Gustafsson, Tommy “The Visual Re-creation of Black People in a “White” Country: Oscar Micheaux and Swedish Film Culture in the 1920s”
Cinema Journal 47, Number 4. Summer 2008
This article examines the fate of three films made by black independent filmmaker Oscar Micheaux that were exported to Sweden in the 1920s. The article also aims to analyze Swedish silent film culture, and, by means of its structure explain the treatment, when it came to censorship and advertising practices, that Micheaux’s films received in Sweden. This article focuses on the three films that were exported to Sweden: Within Our Gates, The Brute, and The Symbol of the Unconquered. Considering that Micheaux, and other independent black filmmakers during the second and third decades of the twentieth century, struggled against censorship, worked with small-scale productions, and had vast problems with distribution-it appears quite puzzling that Micheaux succeeded in exporting some of his films abroad without the assistance of a major studio’s distribution channels. This article shows how most of the world would accept race films, but not face the truth about how blacks were treated. Oscar Micheaux’s films portrayed the treatment of blacks how he saw it. His films contained harsh language, beatings, and lynching among other themes. The Swedish censors edited the films so much that anything dealing with the message Oscar was trying to get across was lost. Anything dealing with injustice, cruelty, or stereotyping, of whites toward blacks was removed. The resulting film was usually two-thirds or less of the original cut.
This article also reveals the view of African Americans in Sweden at the same time as these race films were being made. The importance of films made by African Americans being imported to Sweden is evident as the article gives examples of Racist cinema being produced in Scandinavia at that time.
Leyda, Julia “Black-Audience Westerns and the Politics of Cultural Identification in the 1930’s” Cinema Journal, Vol. 42, No. 1 (Autumn, 2002), pp. 46-70
This article does not focus directly on The Scar of Shame, but takes a deeper look at black society and culture of the time period when The Scar of Shame was released. While The Scar of Shame was not a western movie, it was made the same way with the same division of labor between whites and blacks, and was also a race film.
The article explains the importance of race films during this time. African Americans could watch black-audience films with positive images of black people in an audience of other African American viewers. Race films were a chance for African Americans to enjoy the art of cinema without having to sit through the sometimes all to unsettling realities of Jim Crow. Theaters that played race films catered solely to African Americans. The ticket takers, managers, concessionaires, and ushers were African American. And unlike white theaters at that time, seating was not restricted by race. These films were important to the African American community as a whole because the films portrayed blacks in a positive light, showing them as high class and in respectable places roles.
This article touches on the struggles African Americans went through in Hollywood style movies. The stereotype casting and the favoritism showed toward the racially mixed African American because they appeared whiter on black and white film stock.
This article explains that The Scar of Shame addresses serious issues involving class mobility, passing, and the color consciousness in the African American middle class.
The main point of the article is that through race films, blacks were shown to be able to function in all walks of life, which in turn helped in the fight for equality.
Gaines, Jane "The Scar of Shame": Skin Color and Caste in Black Silent Melodrama
Jstor.org, Cinema Journal, Vol. 26, No. 4 (summer, 1987), pp. 3-21 <http://www.jstor.org/>
This article shows how The Scar of Shame raises issues regarding the race and class constitution of the audience which bear on its mode of address. It tells how in the 1920’s “race movies” (movies made specifically for all black audiences) were created by the black bourgeoisie, in collaboration with the whites, for the entertainment of the class “below them”. The class hierarchy of the blacks is explained through by showing the differences in the northern urban versus the southern rural black societies.
Gaines’ article argues that melodrama reenacts a moral pattern that parallels the moral system that that community operates upon. The Scar of Shame, safely in a parallel universe can bring up emotionally volatile issues and traumatic outcomes.
A history of the discovery and restoration of The Scar of Shame described briefly but in detail. It tells how it has become one of the most frequently exhibited examples of black cinema heritage, and how it has become one the source materials for new black independent film and video making.
The Scar of Shame was produced specifically for a black audience, but directed and photographed by white professionals. It shows the division of labor between white and black artists even when producing race films.
The biggest point this article makes is how The Scar of Shame’s structure supports the case for the culpability of the upper and lower classes.
