Hollywood: City, Industry, Symbol, Icon, Ideology, State of Mind

Hollywood: City, Industry, Symbol, Ideology, State of Mind

John Ford:

Hollywood is a place you can’t geographically define. We don’t really know where it is.” (J.Ford, BBC TV, 1964)

Dwight MacDonald (circa 1930s):

Hollywood is in the middle of a barbarically provincial non-city, three thousand miles from our cultural capital.


The only way to avoid Hollywood is to live there.


There is no community or security.

The audience is analyzed, compartmentalized, and continually tested for its response.

Freedom from Respectability

In her review of Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry, which was negative (and unfair), Pauline Kael nonetheless has made an astute observation: “It’s the feeling of freedom from respectability that we have always enjoyed at the movies that is carried to an extreme by American International Pictures (AIC) and the Clint Eastwood Italian Westerns–they are stripped of cultural values.”

Studio Fare:

The slick, overproduced empty studio fare.

Spielberg Vs. Scorsese

In the 1980s, Spielberg’s suburban fantasies (cinema of containment) have replaced Scorsese’s darker tales of mean streets.