Hollywood and the Culture Elite: How the Movies Became American (Film and Culture Series)

Hollywood and the Culture Elite: How the Movies Became American (Film and Culture Series)

Peter Decherney


As americans flocked to the flicks in the course of the first a part of the 20th century, the guardians of tradition grew fearful approximately their diminishing effect on American artwork, schooling, and American id itself. in the meantime, Hollywood studio heads have been desirous to stabilize their undefined, solidify their position in mainstream society, and extend their new yet tenuous carry on American pop culture.

Peter Decherney explores how those wishes coalesced and ended in the improvement of a symbiotic courting among the movie and America's stewards of excessive tradition. shaped in the course of Hollywood's Golden Age (1915-1960), this not likely partnership finally insured favorite locations in American tradition for either the motion picture and elite cultural associations. It redefined Hollywood as an excellent American undefined; it made videos an artwork shape rather than easily leisure for the hundreds; and it made moviegoing an important civic establishment. for his or her half, museums and universities used motion pictures to keep up their place as vital American institutions.

As the publication delves into the binds among Hollywood bigwigs and diverse cultural leaders, an exciting forged of characters emerges, together with the poet Vachel Lindsay, movie manufacturers Adolph Zukor and Joseph Kennedy, Hollywood flak and censor extraordinaire Will Hays, and philanthropist became baby-kisser Nelson Rockefeller. Decherney considers how Columbia University's movie stories application helped combine Jewish scholars into American tradition whereas additionally professionalizing screenwriting. He examines MoMA's career-savvy movie curator Iris Barry, a British feminist as soon as devoted to stemming the tide of U.S. cultural imperialism, who eventually labored with Hollywood and the U.S. executive to struggle fascism and communism and advertise American values out of the country. different chapters discover Vachel Lindsay's innovative imaginative and prescient of films as reinvigorating the general public sphere via movie libraries and museums; the advertising of motion picture connoisseurship at Harvard and different universities; and the way the inheritor of a railroad wealthy person bankrolled the yankee avant-garde movie move.

Amid ethnic range, the increase of mass leisure, international battle, and the worldwide unfold of yankee tradition, Hollywood and cultural associations labored jointly to insure their very own survival and profitability and to supply a coherent, even though moving, American identity.

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