Cripps, Thomas Slow Fade to Black: The Negro in American Film, 1900-1942 pg. 181-
Oxford University Press US, 1977
Slow Fade to Black traces the roles of blacks in American films during the first half century. Slow Fade to Black represents a backward step in the effort to understand the complex and often contradictory role of Blacks in the history of U.S. film. Racial roles continued to affirm second-class citizenship for Black Americans long after the "watershed year" of 1942. Cripps tells how even with the growing amount of African Americans in cinema every time someone from the black middle-class went to a theater, they still saw their favorite performers as maids, cooks, butlers, grooms, or, worst of all, "natives." The impact of what Black performers did off screen did not, as Cripps claims, "allow them to ignore the impact of what they did on it."
Interestingly, around 1895, blacks were seen favorably on screen; however, they soon vanished as whites gained more financial and technical control over the medium.
Cripps tells how with the fade out of race movies and the fade in of the black musical that humanely depicted black southern life and its spoilage by urbanization, these films helped to define the nature of the black role in the movies.
This book tells of the journey of blacks in cinema; the different stages of their struggle for equality in American cinema, and their artistic stature that was eventually gained by their sharpened identity formed through their urbanization.
Gaines, Jane “Fire and Desire: Mixed Race Movies in the Silent Era” Chicago:
Univ. of Chicago Press. 2001.
Fire and Desire asks what ‘‘we want from a theory of film that takes race into account,’’ a question that has barely been broached. In her book, Gaines insists that the ‘‘black’’ umbrella commonly used to describe even the smallest portion of black blood gives a false unity to the ongoing feeling of self and other that truly informs the cultural tradition of race movies. Gaines warns that “to overlook the whiteness in race movies may be to claim them for a pure but impossible blackness” (271). This book shows that although race films are thought to be black films, for blacks, by blacks, there is no such thing as a pure black film. Every race film had white influence, and for the most part were produced, directed, and distributed by white people. Her main point is that what is thought to be pure black cinema is really just a mixed space, with cultural influences intersecting other cultural influences. Gaines does not hold up Oscar Micheaux’s, or any other race film as examples of an ‘‘authentically black’’ cultural representation, but always focuses, theoretically and historically, on the mixed nature of these films, to the basic fact that the light-skinned heroes of these films are only black by virtue of the positive application of blacks made by race movies of the time.
Gaines does not argue against the importance of race films for the African American community, but rather shows that even though a movie was meant for blacks, they were immensely influenced by whites. What is commonly thought to be independent black films are really mixed films, with a multitude of different cultural influences. Fire and Desire sets the stage for a more mixed approach to the history and theory of race in film, and shows the importance that the reader understands this when viewing race films from the silent era.
Fleming’s 1939 American film The Wizard of Oz is an early pioneer of the use of innovative techniques in camera work, music, visual and special effects in modern day movie production. The musical-fantasy classic has also become a firm favorite among the American public and coupled with its influence in the film industry, it should be regarded as the most significant American film of all time.
Such is the popularity of Baum’s The Wizard of Oz that some critics have suggested that it and other forms of popular culture have replaced biblical teaching and mythology’s position in society’s collective imagination. So thorough is the permeation of the Oz fantasy that a mere mention of any of the popular quotes from the movie will instantly evoke the full comprehension and application of said quote to the context in question. So complete is our exposure to the fantasy that even the act of thinking about certain related issues is reduced to mere reflex. Hastings posits that while the Bible was once the “source of our verbal and visual shorthand” any reference to Biblical characters or quotations in today’s world had best be accompanied by a footnote. Can a fictitious girl and her dog really replace usurp religion’s role in the western world? The issue is definitely up for debate. One thing is for certain though, “Toto, we're not in Kansas any more."
Hastings, A. Waller. "Worshiping at the Altar of Oz ." The Lion and the Unicorn.
(21 Feb. 1997). Muse.jhu.edu, 1 Dec. 2008.
Feldman, Stuart. "At the Movies: Business Gets a Bad Rap." Management Review. 81 (1992): 49-54.
