Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles

Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles

3.11 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Los Angeles: the 'City of Angels'. Whether this epithet evokes sunshine and beaches, glamorous movie stars or the possibility of fame, many around the world have a fantasy of this enchanting, impossible place stored in their minds. Its reality is as much the record of the place on film as the 'real' Los Angeles. This is because Los Angeles is first and foremost a city of cinema, both in the movies that are made there, and the filmed image of the place, either recorded on location or recreated in a studio set. In Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles, Mark Shiel explores Los Angeles from the invention of motion pictures in the 1890s to the decline of the studio system in the 1950s, describing the ever-changing cinematic image of the city, and the ways in which its representations reflected and manipulated its physical geography. Shiel shows how the construction of studios helped to change the shape of Los Angeles, and how Hollywood not only contributed to but also complicated its economic, political, social and cultural life.
The author describes the incredibly popular films that were produced during this time, from the early slapstick comedies to film noir, arguing that the histories of Los Angeles and its film industry cannot be understood in isolation from each other. Shiel gives a close analysis of narrative, mise en scene, cinematography, editing and other elements of film style, concentrating on the ways in which filmmakers engaged with the architecture of the city both inside the studios and on location in California. Written by an expert in the history and theory of cinema and the city, Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles in a must-read for anyone interested in Hollywood movies, or the history and architecture of Los Angeles. As well as being illustrated with many previously unpublished photographs, the book offers an in-depth view of the city that has never been seen before.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 156 x 216 x 33.02mm | 612.35g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 147 black & white illustrations
  • 1861899025
  • 9781861899026
  • 1,123,946

Review quote

"Beautifully researched, carefully theorized, and supplemented with plentiful illustrations and useful maps and charts, Shiel's book is cultural history at its finest. Essential."--Jon Lewis, author Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle over Censorship Saved the Modern Film Industry and American Film "Choice" "The strength of Shiel's study is its range and breadth: his knowledge of the films featuring Los Angeles is staggering. . . . As a work of inter-disciplinary scholarship, it is impressive, mastering not just film history, but also the sociological study of urban development, while integrating both within a broader conception of American history. It is ambitious, wide-ranging and intelligent, full of interesting facts and figures. . . . It will be indispensable to students of American film history and representations of Los Angeles."--Jon Lewis, author Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle over Censorship Saved the Modern Film Industry and American Film "New Statesman" "Throughout his study, Shiel displays a capacious understanding of his subject. . . . His sharp analysis, buttressed by illuminating frame enlargements, period photographs, statistical charts, graphs and other sources, reveals the vast extent to which city officials, local boosters, studio moguls, and the players themselves helped to create the potent and enduring mythology of 'Hollywoodland.'"--Jon Lewis, author Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle over Censorship Saved the Modern Film Industry and American Film "Times Literary Supplement" "Who can make sense of Los Angeles? The title of Mark Shiel's new book points to the contradictions and tensions that give the region its unique character--the mythical Hollywood motion picture industry versus the actual, inhabited city. Shiel attempts to see both sides of the same coin in this welcome addition to the expanding body of work on cinema and urban spaces." --Jon Lewis, author Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle over Censorship Saved the Modern Film Industry and American Film "Film Comment" 2013 Outstanding Academic Title--Jon Lewis, author Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle over Censorship Saved the Modern Film Industry and American Film "Choice magazine" "The history of film and the history of Los Angeles have been richly explored in all stages and varieties of their development. Yet never before have they been so deftly analyzed as an integrated phenomenon. Mark Shiel's excellent study is a significant contribution to urban and cinematic cultural history."

--Thomas Hines, author of Architecture of the Sun: Los Angeles Modernism, 1900-1970 "Mark Shiel's brilliant book provides a sweeping vision of the ways in which the film industry provided viewers a means of conceiving of the urban built environment, and particularly that of Los Angeles. But, what is even more innovative is the ways in which he integrates that discussion with a related consideration of how that industry actually rebuilt the city. This study is a landmark synthesis of film and cultural history."

--Stanley Corkin, author of Starring New York: Filming the Grime and Glamour of the Long 1970s "Los Angeles engages landscapes of a geographic, geologic, cultural, economic, and political kind. It is a place one finds on a map and on the big screen . . . a sprawling American place captured complexly and completely here in Mark Shiel's suitably sprawling cultural history. Focusing on a century of interactions and disjunctures between the city and the cinema produced there, Shiel introduces something of a new urban ecology of the movies, one in which the landscape and built-environment resonate with enduring American dreams of space and place, of life, leisure and a setting (a location) on which to act it all out."

--Jon Lewis, author Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle over Censorship Saved the Modern Film Industry and American Film "Shiel is to be commended for his impressive scholarship. He ranges widely in his choice of supporting materials, relying not merely upon close analysis of film stills but invoking as well contemporary photographs, maps, advertisements, brochures, and internal film industry memos. . . . The author's prose is clear, direct, almost nostalgic for a Los Angeles that will never return and perhaps never was."
--Jon Lewis, author Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle over Censorship Saved the Modern Film Industry and American Film "Film & History"
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About Mark Shiel

Mark Shiel is Senior Lecturer in film studies at Kings College London. He is the author of Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the Cinematic City (2006), and co-editor of Cinema and the City: Film and Urban Societies in a Global Context (2001) and Screening the City (2003).
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Rating details

9 ratings
3.11 out of 5 stars
5 11% (1)
4 33% (3)
3 22% (2)
2 22% (2)
1 11% (1)
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