×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Hollywood Highbrow: From Entertainment to Art
     

Hollywood Highbrow: From Entertainment to Art

by Shyon Baumann
 

See All Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0691125279

ISBN-13: 9780691125275

Pub. Date: 09/24/2007

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Today's moviegoers and critics generally consider some Hollywood products—even some blockbusters—to be legitimate works of art. But during the first half century of motion pictures very few Americans would have thought to call an American movie "art." Up through the 1950s, American movies were regarded as a form of popular, even lower-class, entertainment

Overview

Today's moviegoers and critics generally consider some Hollywood products—even some blockbusters—to be legitimate works of art. But during the first half century of motion pictures very few Americans would have thought to call an American movie "art." Up through the 1950s, American movies were regarded as a form of popular, even lower-class, entertainment. By the 1960s and 1970s, however, viewers were regularly judging Hollywood films by artistic criteria previously applied only to high art forms. In Hollywood Highbrow, Shyon Baumann for the first time tells how social and cultural forces radically changed the public's perceptions of American movies just as those forces were radically changing the movies themselves.

The development in the United States of an appreciation of film as an art was, Baumann shows, the product of large changes in Hollywood and American society as a whole. With the postwar rise of television, American movie audiences shrank dramatically and Hollywood responded by appealing to richer and more educated viewers. Around the same time, European ideas about the director as artist, an easing of censorship, and the development of art-house cinemas, film festivals, and the academic field of film studies encouraged the idea that some American movies—and not just European ones—deserved to be considered art.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691125275
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
09/24/2007
Series:
Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
242
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures ix
List of Tables xi
Acknowledgments xiii

CHAPTER 1: Introduction: Drawing the Boundaries of Art 1
The Central Argument 3
How Do We Know What Art Is? 4
American Film History 7
The Social Construction of Art 12
The Creation of Artistic Status: Opportunity, Institutions, and Ideology 14
Outline of the Chapters 18

CHAPTER 2: The Changing Opportunity Space: Developments in the Wider Social Context 21
The First World War and Urban-American Life: Two Disparate Influences on Film Attendance in Europe and the United States 23
Post-World War II Changes in the Size and Composition of American Film Audiences 32
Summary 51

CHAPTER 3: Change from Within: New Production and Consumption Practices 53
Film Festivals 54
Self-Promotion of Directors 59
Ties to Academia 66
United States, England, Germany, Italy, and France: Changes in the Industrial and Social History of Film 76
Purification through Venue: From Nickelodeons to Art Houses 88
Prestige Productions 92
The Ebb of Censorship and the Coming of Art 97
The Crisis of the 1960s Forced Hollywood down New Paths 105
Summary 108

CHAPTER 4: The Intellectualization of Film 111
Early U.S. Film Discourse 113
The Intellectualization of Film Reviews: 1925-1985 117
Film Reviews Approach Book Reviews: A Comparison with Literature 133
1960s Advertisements Incorporate Film Review 137
Foreign Film: A Pathway to High Art for Hollywood 148
Cultural Hierarchy, the Relevance of Critics, and the Status of Film as Art 155
Summary 159

CHAPTER 5: Mechanisms for Cultural Valuation 161
Why a Middlebrow Art? 163
Film Consumption as Cultural Capital 169
An Emphasis on Intellectualizing Discourse 171
Integration of Factors 173
The Study of Cultural Hierarchy 174

Notes 179
References 203
Index 217

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews