Between 1946 and 1964 seventy-five million babies were born, dwarfing the generations that preceded and succeeded them. At each stage of its life-cycle, the baby boom's great size has dictated the terms of national policy and public debate. While aspects of this history are well-documented, the relationship between the baby boom and Hollywood has never been explored. And yet, for almost 40 years, baby boomers made up the majority of Hollywood's audience, and since the 1970s, boomers have dominated movie production. Hollywood and the Baby Boom weaves together interviews with leading filmmakers, archival research and the memories of hundreds of ordinary filmgoers to tell the full story of Hollywood's relationship with the boomers for the first time. The authors demonstrate the profound influence of the boomers on the ways that movies were made, seen and understood since the 1950s. The result is a compelling new account that draws upon an unprecedented range of sources, and offers new insights into the history of American movies.
Between 1965 and 1985, the Western world and the United States in particular experienced a staggering amount of social and economic change. In Birth Quake, Diane J. Macunovich argues that the common thread underlying all these changes was the post-World War II baby boom—in particular, the passage of the baby boomers into young adulthood. Macunovich focuses on the pervasive effects of changes in "relative cohort size," the ratio of young to middle-aged adults, as masses of young people tried to achieve the standard of living to which they had become accustomed in their parents' homes despite dramatic reductions in their earning potential relative to that of their parents. Macunovich presents the results of detailed empirical analyses that illustrate how varied and important cohort effects can be on a wide range of economic indicators, social factors, and even on more tumultuous events including the stock market crash of 1929, the "oil shock" of 1973, and the "Asian flu" of the 1990s. Birth Quake demonstrates that no discussion of business or economic trends can afford to ignore the effects of population.
The Historical Epic in Contemporary Hollywood seeks to document and explain a recent revival of historical epic films in Hollywood. Rather than relying on abstract theoretical approaches, James Russell employs empirical historical techniques to explore how industrial conditions, and the agendas of key directors, writers and producers, led to the increased production of historical epics such as Dances With Wolves (1990), Titanic (1997), Gladiator (2000) and The Passion of the Christ (2004). The book begins by exploring the careers of filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Mel Gibson during the 1990s. Russell looks in detail at their agendas, the production of their films, and at the content of the films themselves. As the book progresses, he goes on to address the activities of the major studios, in terms of production and marketing, and looks at changing industrial conditions, such as the emergence of DVD. Finally, Russell examines social trends, particularly increasing levels of religious commitment and political division in America. The Historical Epic in Contemporary Hollywood, which has been thoroughly researched in archival collections in Los Angeles and New York, deliberately focuses on the activities of individuals working in the Hollywood film industry - the result is an original and interesting account of the ways that contemporary epic films get made, and speak to modern audiences. Ultimately, the book argues that historical epics reappeared in the 1990s partly as a result of changing industrial conditions, but mainly because a generation of filmmakers, all born during the so-called 'baby boom,' began to seek out meaningful ways of passing on historical knowledge to younger generations as they grew older. The epics released in the 1950s and 1960s, when Spielberg, Cameron, et al, were children constitute a key reference point in this process of renewal and reinvention in Hollywood.
Beyond the Stars contains 20 essays on stock characters, and character conventions which neatly divide into four categories: ethnic and racial stereotyping; social classis; professions; and the idiosyncratic type. Stock figures in American movies are part of our cultural heritage; they deserve an honored place in the literature of film and popular culture.
No longer is pregnancy a repulsive or shameful condition in Hollywood films, but an attractive attribute, often enhancing the romantic or comedic storyline of a female character. Kelly Oliver investigates this curious shift and its reflection of changing attitudes toward women's roles in reproduction and the family. Not all representations signify progress. Oliver finds that in many pregnancy films, our anxieties over modern reproductive practices and technologies are made manifest, and in some cases perpetuate conventions curtailing women's freedom. Reading such films as Where the Heart Is (2000), Riding in Cars with Boys (2001), Palindromes (2004), Saved! (2004), Quinceañera (2006), Children of Men (2006), Knocked Up (2007), Juno (2007), Baby Mama (2008), Away We Go (2009), Precious (2009), The Back-up Plan (2010), Due Date (2010), and Twilight: Breaking Dawn (2011), Oliver investigates pregnancy as a vehicle for romance, a political issue of "choice," a representation of the hosting of "others," a prism for fears of miscegenation, and a screen for modern technological anxieties.
The term 'cult film star' has been employed in popular journalistic writing for the last 25 years, but what makes cult stars distinct from other film stars has rarely been addressed. This collection explores the processes through which film stars/actors become associated with the cult label, from Bill Murray to Ruth Gordon and Ingrid Pitt.
Presents an overview of American history and society during the postwar "baby boom" period, covering population, education, economics, culture, politics, the Cold War, television, and technology.
