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 Hollywood Movies as a form of American Culture A look at two examples: Dances with Wolves Lawrence of Arabia Dances American Culture & Society Spring-Summer.

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Presentation on theme: " Hollywood Movies as a form of American Culture A look at two examples: Dances with Wolves Lawrence of Arabia Dances American Culture & Society Spring-Summer."— Presentation transcript:

1  Hollywood Movies as a form of American Culture A look at two examples: Dances with Wolves Lawrence of Arabia Dances American Culture & Society Spring-Summer 2012/ Scott

2 Hollywood system  We use Hollywood to mean U.S. film industry.  Two main types today: 1. The Big Six studios  Produce the large-scale movies  Often distributed around the world 2. Independent film producers  Smaller films  More artistic, more serious  Aimed at smaller markets  Sold to or distributed by Big Six

3 Hollywood facts  World leading filmmaking center for a century.  The huge consumer market in U.S. provides economic scale to support expensive productions.  Films and related products earned $11 billion in  Big Six studios specialize in blockbusters.  Columbia (Sony) 20 th Century Fox (News Corp.)  Disney (Disney) Paramount (Viacom)  Universal (Comcast) Warner Bros. (Time-Warner)

4 What makes a blockbuster?  Huge budget  Famous actors  Visual and audio spectacles (big moments)  High-quality special effects  Marketable to international audiences

5 What works internationally?  Recognizable actors and characters  Emphasis on action and emotion  Non-verbal story lines; minimum of dialogue  Humanitarian themes  Limited amount of cultural context

6 How do films make money?  Theater ticket sales  DVD sales  Related merchandise (toys, clothing, video games)  International sales  Growing market: Asia.  Studios are beginning to release films internationally before showing them in the U.S.  Examples: Battleship, The Avengers

7 Example: The Avengers  Total production cost: $220 million (Disney)  Total ticket income: $1.42 billion  U.S. market income: $588 million  International: $833 million  Foreign markets: At least 56  Percent watching in 3-D: 52% Source: Los Angeles Times newspaper, June 17

8 What is an epic? GGrand dramatic (and musical) themes. HHistorical values (based in real history) BBroad, expansive scenes that capture great works EEmphasis on human actions that affect big outcomes. (Winning wars, saving peoples, solving humanitarian crises.)

9 Lawrence of Arabia  Considered one of best epics.  Director: David Lean  Year released: 1962  Studio: Columbia  Story: Dramatizes true story of T.E. Lawrence, an unusual scholar and poet who helped Arab tribes to defeat the Ottoman Turks in World War II.

10 Movies as popular culture  The movie industry helps to shape popular culture.  Think: Emphasis on anime.  Fashions and styles.  It’s also shaped by culture and society.  Consumers decide what is popular.  Audiences comfortable with their ‘kind’ as heroes.  Movies also reveal the basis of cultural values.  Sometimes they question social trends.  Or offer a different approach to understanding.  Example: Dances with Wolves.

11 Dances with Wolves  Example of a blockbuster made by actor- director to offer his own ideal interpretation of U.S. history.  Director: Kevin Costner  Year released: 1990  Studio: Tig Productions (Costner’s company)  An Army lieutenant befriends Indians and even wolves as he seeks to defend a natural life that cannot last as white settlers are moving west into the Great Plains.

12  Movie poster in Italian


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