Week 25 – Hollywood, Race, and Gender
- women in Hollywood – women were pivotal in the development of the film industry.
Over 100 women directors in the 1920’s.
o silent era – by mid 20’s, female characters were quite complex, more than just the
virgin or the whore. This was the roaring 20’s, movies of breaking the law,
women were smoking in public for the first time.
§ e.g. Lois Weber – first women to produce, direct, star in, and co-author a
film in Hollywood. Controversial films (abortion, birth control, 1915 full
frontal nudity, and the highest paid director at universl)
o classic era – the writing in these films had to be creative to suggest things that
couldn’t be openly depicted on screen. Only ONE woman director left in
Hollywood at this time (Dorothy)
§ Motion Picture Producers and Distributors ofAmerica (MPPDA)
· Hays Production Code of 1930 – following the stock market
crash in 1929.After this, all films screened in the USAhad to
obtain a certificate of approval before screening.
§ e.g. Ida Lupino – successful actress until 1950’s, 2 woman to be accepted
into the writers guild.
§ end of the Code – by 1968 the code was replaced by the rating system that
we still use today.
o New Hollywood
§ e.g. Kathleen Kennedy – Spielberg’s long-time collaborator. She was
unable to type, she co-founded their own company, and she is now
president of lucas film. Ltd. She received death threats in the 90’s for
being in the running for the head of the writers guild.
- Hollywood and race
o AfricanAmericans – usually play the servant, comic relief, the local colour, 1D
character, or foil for the white main character.