Stardust Monuments: The Saving and Selling of Hollywood (Interfaces: Studies in Visual Culture)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Stardust Monuments spotlights the enduring efforts to memorialize and canonize the history and meaning of Hollywood and American film culture. In this engaging analysis, Alison Trope explores the tensions between art and commerce as they intersect in a range of nonprofit and for-profit institutions and products.
An insightful tour of Hollywood’s past, present, and future, Stardust Monuments examines the establishment of film libraries and museums beginning in the mid 1930s, the many failed attempts to open a Hollywood museum ranging from the 1960s to today, and the more successful recent corporate efforts to use Hollywood’s past in theme restaurants and parks, classic movie channels, and DVD boxed sets.
This fascinating narrative details the ongoing struggle to champion and codify Hollywood’s legacy, a struggle engaged in by Hollywood stars and corporate executives, as well as memorabilia collectors and users of IMDb.
allied themselves, instead, with the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (cra) and its $922 million, thirty-year urban renewal plans.88 Besides invigorating the local economy, the museum plans were celebrated for the institution’s potential to revitalize the Hollywood neighborhood. The museum, Roberti claimed, would preserve California’s heritage and memorialize the historic bond between California and the entertainment industry. Following in the footsteps of the original Hollywood Museum, the
with the museum’s mission.95 Indeed, political maneuvering and creative accounting were arguably the sole factors that kept the doors of the museum open for its ten-year run. While the hiring of former Eastman House and Munich Film Museum archivist Jan-Christopher Horak in 2000 greatly improved the quality and scope of its temporary exhibits, the museum never transcended its primary role as mediocre tourist venue.96 Before the Hollywood Entertainment Museum even opened, cra chairman Dan Garcia
preserve Hollywood and its history, saving it from loss. These sites largely operate according to missions that require reconciliation of Hollywood’s industrial status within the context of enclaves and donors steeped in rareﬁed traditions of high culture. Many of these sites limit Hollywood’s story by attempting to erase or downplay its commercial status while still struggling to ﬁnd the ideal way to tell Hollywood’s story through the most appropriate images and artifacts, whether celluloid or
user reviews for a particular title outnumber the critics, rendering a potentially more democratic landscape of criticism. IMDb qualiﬁes the value of its user reviews by quantifying them. In its “Top 25 User-Rated Movies of 2010,” for instance, the site claims that the list is based on actual ratings by unique monthly users and that each ﬁlm received at least ﬁve thousand user votes. Given the ubiquitous presence of user reviews on many Hollywood news and information sites, sanctioned knowledge
true sense of the word, always generous with her time and attention to detail. David James pushed me to think outside the Hollywood bubble in a way that I still greatly appreciate and admire. Others have given their time to read and offer indispensible input. Dana Polan proved consistently accessible and always encouraging with his feedback and praise for the scope of my study. Chris Horak, who has personally navigated much of the institutional terrain I explore throughout the book, provided sage