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Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2500A/B
Warren Steele

MIT 2506 – TALES OF TINSELTOWNS Representations of Hollywood Sept 11, 2012 TA: Rick Ramrattan – [email protected] What impact does Hollywood have on everything? “Hollywood is a place where they will pay $1000 for a kill , but 50 cents for your soul” Marilyn Munroe - industry based around debasement Britney Spears- Lucky - What message is this video conveying about Hollywood? o Free flowers from butler in the morning – curtains opening at the beginning and she says “This is a story of a girl names Lucky” – already know that its surreal o Not happy even thought she has all fancy things – lonely o She’s always higher then other people – on billboard, on star, etc. o Presents to people that she’s happy around the fans – discontent behind closed doors o So many mirrors and her looking at them o Plays reality vs. illusion – cant keep track of what’s real and what is not because of the set o Found a lover – but he is fake as well Britney Spears – Everytime - what are the images representing? o Billboard of Britney saying “everything” o Fighting the paparazzi o Manager loosing it o White – salvation o Looks into mirror , then goes into the tub – she didn’t like what she saw in the mirror o No importance of the individual – just want her autograph o Bleeding in the hot tub – hospital dying o Added her smiling at the end because fans couldn’t see her die o Britney depicts Hollywood as something bitter and feared The American Dream  To look at Hollywood we must look at America’s ideals and philosophies first  Its an invented space incordance with the dream – because integral with the beliefs of Americans  The national conscience of America is the land of the free and the home of the bave – American mythos land of opportunity – this is where you go if you seek success  New World as a promise land – 1492 Columbus discovers America – a brand new place was found – that space became the point of all hopes and dreams – old world is a burden of where you are born (monarchy) – new world brings blank slate and offers potential liberty – offers sense of possibility o Statue of Liberty (1886) – purity, torch symbolizes enlightenment, slate represents knowledge with date of Declaration of Independence – was given to Americans by the French – tied to immigration o 1892-1924 Ellis immigrants migrate to NY to the promise land – willing to risk the dangerous passage to this land – as you enter the harbor you see this potent, tangible symbol of Statue of Liberty beckoning you into promise land o “From her beacon hand comes the world wide welcome” o English religious dissenters – escaped religious hierarchies in old land to one of a new slate o Declaration of Independence (1776) – “and all men are created equal” – equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit if happiness – this is an ideology that drove the myth of this country to immigrants  James Truslow Adams: “American Dream” – life was better, richer and fuller – realizing your full potential – is Europe you were born under hierarchies that depict your path in life, where as America offers you unlimited opportunities  Far and Away (1992) – Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman – o Irish immigrants settling in America- “what they needed was a country big enough for their dreams” – o Propaganda – serves as a reminder as how awesome America is o “Even in the land of free everything is a price” o American modernism vs. European traditionalism – a peasant and a landowner step on the shore of America and now they are equal o Oklahoma Land Runs- land was open on a first come first serve basis – you could race for land – plots of land are marked – once you race to the flag you get that land – a rich or poor man can have the same opportunity to own the land  Upward mobility – pursuit of happiness means success – economic and social advancement – primary disseminator of the American dream is in film – Hollywood propagates the dream of itself. o Pursuit of Happiness (2006): “if you want something, go get it” o Scarface (1983): “he loves the American dream. With a vengeance.”  We see that the American Dream is very two sided – over time it changes though – associated with ownership – people wanted bigger, better  Fame and fortunes ties up into the Dream  Southern California has transformative powers – overnight it could change your fortune – California Gold Rush – is much like the dream of the immigrant – used these ideas to sell the cities and raise the population o How Hollywood started , is not what it looks like today o Nothing there but dry land – no lush paradise that we think of today o Harvey and Daeida Wilcox develop HW – bought 130 acres in 1887 and name is Hollywood after a flower – by 1900, Hollywood had a post office, two hotels and 500 residents o In 35 years LA went from nothing , to the fastest growing city in the west – boosted through advertising – the developer used the real estate industry to sell LA o Transformed dry area to a California dream city – required myth making and promotion o HW was annexed by LA because they had no water to sustain itself o HW sign is a real estate legacy – used this sign to advertise housing development – eventually they said they’d refurbish sign o California= mythmaking, invention, crude promotion  The dream of moving Westward – alike moving from Europeans moving westward o Narrative of westward expansion o The Great Gatsby: American construction of success – has the idea of moving westward – what expectation to we have o Frontier mythos of America (Wild West) o NY film industry – Thomas Edison invented conectigraph – he controlled the needs