Todd Berliner's Hollywood Aesthetic is a major contribution to the study of Hollywood movies. While many previous critics—notably, auteur critics—have defended the artistry of selected subsets of Hollywood films, Berliner makes a compelling case
Hollywood makes the most widely successful pleasure-giving artworks the world has ever known. The American film industry operates under the assumption that pleasurable aesthetic experiences, among huge populations, translate into box office
A Reply to Critics
What a privilege to have such an accomplished and intellectually diverse group of scholars respond to my book. I want to organize my reply around that intellectual diversity since each respondent has offered a set of criticisms of Hollywood
Hollywood Defines the American Boy, 1930–1934
This essay examines the portrayals of boys in American film, especially Jackie Cooper, during the “pre-code” period of Hollywood sound films, roughly 1930-1934. With the Great Depression cutting movie attendance, studios explored social taboos to entice audiences. As a result, childhood concerns, including issues of adoption, strained parental (especially father-son) relationships, or failing before one’s peers, were themes that threatened boys’ identities.
James E. Cutting, Kaitlin L. Brunick, and Jordan E. Delong
Cinematic tradition suggests that Hollywood films, like plays, are divided into acts. Thompson (1999) streamlined the conception of this largescale film structure by suggesting that most films are composed of four acts of generally equal length—the setup, the complicating action, the development, and the climax (often including an epilog). These acts are based on the structure of the narrative, and would not necessarily have a physical manifestation in shots and transitions. Nonetheless, exploring a sample of 150 Hollywood style films from 1935 to 2005, this article demonstrates that acts shape shot lengths and transitions. Dividing films into quarters, we found that shots are longer at quarter boundaries and generally shorter near the middle of each quarter. Moreover, aside from the beginnings and ends of films, the article shows that fades, dissolves, and other non-cut transitions are more common in the third and less common in the fourth quarters of films.
Austro-German Filmmaker, Bestselling Author, and Journalist Colin Ross Discovers Australia
that her image of the United States was based upon the “sugary adolescent concept of American life” found in the Hollywood films of her youth. Evenings spent in Melbourne’s “picture palaces” had taught her that the nation was composed of “dumb
Masculinity, Maturity, and the Movies in the 1920s
Peter W. Lee
In 1927, child actor Jackie Coogan was given a makeover. Although not even in his adolescence, Hollywood’s boy king needed a new image lest he face the career-ending label of a has-been. Barely of grammar school age in 1921 when he shot to stardom
Hollywood's Hegemonic Reimagining of Counterculture
commercial cliché. Slashers— Friday the 13th , Halloween , Texas Chainsaw Massacre , etc.—have been a Hollywood mainstay for almost four decades and, despite tedium, continue to attract new viewership in their many reincarnations and remakes. However, the
Book Review of Todd Berliner, Hollywood Incoherent: Narration in Seventies Cinema (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)
Negotiating the Survival of Boys in 1990s Cinema
On the cinema screen, boyhood has often been depicted as a period of freedom, rebellion, and energy, a pre-cursor to manhood in which young boys are able to negotiate their identity and place within the world. In 1990s Hollywood, however, a wave of films turn to depicting the death of young boys on screen. As a result, boyhood becomes a site of vulnerability and weakness. This article seeks to examine the implications of these deaths, framing them within the context of a wider negotiation of masculinity and fatherhood politics. In addition, it questions the extent to which the deaths of these young boys can be read queerly, subverting the drive towards the future inherent in the figure of the child.