The "Old Hollywood" of studios, stars, and house directors began to break up in the 1960s. Newly independent directors freed from budgetary and aesthetic limitations imposed by studio moguls were the "New Hollywood." Directors could develop their own styles, hire whom they wanted, and make movies that would dazzle jaded audiences. Hollywood would never be the same ... What happened? The author looks at the productions of the "New Hollywood" to answer that question. Scene by scene analyses of some of the 70s most significant films (i. e., Apocalypse Now, Taxi Driver, M. A. S. H., Annie Hall, and American Graffiti) assess both the successes and failures of the New Hollywood.
Hyperreality is an Alice-in-Wonderland dimension where copies have no originals, simulation is more real than reality, and living dreams undermine the barriers between imagination and objective experience. The most prominent philosopher of the hyperreal, Jean Baudrillard, formulated his concept of hyperreality throughout the 1980s, but it was not until the 1990s that the end of the Cold War, along with the proliferation of new reality-bending technologies, made hyperreality seem to come true. In the “lost decade” between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11, the nature of reality itself became a source of uncertainty, a psychic condition that has been recognizably recorded by that seismograph of American consciousness, Hollywood cinema. The auteur cinema of the 1970s aimed for gritty realism, and the most prominent feature of Reagan-era cinema was its fantastic unrealism. Clinton-era cinema, however, is characterized by a prevailing mood of hyperrealism, communicated in various ways by such benchmark films as JFK, Pulp Fiction, and The Matrix. The hyperreal cinema of the 1990s conceives of the movie screen as neither a window on a preexisting social reality (realism), nor as a wormhole into a fantastic dream-dimension (escapism), but as an arena in which images and reality exchange masks, blend into one another, and challenge the philosophical premises which differentiate them from one another. Cinema of Simulation: Hyperreal Hollywood in the Long 1990s provides a guided tour through the anxieties and fantasies, reciprocally social and cinematic, which characterize the surreal territory of the hyperreal.
The Classical Hollywood Reader brings together essential readings to provide a history of Hollywood from the 1910s to the mid 1960s. Following on from a Prologue that discusses the aesthetic characteristics of Classical Hollywood films, Part 1 covers the period between the 1910s and the mid-to-late 1920s. It deals with the advent of feature-length films in the US and the growing national and international dominance of the companies responsible for their production, distribution and exhibition. In doing so, it also deals with film making practices, aspects of style, the changing roles played by women in an increasingly business-oriented environment, and the different audiences in the US for which Hollywood sought to cater. Part 2 covers the period between the coming of sound in the mid 1920s and the beginnings of the demise of the `studio system` in late 1940s. In doing so it deals with the impact of sound on films and film production in the US and Europe, the subsequent impact of the Depression and World War II on the industry and its audiences, the growth of unions, and the roles played by production managers and film stars at the height of the studio era. Part 3 deals with aspects of style, censorship, technology, and film production. It includes articles on the Production Code, music and sound, cinematography, and the often neglected topic of animation. Part 4 covers the period between 1946 and 1966. It deals with the demise of the studio system and the advent of independent production. In an era of demographic and social change, it looks at the growth of drive-in theatres, the impact of television, the advent of new technologies, the increasing importance of international markets, the Hollywood blacklist, the rise in art house imports and in overseas production, and the eventual demise of the Production Code. Designed especially for courses on Hollywood Cinema, the Reader includes a number of newly researched and written chapters and a series of introductions to each of its parts. It concludes with an epilogue, a list of resources for further research, and an extensive bibliography.
Saturday Night Live, Hollywood Comedy, and American Culture sheds new light on the ways in which Saturday Night Live s confrontational, boundary-pushing approach spilled over into film production, contributing to some of the biggest hits in Hollywood history, such as National Lampoon s Animal House, Ghostbusters, and Beverly Hills Cop. Jim Whalley also considers how SNL has adapted to meet the needs of subsequent generations, launching the film careers of Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell and others in the process. Supported by extensive archival research, some of Hollywood s most popular comedians are placed into the contexts of film and television comic traditions and social and cultural trends in American life.