of video production – immigrants decide they want to go into film but cant compete with Edison – immigrants just say lets go west and hit California away from Edisons lawyers – DW Gritts with Charlie Chaplin are the founders of united artists in 1929 – May Pickford went with him to Hollywood where it’s a less crowded area then LA –  Mary Pickford “American Sweetheart” and Douglas Fairbanks “The boy Next Door” – the golden couple are now located in Hollywood o Buy mansion in HW hills and named it Pickfair – “a collective dream house” – its presented to the media as that – invited royalty to the house, media, etc. – space become legendary o This vision of dream with the American golden couple drew people into HW o They advertised based on the idea that you could live next door to Pickfair - divorced in 1936 o Origin of HW legendary appeal was based on mataphors, fabrication and construction Tuesday Sept 18, 2012 From Hollywoodism to the Entourage Hollywoodism (1998) Movie Notes:  About the founding fathers of Hollywood – based off of documentary An Empire on Their Own  Shows the ironies of Hollywood  One could say the American Dream was bored in Europe  Harry Warner brought the motion picture to Hollywood  Fox studios and Paramount pictures  Jews were very poor and could only live in certain places in Europe – vulnerable - pilgrims killed any Jews – they started to leave Europe for America  They began the process of Americanization – future founders of the studio – had a new vision of American – Hollywood was a dream built by Jews who were fleeing a nightmare –  Instead they found Protestant Elite who wanted to push the Jews around – they couldn’t live in good neighborhoods, get good jobs, etc. –  The movie business is the greatest industry in the world because you collect the money before you deliver the product – Jews had small theatres  Birth of Nation was the most successful Jewish film – it reflected popular ideas of America – even racisms  Warner, Fox, and were looking for themes in their movie such as high culture that would attract the miffle class – one had to change not just the theatres but aso the films- Edison decided the Jews over threw their boudries and set a monopoly against Jews – therefore the moguls headed west to California away from NY  California was a raw social environment  Carl Lenley opened Universal City which is a gigantic facility for films, sets, writing scripts, housing executives, etc. the first movie making city in the world  Other giant moguls did similar things and created similar studios  There became a notion that Hollywood movies were made by artists – but really were by businessmen – it was always the executive  It is said that there was no American Dream before the Jews came to Hollywood – this popular culture created this new vision for America which was established in films  America has become so popular that it has devoured the real America – the shadow of the Jewish people vision clouded over what was really America – that became America  75% of America went to the movies at least once a week – they were in awe at what they were looking at – they were staring at their culture  it was an idea to honor each other at the Oscars – they went from immigrant Jews to award winning producers  many older rich Jewish men ditched their wives and went for younger prettier women – they had inter cultural marriages – Jew marrying non jews – they had come far in society since they could marry non-jews  Jews made black music popular – they took black culture and introduced it to America  If you were prepared to pay the price and shed your identity, then America would accept you  Many themes had to do with outsiders – jews started out as outsiders, then ended up making movies about outsiders – ironic – movies with monsters as outsiders (ex. King Kong) – but then every outsider could be transformed into an insider – even appearance made you an outsider, Hollywood could take you and make you an insider – the little guy was also a common theme, and then they grew bigger  The common man was another theme  Then musicals came around – based on classical stories reinterpreted from a Jewish perspective Purac Comments on Hollywoodism Movie:  Focus on the outsider, little guy, working class  Hollywood was born because of all these immigrant ideologies  As an industry will be centered around five key figures: Harry Warners, Carl Laemmlw (universal), Louis B Mayer (MGM, Willian Fox (Fox), Adolph Zukor (paramount) o All were easter Jewish immigrants o Rejection of past and desire to assimilate – devoting themselves to the dream- most came from the world of retail – how do we sell these ideas to America – they sold a dream  Fivebasic ideas from the documentary 1. Hollywood was born out of difficulties – a. response to a fraught history – poor, life was uncertain – vulnerable – foreign difficulties filter into Hollywood narratives – oppressor, victim, outcast, American western (the american genre which encapsulates America – The Good the Bad the Ugly: yet is was made by Italians and filmed in spain – ironies) b. Hollywood as escape – triumph of the underdog – “images that conceal memories” c. “Hollywood was a dream dreamt by the Jews who were fleeing a nightmare” – Hollywood is a complete dream 2. American Dream is a constructed fantasy a. Constructed and disseminated by Hollywood – Pursuit of Happiness, Superman, b. A beacon of hope – possibilities – Lady Liberty – however many immigrants were greeted with a great deal of difficulty and were not accepted – Gangs of New York (great movie to show immigrants in America and lack of acceptance – always has an American flag in the camera shots) c. Hollywood repackaged.reinvented America onscreen – usinf film to