History of Hollywood
This is a seminar on the history of Hollywood. It will focus on politics, culture, and the entertainment industry and how they translate into the art of film. We will learn about techniques for writing about and analyzing films. And we will examine many important Hollywood movies in context. 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, the Civil Rights Movement, 9/11)? And how have new technologies such as synchronized sound, color cinematography, television, home video, computer graphics, and other digital technologies changed Hollywood? We will look closely at representative studios (Paramount, Disney, and others), representative filmmakers (Mary Pickford, Frank Capra, George Lucas, and Spike Lee among many others), and we will examine the impact of industrial changes on the screen.