Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

The Hollywood Film Industry

ENGL 492.942
instructor(s):

This is a course in the history of Hollywood. It seeks to unravel
Hollywood’s complex workings and explain how the business and politics
of the film industry translate into the art of film. We will trace the
American film industry from Edison to the Internet, asking questions
such as: What is the relationship between Hollywood and independent
film? How has the global spread of Hollywood since the 1920s changed
the film industry? How has Hollywood responded to crises in American
politics (e.g., world wars, the cold war, terrorism)? And how have new
technologies such as synchronized sound and color cinematography,
television and the VCR, and new digital technologies changed film and
the film industry? We will look closely at representative studios
(Paramount, Disney, and others), representative filmmakers (Mary
Pickford, Frank Capra, and George Lucas, among many, many others), and
we will examine the impact of industrial changes on the screen through
close film analysis and weekly screenings.