recreate America – icons we adore today were created by outsiders d. “shadow America” overtook “real America” – this image becomes so popular it devours America i. Baudrillard’s Precession of Simulacra – past:reality before representation – now: reality replaced by its simulations – “it’s a question of substituting the signs or the real for the real – American Dream is therefore as hyperreality e. Gabler: Mericanc come to define themselves by the shadow America that was created by the Jews who weren’t admitted to the precincts of the real America” 3. Hollywood and invention of selfhood a. A space where you an become something else – something nre b. Immigrant appropriation of American Identity – ie. Name changes 4. Hollywood influence a. Hollywoods dissemination of ideology – ex. African Americans in film – negative view on blacks in The Birth of Nations though they were very dignifies people 5. Hollywood as new faith system a. For those who were trying to escape their past Hollywood begins to represent this system b. Reverence of cinema spiritual community – hollywoodism c. That’s where you get Entourage – Entourage (episode Pilot)  Girls weren’t hot enough  Red carpet – Vince walks on the carpet – his entourage follows out of the limo – but all they want to take a photo of is Vince  “the bigger the head, the bigger the star”  denied movie role – the Colin Farrell took the role  recycle the classic Hollywood story – westward rags to riches success  LA abd Hollywood coutest of HBO and MTV o Industry produces its own cultural imager  No one ever likes vince – satire – Vince’s passivity a comment on stardom – he really isn’t the lead o Satire also seen through Ari – the agent being cut throat and die hard  Selling the lifestyle of the Hollywood dream  “a lifestyle is a terrible thing to waste” “live it”  conspicuous consumption = lavish spending for display o beautiful women then the hummer comes into the camera angle  the dream of fame o we see the first person perspective od camera at premiere o makes the audience feel like the celebrity because phtos are being taken – shows us what we want – its gives us the opportunity to be famous Manufacturing Dreams: From Singin’ in the Rain to Powdermaker September 25, 2012  Entourage and the culture of celebrity o We partake in the life of entourage as we watch – who else is Vince going to encounter – camera angles make us feel like me are more apart of Hollywood o Vince’s entourage is experiencing Hollywood through Vince – Turtle uses Vince to get laid – o being apart of the entourage allows you to receive benefits – secondary fame – vicariously through others  Hollywood as a “frat-house with money”  Hollywood as escapism - intrinsic to film and Hollywood itself  Sullivan’s Travels (1941) dir. Preston Sturges o Masterpiece of a movie= o Depression stark reality – “oh brother where art thou” – Sully takes this idea to studio executives and tells them about the film he wants to create o Sully says film has more potential then juts an artistic medium – social significant – purpose should be tied to realism instead of fantasy o studio argues that it should be an escape for people – put a little sex/spice in it – o director wants to make a film about poverty and misfortune – o identity in Hollywood can be transformed so easily – Sully dresses like a hobo and try and experience the real world – when he’s dressed he encounters people who have had first hand suffering and ends up assaulting someone – he gets sent to 6 years in a chain gang – he realizes that the one thing the chain gang gets excited for his a screening of a film and he realizes the true meaning of film – all the men were laughing hysterically o our vision of fear and laughter has shifted over time o social commentary= uniformity and communalism, film is democratic (it doesn’t matter your race, religion, etc), film has equality, no matter what race the film was still found as funny o at the end Sully says he doesn’t want to make a commentary he wants to make a comedy – making people laugh is way better – dedicates film to the people who have made us laugh over the years o importance of escapism – ability to pull us out of ourselves – unexpected transformation to Sully o most popular Depression-era genres  Screwball comedies  Musicals – ex. Shirley Temple - Both screwball and musicals offered an escape from their realities Musicals  Response to technical innovation o Late 1920’s = sound era (The Jazz Singer – 1927 – marks the end of the silent era) o 1930’s rise of Technicolor o Musical is about sound and spectacle and escape o When a good guy and girl perform perfectly together it means they are meant to be together – image contains hope o Singing in the Rain – best musical ever made Singing in the Rain (1952) dir. Kelly & Donan  A movie about movies  Musical about transition into talkies  Triple threat – singing, dancing, acting  Lina is having trouble making it into sounds films because of her voice – odd accent as well  Sadness = illusions, fakery (ie. Line and silent film)  Don is ambiguous at first  Kathy is genuine, authentic nd her soundies  Kathy’s influence on Don gains a more positive aura – Don falls for Kathy  Revolves around Hollywood fakery  “Winking at the Audience” -(Jane Feuer) – illusions and fakery are bad, but yet we created this film using it  Lina is condemned for having her voice dubbed – Kathy’s voice is also dubbed (by Lina’s character)  Condemns artifice but is “lying to us at every level”  “You Were Meant for Me” – Don’s love song for Kathy – irony is that the actor needs illusions to express his genuine feelings for Kathy – he needs Hollywood to express himself truthfully o demystification and remystification  when we see the lights, fan, etc. exposing