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Poisoned Love Letters to the Movies. La contraddittoria rappresentazione di Hollywood nel cinema americano classico (1932-1962)

Pavesi, Diletta (2015) Poisoned Love Letters to the Movies. La contraddittoria rappresentazione di Hollywood nel cinema americano classico (1932-1962). PhD Thesis , Università degli Studi di Ferrara.

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    Abstract

    Films about Hollywood and the motion picture industry have a history as rich and varied as that of the industry itself. Throughout the history of American film, many different kinds of movies – from comedies to melodramas, including musicals, noir and even western films – have been explicitly set in Hollywood. A “Hollywood on Hollywood film” is defined in this study as any feature-length motion picture which takes Hollywood as its primary subject and which concerns characters (stars, directors, screenwriters and producers) whose lives are deeply affected by this milieu. Even though any kind of Hollywood movie deals with Hollywood in a certain way, those, explicitly set there, offer a privileged insight into what that mysterious, multiple signifier – Hollywood – means and how this mythmaking industry relates to the American culture as a whole. Thanks to their self-referential aesthetics Hollywood on Hollywood movies reveal the tension between realism and illusion which characterizes film as a medium. But this tension is just one instance of the larger contradiction of Hollywood films about Hollywood: they simultaneously celebrate and question their subject and its role in American society as well as in the history of arts. This essay deals with films produced during the Golden Age and analyses eight pictures dating from 1932 to 1962: What Price Hollywood? (1932) by George Cukor, A Star Is Born (1937) by William Wellman, Sullivan’s Travels (1941) by Preston Sturges, Sunset Boulevard (1950) by Billy Wilder, In a Lonely Place (1950) by Nicholas Ray, Singin’ in the Rain (1952) by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) by Vincente Minnelli and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) by Robert Aldrich. Throughout stories about stars, directors, screenwriters and producers, we try to investigate through different perspectives the contradictory image that Hollywood depicts itself.

    Item Type:Thesis (PhD Thesis)
    Date:13 April 2015
    Tutor:Boschi, Alberto
    Coordinator:Andrisano, Angela
    Institution:Università degli Studi di Ferrara
    PhD:XXVII Anno 2012 > STUDI UMANISTICI E SOCIALI
    Divisions:Dipartimento > Studi umanistici
    Subjects:Area 10 - Scienze dell'antichita', filologico-letterarie e storico-artistiche > L-ART/06 Cinema, fotografia e televisione
    Uncontrolled Keywords:USA, cinema, Hollywood, reflexivity
    Deposited on:22 Jul 2015 10:50

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