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, John Ford, and Orson Welles, receive particular attention here, but this book is organized by ideas rather than films or artists, and it draws from a wide array of Hollywood films, both successes and failures, to make its points.

Manhood in Hollywood from Bush to Bush

Manhood in Hollywood from Bush to Bush

A struggle between narcissistic and masochistic modes of manhood defined Hollywood masculinity in the period between the presidencies of George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. David Greven's contention is that a profound shift in representation occurred during the early 1990s when Hollywood was transformed by an explosion of films that foregrounded non-normative gendered identity and sexualities. In the years that have followed, popular cinema has either emulated or evaded the representational strategies of this era, especially in terms of gender and sexuality. One major focus of this study is that, in a great deal of the criticism in both the fields of film theory and queer theory, masochism has been positively cast as a form of male sexuality that resists the structures of normative power, while narcissism has been negatively cast as either a regressive sexuality or the bastion of white male privilege. Greven argues that narcissism is a potentially radical mode of male sexuality that can defy normative codes and categories of gender, whereas masochism, far from being radical, has emerged as the default mode of a traditional normative masculinity. This study combines approaches from a variety of disciplines—psychoanalysis, queer theory, American studies, men's studies, and film theory—as it offers fresh readings of several important films of the past twenty years, including Casualties of War, The Silence of the Lambs, Fight Club, The Passion of the Christ, Auto Focus, and Brokeback Mountain.

The First Lady of Hollywood

A Biography of Louella Parsons

The First Lady of Hollywood

A biography of Louella Parsons, America's premiere movie gossip columnist from 1915 to 1960, chronicles her reign over Hollywood during the studio era, her lifelong alliance with William Randolph Hearst, and her complex and turbulent relationships.

A Boy Scout in Hollywood

A Boy Scout in Hollywood

"This is Hollywood, man. You can do anything!" In Brian J. Hayes' satiric novel of low-budget Hollywood, this is the mantra that Jeffrey Morris, a naïve production assistant newly arrived from Ohio, quickly learns from the sleazy producer who takes him under his dubious wing. To Jeff's own surprise, he finds himself being seduced by the temptations that surround him; eventually, he has to decide at what price is he willing to sell himself in order to make the movies of his dreams.