This article discusses Hollywood's portrayal of big businesses over time. Generally Hollywood has portrayed big businesses in a negative light and Modern Times is no exception. Scholars suggest that this may be the case due to the nature of filmmakers and more liberal and critical of big businesses. This negative depiction portrays back to the 1930s with Chaplin's film. The article describes scenes in which company tycoon interact with the workers. He has a large screen that surveys them as they work and can easily make sure they stay in line. Even when Chaplin's character is take a break in the bathroom, he is ordered (via gian screen) to get back to work.
This relates to my thesis because it helps to highlight why Chaplin and others would have this critical opinion on big businesses born out of the industrialization period. The authority figure has complete control and domination over the workers every move. There is no employee-employer relationship (other than through a large screen) and employees are thought of as numbers. They are tolerated when they are working, but once they step out of line they are punished. This punisment forces workers to stay in line with everyone else further perpetuating homogeneity.
Schneider, Irving, M.D. "The Theory and Practice of Movie Psychiatry." The American Journal of Psychiatry 144.8 (1987): 996-1002. This article explores the depiction of psychiatry in the movie and how it has been a source of concern to many in the profession over the years. They feel that a false picture of the work of a psychiatrist has been illustrated to the public. In fact, psychiatry in the movies has developed its own characteristics, which only occasionally intersect with those of the real-life profession. In this paper, Schneider outlines theories of the invented profession of movie psychiatry.
"I'll explain to you about dreams so you don't think it is hooey. The secret of who you are and what has made you run away from yourself-these secrets are buried in your brain, but you don't want to look at them. The human being very often doesn't want to know the truth about himself because he thinks it will make him sick; so he makes himself sicker trying to forget. You follow me?... Here's where dreams come in. They tell you what you are trying to hide, but they tell it to you all mixed up like pieces of a puzzle that don't fit. The problem of the analyst is to examine this puzzle and put the pieces together in the right place and find out what the devil you are trying to say to yourself."
The above quote from the movie by Dr. Alex (addressed to Ballentine), shows how method of criminal detection and psychoanalytic method are related. The truth behind Edwardes murder is buried beneath an accumulation of alibis, false tracks, confusing recollections, and the analyst-detective patiently tries to get to the bottom of the case. Throughout the history of film, the psychoanalyst has been a solver of mysteries, often criminal mysteries, as the murder in Spellbound, but just as often personal ones.
John Patterson’s article “Film & Music: Up Front: On film: It's Black History Month in the US - the perfect time to rerelease films that Hollywood considers too embarrassing to show for today” expresses annoyance of many films disappearing for its explicitly racial content. He understands that the content may be offensive, such as "Song of the South" and "Gone with the Wind," which are “racially questionable hit” and "Mandingo," a melodrama on the effects of slavery on victims and pratitioners. Patterson in conclusion expresses that these movies should be back in circulation because viewers now have broader understanding of differences in perspectives based on time periods and changes.
Patterson, John. “Film & Music: Up Front: On film: It’s Black History Month in the United States - the perfect time to rerelease films that Hollywood considers too embarrassing to show for today.” The Guardian 29 Feb. 2008: 2.
Rosenbaum, Jonathan, ed. "Orson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich." This Is Orson Welles. By Orson Welles, Peter Bogdanovich and Jonathan Rosenbaum. New York: Da Capo P, Incorporated, 1998. Guaymas Chapter.
This Guaymas Chapter of This is Orson Welles is composed of material from a three-hundred and twenty-two page interview that Peter Bogdanovich conducted with Orson Welles. The interview was then edited and supplemented with primary sources by editor Jonathan Rosenbaum. The interview touches on almost all of Welle’s works, however, I will focus on it’s implications about Citizen Kane. Interestingly, the interview begins by exploring the topic of Hearst’s intervention. Welles states that he felt more pressure from those intervening on behalf of Hearst than from Hearst himself. By this point, Welles is no longer denying that Kane is based on Hearst, but is instead defending that Susan was not at all a reflection of Marion Davies. Discussion then moves to the topic of Herman Mankiewicz. In this interview, Welles gives Mankiewicz complete credit (or responsibility) for the idea of ‘Rosebud.’ He also goes on to say that he is not at all fond of the idea, and that he in fact did all he could to provide disclaimers for the symbolism implied by Kane’s dying word. The rest of the interview addresses issues and ideas from films other than Citizen Kane.
