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Hollywood and American Film - Lecture 3

by: asmith28

Hollywood and American Film - Lecture 3 CNPH 21400

Marketplace > Ithaca College > Film > CNPH 21400 > Hollywood and American Film Lecture 3
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About this Document

This is a comprehensive condensation of the notes based on the lecture given by Dr. Thomas Bohn
Hollywood and American
Andrew Utterson
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by asmith28 on Friday February 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CNPH 21400 at Ithaca College taught by Andrew Utterson in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 26 views. For similar materials see Hollywood and American in Film at Ithaca College.


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Date Created: 02/12/16
Photograph by Dustin Snipes Hollywood and American Film Lecture 3 Studios and Comedy — MPPC - Motion Picture Patent Corporation • Monopolized the technology aspect (thus the “patent” aspect) • Forced directors North (such as to Ithaca) & West (such as to Hollywood) i.e - The Wharton Brothers i.e - Laemmle This Forged the studios: • Studios (or the independents that created them) did 6 things the MPPC (and other trusts) did not 1. Made Features (NOT sold by the foot) 2. Established the Star System • Florence Lawrence The studios established these star’s • Mary Pickford identities and were able to sell more • Charlie Chaplin because of it • Theda “The Vamp” Bara 3. Formation of United Artists • First establishment of a group of artists able to form their own studio - Pickford - Fairbanks - Chaplin - Griffith 4. Moved West • They were able to escape persecution from the MPPC and other trusts 5. Motion Picture Palaces were built you had to be making a lot of money in • order to build these giant theaters - The Strand (1913, 18 years after the invention of film) - The Realto (1916, 21 years after the invention of film) - The Roxy (1926, 31 years after the invention of film) - “The Cathedral of film houses” Shift in the audiences perspective on film 6. • Everything listed above comes together to shift the perspective of “Novelty gag” to “industrial powerhouse” Impact of World War One • European film industry is essentially gone during this period and it will take time to be reestablished • 1918- 80% of European films being exhibited were American 1925 - 95% of all European films being exhibited were American • • The Studios thus became a world power on a two fold system: 1.) Export - Dominated exhibition in Europe 2.) Import - Brought stars in from Europe (such as F.W. Murnau) The Climate of the 1920’s 2 Competing ideologies at play: • 1. Liberation/Freedom • Women could vote • People of color had more power than int he 19th c. • Lawlessness from Prohibition 2. Censorship • Prohibition • Religious attitudes shift (Catholics made up the majority of filmic audiences) - The Response by Hollywood: 1. Return to moral values • Pickford / Fairbanks • Gish • Griffith (Way Down East) 2. Liberate freedoms • Theda Bara • Valentino • Clara Boe • DeMille (The Cheat) A series of scandals in and amongst hollywood lead to a lot of local censorship of films. This was particularly hard on directors as they did not know where their films could/could not be shown. MPPDA - Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America • Established by Will Hayes • Hayes Code: • Series of “Do’s” and “don’t’s” Breene Commission (post-code) • • Very strict Studios begin to control…well everything: 1. Moral This is the beginning of Vertical 2. Financial Integration - or - the establishment of 3. Creative “The Studio System” Irving “Boy Wonder” Thalberg - Propelled “Studio System • Producer for MGM Managed Stars • • Read scripts • made schedule • “An economic engine fueled by personality” - Bohn The Golden Age - 1920-1930 • Coined for it’s striking contrast of cinematic style in comedy • Originally: Comedy based on action & motion • 3 revolutionaries: Charlie Chaplin (Everyman) 1. • Advances comedic narrative style • characters evolve through narrative and Gags aren’t the plots focus 2. Buster Keaton (Pessimist) • Gag focused • Did not advance narrative style 3. Hardly Lloyd (optimist) • Iconic for his comedic modernity • although lacked cohesive narrative structure (arguably had a better narrative than Keaton though)


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