MLA Proseminar: The Hollywood Film Industry
This is a course in the history of Hollywood. It seeks to unravel Hollywood’s complex workings and explain how the business and politics of the film industry translate into the art of film. We will trace the American film industry from Edison to the internet, asking questions such as: What is the relationship between Hollywood and independent film? How has the global spread of Hollywood since the 1920s changed the film industry? How has Hollywood responded to crises in American politics (e.g., world wars, the cold war, terrorism)? And how have new technologies such as synchronized sound and color cinematography, television and the VCR, and new digital technologies changed film and the film industry? We will look closely at representative studios (Paramount, Disney, and others), representative filmmakers (Mary Pickford, Frank Capra, and George Lucas, among many, many others), and we will examine the impact of industrial changes on the screen through close film analysis and weekly screenings.