This interview represents another major change in Orson Welles’ attitude towards ‘Rosebud.’ With the ideas he asserts in this interview, he not continues to show that he is dissatisfied with what the symbol 'Rosebud' represents, but also removes the blame of ‘Rosebud’s’ failure from himself and places it on Mankiewicz, even stating that he took efforts to reduce the effect that the symbol had. This concept of ‘Rosebud’ as a weakness to the film is in stark contrast to the views Welles expressed in sources such as his 1941 statement about the purpose of Citizen Kane (4). It is, however, very much in line with the criticisms that reviewers began to voice after the films release, such as in Joy Davidman's Citizen Kane (5). This source supports the idea put forth in my thesis that Welles explanation of ‘Rosebud’ is dependent on media pressures because it carries almost no significance of it’s own. Welles had also previously rejected the idea of 'Rosebud' while still taking responsibility for the idea, as in his 1960 interview for the CBC (6), but now he refuses to take responsibility for the idea he sees as a failure.
This letter written on behalf of the Society of American Archivists expresses one group’s opposition to the CTEA and the need to oppose such a passing of an act. They argue that the law disrupts the balance between public and private interests and will have a negative impact on the public’s use of unpublished materials for teaching, scholarship and research. The point of the Society is to make things available to the public and they believe that such an extension will inhibit their ability to make things available and useable to the public. Maher on behalf of the society argues that there should be a vigorous public domain and protections for the rights of holders of intellectual property as well. They believe that too short of a copyright may discourage new works but too long of a period may limit the creation of new discoveries and Congress must maintain a balance between the interests of authors and the rights of the public. Maher argues that, “no extension of copyright term should be contemplated until there are available solid analysis of the likely impact of such an extension on the creation of new knowledge”. He goes on to say that the Society is troubles by the effect the extension may have on the use of unpublished material that is found in archives and that courts have continues to restrict the application of fair use, which applies, to archives. The final argument Maher makes is that the Society believes that only a few individuals of heirs and corporations would benefit from the extension of such an extension.
This letter is important because it takes the perspective of an organization that finds the passing of the CTEA to be unbeneficial and detrimental to their work. It is important to my paper because it takes a different perspective, a more personal perspective in a sense. The argument they make is not just for the public domain but also rather for the balance which is something that has not been argued for in other articles.
Edward Samuels argues that the extension of copyright law is not a result of a scheme by corporations to cheat the public but rather a part of a system that the framers of the Constitution had in mind in order to “promote the progress of science and useful arts” by “securing, for limited times, to authors, and inventors, and the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries”. Samuels identifies six categories of the public domain, which have all supported the expansion of copyright. Samuels writes that, “In all six areas, the public domain advocates were making arguments against the tide; they lamented the expansion of copyright but could hardly claim that the public domain analysis had in fact already worked its way into dominant copyright theory”. Samuels notes that protectionists of the act try and justify the copyright law based upon natural rights, moral rights and property rights, all of which public domain advocates argue in objection to heavily, however, Samuels argues that the natural rights and property rights are “firmly rooted in copyright history” and that it is recognized as the basis for copyright protection in civil law and outer countries outside of England and the US. Samuels goes on in his article to discuss the Eldred case and argues for the support of the case. He notes that the D.C Circuit Court concluded, “Copyrights are categorically immune from challenges under the First Amendment”. The petitioners of copyright extension argue that the premise of CTEA violated the “limited Times” provision of the Copyright Clause and that Congress can only grant rights in the case that it will promote the creation of new works. They argue that the extension act of 1998 is unconstitutional, but Samuels then asks if that is unconstitutional, are all other proceeding acts unconstitutional as well and therefore have no stopping point. Therefore, Samuels argues, the Supreme Court should not endorse any approach the petitioners present.
