Communication and Culture | Hollywood I
C290 | 1140 | Various

This course is the first part of a two semester historical survey that
covers the role of Hollywood in the history of modern American
culture.   Hollywood is not only the site of motion picture
production, but also a major intersection where the popular
media--movies, radio, television, music, publishing, etc.--converge
and influence one another.   This first semester course will cover the
period from the origins of commercial filmmaking to the middle of the
twentieth century.   The primary focus will be the development of the
Hollywood studio system and the establishment of a classical style of
Hollywood filmmaking.   Along the way, this course will also look at
several key issues: movie exhibition, from nickelodeons to movie
palaces, and the studios' strategies for supplying these theaters with
movies; the relationship between Hollywood and Wall Street; the
organization of the production process; the development of stars,
genres, and "Hollywood" film style; the relationship between movies
and other media industries, such as the radio and recording
industries; technological innovations; censorship; the changing
composition of movie audiences, etc.   We will view feature-length
movies and other films produced by the studios in order to understand
how American movies came to function as both an art and a business.
Grades will be based on a combination of short papers and essay exams.