At the age of five, Shirley Temple became the world’s most famous and acclaimed child—the most talented, beautiful child performer ever to capture the public’s imagination. By the time she was ten, she had either met or had received words of admiration from almost everyone of distinction. Nine-tenths of the world could recognize her on sight. She single-handedly cheered an entire nation caught in the firm grip of a depression. Her films saved a major studio from bankruptcy. She earned more than the President of the United States and lived in her own junior-sized San Simeon. As lionized, idolized and protected as royalty, Shirley Temple was the one and only American Princess. Shirley Temple is brought into focus in this definitive, intimate portrait of her as a child and as the woman that child became: a woman forced to live her entire life in the shadow of her own past glory. We follow the tumultuous events and disappointments that marked Shirley Temple’s meteoric rise to unprecedented fame as a child star, her fall as an adolescent who had outgrown her appeal, and her surprising ascent into a word figure as ambassador to the United Nations, Chief of Protocol for the United States, and Ambassador to Ghana; her “princess in the tower” upbringing that isolated her from friends and real child’s play and from studio co-workers as well; her obsessive relationship with her mother, Gertrude, who lived her life through her famous daughter; her power over one of Hollywood’s greatest despots—Darryl Zanuck; her fairy-tale marriage to John Agar that became a nightmare filled with flaunted infidelities and alcoholism; her romance with Charles Black and her transformation from film start to society matron, television tycoon, to American diplomat; her courageous battle with cancer; and her ever-present realization that “little Shirley Temple’s” greatness would always exceed that of the grown woman. Shirley Temple’s most notable diplomatic achievement was her appointment by President H.W. Bush as the first and only female ambassador to Czechoslovakia. She was present during the Velvet Revolution, which brought about the end of Communism in the country, and she played a critical role in hastening the end of the Communist regime by openly sympathizing with anti-Communist dissidents and later establishing formal diplomatic relations with the newly elected government led by Václav Havel. She took the unusual step of personally accompanying Havel on his first official visit to Washington, riding along on the same plane. Anne Edwards has had the cooperation of those who have been closest to Shirley Temple in all stages of her unique life. She has written a book that does not spare the truth, and is as glittering an expose of Hollywood and its power brokers as any bestselling novel of that genre. Shirley Temple: American Princess is a moving and inspirational story that gives great insight into the privileged corridors of fame and glory where only the legendary figures of our times have walked.
Latinos have been part of the Hollywood film industry for more than 100 years, yet beyond the remarkable success of a few, their visibility and clout have generally not reflected their significance in American society. Worse, the Latino image has suffered from widespread stereotyping in film, and performers face unjustified constraints in the kinds of roles available to them. Decade by decade from 1960 onward, this book analyzes important films made by or about Latinos, details the careers of Latino performers and filmmakers of the time, and analyzes how film portrayals of Latino characters and subjects connect with political and social trends of each decade. It discusses the role of gender, social class, and ethnicity in film portrayals and provides an overview of the diverse and dynamic Latino community in the United States, while celebrating a substantial and enduring contribution to Hollywood film history.
This monograph features the work of Douglas Bourgeois, a figurative artist whose meticulously detailed paintings and sculptural assemblages present icons of popular culture as well as ordinary people from Louisiana's diverse populations. Bourgeois' work often portrays religious imagery and environmental concerns and the political issues expressed in the rock and roll and movies he loves. He fuses private fantasy with a kind a social document, exploring everything from racial tensions to violence, both domestic and public. The artist, like the figures he depicts, searches for magic or spiritual qualities in everyday life. Ultimately, he and his art seek redemption. 65 colour & 21 b/w illustrations
In the latest from the author of Always the Bridesmaid, Cate and Ethan are happily married at last-but it looks like the honeymoon is over. Cate Padgett is no longer a permanent bridesmaid. Having found a love of her own with Ethan, she's enjoying newlywed bliss. Life is so much calmer now that the wedding mayhem has subsided. Just one problem: as the last of their friends to marry, Cate and Ethan are now the only ones who don't have a kid, aren't expecting a kid, and aren't even trying. There's not even a bump on the horizon. They were just cozying up to being a twosome, and now there's pressure to make it three. Those carefree bridesmaid days are starting to look good.
The cinema has been the pre-eminent popular art form of the 20th century. In Cinemas of the World, James Chapman examines the relationship between film and society in the modern world: film as entertainment medium, film as a reflection of national cultures and preoccupations, film as an instrument of propaganda. He also explores two interrelated issues that have recurred throughout the history of cinema: the economic and cultural hegemony of Hollywood on the one hand, and, on the other, the attempts of film-makers elsewhere to establish indigenous national cinemas drawing on their own cultures and societies. Chapman examines the rise to dominance of Hollywood cinema in the silent and early sound periods. He discusses the characteristic themes of American movies from the Depression to the end of the Cold War especially those found in the western and film noir – genres that are often used as vehicles for exploring issues central to us society and politics. He looks at national cinemas in various European countries in the period between the end of the First World War and the end of the Second, which all exhibit the formal and aesthetic properties of modernism. The emergence of the so-called "new cinemas" of Europe and the wider world since 1960 are also explored. "Chapman is a tough-thinking, original writer . . . an engaging, excellent piece of work."—David Lancaster, Film and History
Essays on post-Vietnam baby boomers by Richard Brookhiser, Walter Olson, George Sim Johnston, Susan Vigilante, Maggie Gallagher, Richard Vigilante, Roger Kimball, Donna Rifkind, Andrew Ferguson, Bruce Bawer, John Podhoretz, Dana Mack, Lisa Schiffren, David Brooks, Terry Teachout.