This article is important to my topic because it discusses the rationale behind opposing or supporting the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, the premise of my paper. Samuels outlines the arguments that advocates of the public domain may make including that of the restriction of creativity and he then argues why the advocates arguments do not hold and why the act should be upheld, an act that protects Mickey Mouse.
The United States Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit lays out the Roger v. Koons case, and the arguments for each side. Koons argues for the fair use arguement for parody, however, the court did not see the need to find parody in the photograph.
Art Rogers, a professional art photographer, had been commissioned to make this photograph of a husband and wife holding the litter of puppies. Jeff Koons, a prominent and controversial modern artist, found the postcard in what he described to be a tourist shop. He apparently ripped off the copyright and sent it to his studio to be copied. Koons argued that it was like many other postcards he owned, a product of mass culture. And as one of the most successful artists of his time did not expect the less well known artist of this arguably mundane postcard to question him.
The document is central to understanding the depth of the case, in terms of the legal aspects and the rights of the artist, in this case two artists. It begs the question and reality of why a more famous artist should have an advantage and monopoly over other less prominent artist’s works, and notes that this cannot be taken for granted. This article goes into depth of how Koons’ work could be fair use and where the loopholes exist. However, it is important to establish in law the ‘Ownership of Copyright in an Original Work of Art’, (I, § 8 of the United States Constitution) for a certain time period, which seeks to promote the progress of science and the arts. Thus, Rogers’ has some claim over his work for a period of time, which he is entitled to.
Enough "substantial similarity" was found in Koons' three dimensional sculpture and the postcard, that the average person could see it, thus it was not transformative enough. The court found copyright infringement for both this reason, and because Koons had removed the copyright notice unlawfully.
In this article the author argues that the current system of digital media artist compensation by means of copyright protection is in the process of a "creative destruction" instigated by the internet and its users. "Creative destruction" is described as the process by which economic structures evolve via the destruction of old systems and the simultaneous rise of new ones. He points to the current "digital dilemma," the availability of mass copying and distribution of copyright protected digital media through the internet, as the catalyst for the "creative destruction of copyright and proposes several solutions. Some scholars have suggested a "pay-per-use" scheme to compensate artists for works distributed over the internet. Critics, however, insist that this scheme is not optimal since it would inhibit some fair uses of copyrighted works. The argument, in the author's opinion, boils down to a conflict between artist compensation and social welfare. He therefore proposes that in the face of the "digital dilemma" it is best to abolish the current copyright regime since there are currently drastic differences in the sources of revenue for artists and distributors of digital works and, while it is in society's interest to provide artists incentives to produce, it is also in the public's interest to reduce costs associated with distribution of digital works.
This article also discusses proponents of the copyright system that support expanding its reach throughout the internet and opponents who fear it because of potential limitations to fair use. It also delves into two cases regarding the internet and digital media copyright: the Napster and MP3.com cases. With respect to the fair use doctrine, it is clear that sharing of music over these networks did not constitute fair uses because it encroached on the market for digital music and deprived artists of potential revenues. The author continues to argue, however, that in the face of the internet, copyright has become irrelevant. The internet eliminates the free rider dilemma of digital music reproduction and distribution because users internalizes distribution costs by purchasing the hardware and software required to access the internet and the recording industry should collect royalties from the sales of these products. Digital media distribution via the internet the recording industry can also eliminate nearly all costs associated with distribution. An even more radical opinion considered is that there is no longer any need for copyright to protect the reproduction and distribution of digital media since there are drastic asymmetries in the revenue structures of artists and distributors. The article shows that artists derive very little revenue from the actual distribution of their works and that even if distribution revenues were eliminated, there could still be sufficient financial incentives for them to produce works.
I would like to use this as background evidence in my paper to show some sources of uncertainty in digital media copyright and potential new avenues that lawmakers and the courts could take. I would like to take into account the recent ways in which the recording industry has dealt with unlicensed online file sharing, namely by filing lawsuits and shutting down services providing free downloads or imposing licensing fees. I would also like to use the opinions regarding the current revenue structure of the music industry with respect to artists as support for the need to a new copyright system in the future.
