Otherness in Hollywood Cinema

Overview

In Otherness in Hollywood Cinema, Michael Richardson argues that the Hollywood system has been the only national cinema with the resources and inclination to explore images of others through stories set in exotic and faraway places. He traces many of the ways in which Hollywood has constructed otherness, and discusses the extent to which those images have persisted and conditioned today's understanding.

Hollywood was from the beginning teeming with people who had experienced ...

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Overview

In Otherness in Hollywood Cinema, Michael Richardson argues that the Hollywood system has been the only national cinema with the resources and inclination to explore images of others through stories set in exotic and faraway places. He traces many of the ways in which Hollywood has constructed otherness, and discusses the extent to which those images have persisted and conditioned today's understanding.

Hollywood was from the beginning teeming with people who had experienced cultural displacement.  Coaxing the finest talents from around the world and needing to produce films with an almost universal appeal, Hollywood confounded American insularity while simultaneously presenting a vision of ‘America' to the world.

The book examines a range of genres from the perspective of otherness, including the Western, film noir, and zombie movies. Films discussed include Birth of a Nation, The New World, The Searchers, King Kong, Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, Jaws, and Dead Man.  Erudite and highly informed, this is a sweeping survey of how the American film industry has portrayed the foreign and the exotic.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826463111
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury
  • Publication date: 6/17/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Richardson is Visiting Fellow (honorary) at Goldsmith's College, University of London. Hisresearch interests focus on issues of representation and how they relate to the anthropological relation. He has published widely, having edited a collection of writings of Georges Bataille on surrealism (The Absence of Myth, Verso, 1991) and surrealism and the Caribbean (Refusal of the Shadow, Verso 1996), as well as writing the single authored books George Bataille (Routledge, 1994), The Experience of Culture (Sage, 2001) and Surrealism and Cinema (Berg, 2006). From 2004-7, he was Visiting Professor in Cultural Studies at Waseda University, Tokyo.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Hollywood Cinema and the "Other"

1. The Other and the Wilderness

2. The Myth of the Frontier

3. Chasing Chinese Shadows: The Yellow Peril Reconsidered

4. The Exotic as Spectacle

5. Otherness in the Night: Film Noir

6. Of Monsters and Cold Wars

7. The Myth of the Zombie

8. Apocalypse Now on a Borderline of Consciousness

9. Reconfigurations of the Exotic in Contemporary Cinema

10. Steven Spielberg and the Sanctification of Difference

11. Jim Jarmusch, or Communication in Crisis

12. The Persistence of King Kong

Epilogue

Filmography

Bibliography

Index

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