This article deals with copyright legislation and jurisprudence in terms of the various forms and degrees of control apportioned to copyright owners and producers and distributors of technologies used to disseminate copyrighted works. It analyzes the rulings of several court cases tracing the evolution of current copyright practices regarding distribution technologies beginning with the Betamax case and ending with Napster. The author describes each case in terms of a struggle for control over the distribution of works of authorship between copyright owners and producers of technologies of dissemination. She concedes that the trend in digital media copyright protection has been to grant copyright owners control over new distribution outlets because unauthorized distribution often results in the producers of the dissemination technology profiting from the exploitation of a new market to which the copyright holder is entitled. She acknowledges, however, that it is not socially optimal for copyright owners to retain complete control over the technologies of dissemination because their first instinct in litigation is to prevent the use of the new technology. Therefore, with most technologies of dissemination of copyright protected works, courts allow the sale of new technologies because it is in the interest of society and of economic value for new markets for the dissemination of works of authorship to be created, but they require the proprietors of such technologies to obtain licenses from copyright owners to distribute copyrighted works.
Since my paper deals with digital media copyright regarding peer to peer file sharing networks I am most interested in the author's analysis of internet technologies. The author explains that the battle between digital media copyright owners (primarily record companies) and producers and distributors of new technologies that disseminate works of authorship on digital networks has led congress to anticipate new forms of exploitation and grant more control to owners of copyrights to facilitate the use of digital networks. She adds, however, that there are many academics who believe that despite any policing efforts by congress and the courts, new technologies will constantly arise to take the place of those that submit to copyright compliance. Further complicating the matter, she introduces a set of "self-styled copyright anarchists" who are determined to continue illicit file sharing activities that evade protective measures supported by copyright legislation. Finally, she considers plans proposed by German and Canadian legislators to impose a surcharge on internet service costs to compensate copyright owners for the inevitable dissemination of their works over the internet. She concedes, however, that this is likely unfeasible since such a surcharge would have to be negotiated among all recording studios and would probably be prohibitively expensive.
In May 2008, Dr. Amy Gutmann, Penn President, met with students from the Harlem Village Academy to talk about student financial aid and the Penn Compact, Penn's efforts to increase access, integrate knowledge, and engage locally and globally with communit
Denton, William. "FRBR and the History of Cataloging."
Chapter 4 in Understanding FRBR: What It Is and How It Will Affect Our Retrieval, edited by Taylor, Arlene G.
An explanation of where FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) comes from, given by a look at the work of librarians such as Panizzi, Cutter, Ranganathan, and Lubzetsky, and an examination of four themes in the history of library cataloging: the use of axioms to explain the purpose of catalogs, the importance of user needs, the idea of the "work," and standardization and internationalization.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1995.9.C55 M39 1992
In the chapter of the book entitled “Corrupt and Crumbling Institutions,” McCaffrey alternates between lauding John Schlesinger’s version of The Day of the Locust for the segments in which it is faithful to Nathaniel West’s novel and highlighting the elements of the film that fall short of the novel. Although the film is a moderately faithful adaptation, its greatest shortcoming is that it fails to consistently match West’s tone of “level rage and tilted compassion.” McCaffrey observes the power of West’s work in that he offers philosophical passages that humanize his characters even as he attacks their pitfalls, which facilitates reader identification with the characters. Except for the final scene in the film, McCaffrey praises those that Schlesinger created as they are true to West’s tone.
As West’s novel is considered among the best satires of Hollywood, it is successful largely due to conventions unavailable to the medium of film. To capture passages of philosophy, the oft-criticized use of voiceover narration would be required. Although the film matches the events of the novel, its failure completely match its tone leave it a less successful satire. Many of the pitfalls of the film result out of aspects of the Hollywood system the book attacks. The relevance of this articles lies in that it not only analyzes the adaptability of West’s book to film, but offers insights into issues facing the film adaptor and addresses satire in general context.
Simon, Richard Keller. "Between Capra and Adorno: West's Day of the Locust and movies of the 1930s." Modern Language Quarterly. Vol. 54 Issue 4 (Dec. 1993). EBSCO MegaFILE. 9 Apr. 2008. <http://proxy.library.upenn.edu:2055/ehost/detail?vid=11&hid=117&sid=a84a42de-5c72-4186-8e63-be5141727d64%40sessionmgr102>.
This article traces the method Nathaniel West utilized in the creation of his novel The Day of the Locust. The author identifies West’s employment as a screenwriter as the birthplace of the method he utilized to write The Day of the Locust. In order to produce marketable screenplays, West was forced to “rearrange conventional film material rather than invent anything new.” He later used this method of montage to create his novel, as nearly every element borrows from Hollywood films of the time. The majority of the story he owes to Capra’s Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, his characterization borrows from B movie cliché’s of the time and other characters and themes come from other contemporary movies. However, West’s success came by not merely adding these elements together, but reworking each one as a parody that attacked what West saw as Hollywood fantasy. Further, West took revenge on the limiting Production code of the time by including scenes that could never appear on the screen, namely the cockfight and visits to a whorehouse. While some commentators of the time thought that real life should be more like the movies, West effectively makes the movies more like real life. The latter part of the article examines contemporary philosophical schools of thought that may not have directly influenced West, but observed the same elements of mass culture West satirizes.
This article is fascinating as it provides strong evidence for all of its assertions. It leaves no doubt that the main elements of the story of West’s novel are a subverted version of Capra’s Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, and it shows how West attacked what he saw as not only the artifice of the movies but their power as well. This only further adds to the interesting concept of West using that which he satirizes as direct subject matter as he not only weaves a tale about Hollywood movies but also uses the movies themselves in the creation of story elements. As West collects from contemporary films for the creation of his novel, his novel is likewise harvested for the creation of the film that bears its name.
Call#: Van Pelt Library ML421.B4 F76 2007
Michael R. Frontani clearly tells the story of the making of The Beatles in his book entitled The Beatles: Image and the Media. Chapter 2, "Intorducing the Image", is about how "Beatlemania" came to be. Frontani discusses the immediate success of The Beatles in the British music industry, but also the less-known resistance of their American label, Capitol Records, to promote The Beatles' music in the United States prior to the band's American success. According to Frontani, Capitol Records was hesitant to spend a significant amount of money promoting The Beatles in the U.S. in 1963 because of the previous British pop musicians, such as Cliff Richard, who despite popularity in England, had failed commercial success in the states. Finally, however, with The Beatles' new single "I Want To Hold Your Hand", Capitol took the risk that made "Beatlemania" an international phenomenon and sent the new single to number one on the Billboard chart on February 1, 1964. The music industry was never the same. The Beatles made their United States television debut eight days later on The Ed Sullivan Show, a night that would solidify the fact that The Beatles, with their mop-top hair-cuts and thumping beats, were the new faces of pop culture.
This chapter is incredibly significant for my thesis because it explains how "Beatlemania" came to be, and more importantly why "Beatlemania" made it to the silver screen. Frontani makes a point of emphasizing the craze that went along with The Beatles' first trip to America. "The Beatles returned to New York. Four thousand fans were at Kennedy Airport to welcome them back, and to see them off as they departed for England." With several facts like these, Frontani creates a sense of how overwhelming The Beatles' popularity was in America, let alone in England. He also points out that a number of well-respected sources, such as the New York Times even wrote articles devoted to the discussion of The Beatles' haircuts and "Beatlemania" as a "cultural event." Clearly the pop culture of 1964 revolved around The Beatles, therefore it comes as no surprise that the film industry would take advantage of this. The result was A Hard Day's Night, a film that would portray a day in the life of the band and give their fans an up-close view of each of the "Fab Four." A Hard Day's Night was a way to make money off of the immense popularity of the band, and therefore, a successful coming together of the pop cultures of both film and music.
Call#: Van Pelt Library Z6517 .F47
Call#: Van Pelt Library BF38 .P43
This article shows how the broadcasting of sporting events, especially when a superstar athlete is playing, affects the revenue of the sport industry. The article also looks at the rules of the National Basketball Association pertaining to specific players on specific teams.