the technology that has created these illusions – then it zooms in and removes the technology – it may be an illusion but it is a real representation of Don’s feelings  “artiface is at the heart of the reality effect”  but singing delights in cinema’s ability to transport us Daniel Boorstin’s “From the AD to American Illusions?” (1961)  illusions has replaced reality – bad thing – defeat , victim, suffering, we are doomed to make out dreams into illusions 1. difference between dreams and illusions a. what is a dream? An aspiration we compare to reality – give sus something to move forward to - to expire – we endeavor to reach it b. an illusion is an image we have mistaken for reality – we believe them to be real – illusions keeps us passive and stationary – we have swapped dreamf for illusions c. this is because American movies – shadow America had replaces real America – movies are detremantal to society since we are believing something that is unreal to be real 2. pseudo-event a. event that only becomes true once it becomes filtered through the media – not until we see it on screen – they blur the boundary between reality, fact, and fiction b. believe illusions to be true (hyperreal) – a removal from reality – c. we live in a culture which produces “secondhandedness” in the “age of contrivance” 3. Prestige a. film= images of our prestige b. lain praestigium (illusion, delusion) – prestige is the moment in a magic trick when your taken in by the illusion c. we should try and reach outside our images – 260 The Truman Show (1998) dir. Peter Weir  about escapism and illusions  truth vs. representation – nothing is real but Truman has no idea  very first time we see Truman he is practicing for an audition – pretending to be someone else – he’s trying to escape his own existence through acting  symbolic ‘Truman’ as a genuine performer  Boorstinian skepticism o Failure of the American dream o Dream as illusion o Escape  “we accept the reality of the word in which we live” –  his world looks like 1950’s American dream  Truman is a result of an unwanted pregnancy  In Singing in the rain Don must enter studio to articulate truth o Truman leaves studio to experience truth o Artifice not means of escape but to be escaped  Musicals are most popular during war o Coincide with weateh rthe country is interested in escaping reality Hortense Powdermaker – anthropologist Hollywood: The Dream Factory 1946-47  Her role was an observer  Studio system – “mass production of prefabricated dreams” – the place where dreams are manufactured  Systemized factory assembly – each of the major producers produced one movie a week – creativity is mechanized and uniform products  Every studio had a signature style because it was always the same people working on all these movies  She trying to point of irony about the space that produces dreams, is really a nightmare  Enormous control of the studio – they controlled people – stars we bound by 7 year contracts to the studio – studios managed and maintained the stars persona to the world –  Clarke Gable at MGM starre din 13 major pictures in 3 years  Betty Davis was in over 24 movies in 4 years at Warner Brothers  Art vs. commerce – stereotypical storylines – writer became resentful because there was no creativity of rthe writer – if you creative, don’t go to Hollywood – ironic that Hollywood makes itself seem creative hotspot, but really its just commercialism  False visions in fake environment  A business civilization – Hollywood represents totalitarianism (economic) o People are property – from suits to stars they have little choice in what they do – not democratic at all o Soncentrated power structure – studio heads had degree of control over every movie ever made o Atmosphere of anxiety – worried about how each film will do – meteocraty o Representational brainwashing – gives us ideas about how to live our lives – we need to fall in love then get married o Humiliation as a tool – people were made to feel unworthy – had to work harder and they aren’t good enough o =degradation – creates products that lack creativity  Hollywood is rarely just a community that creates movies, rather it is a community pregnant with meaning Bruce Chipman’s “The Promise Land”  California Gold Rush – encapsulates the dream – if you hit gold , everything is Gold – represents promise and the peril , representing ruthless people  New world transforming into the Old World – when dreams weren’t found there was a sense of betterness or success is shortlived  Moral bankruptcy and disappointment o Ex. Friends cast – everyone is doing terrib;e – other then Jennifer Lewis Mumford’s Utopia’s  Two forms of utopia 1. Utopias of escape: immediate, temporary release of reality a. Ex. Cinema b. Therefore its passive because you go back and nothing has changed 2. Utopias of reconstruction a. Active form – where you attempt to recreate in reality, your Utopic vision b. The idea you have in your head is being created  If you spend too long in utopia of escape you will become disconnected from reality – its not good for you –  Ambiguity of Hollywood – dreams become transformed into nightmares The Day of The Locust October 2 , 2012  Books became less popular when film came  Writers critical of Hollywood and film industry - writers Nathaniel West  Great example of identity constructions – jewish immigrants – changes name to Nathaniel  Forged high school transcript and gt to college – claimed he was german, though Russian  Wrote as a contract scriptwriter –  Fox bought Miss Lonely Hearst and turned its sad tale into a happy ending  About profit over art in the Hollywood industry  Died while going to Fitzgeralds funeral  Love of the Last Tycoon *Fitxgerald – about Hollywood film producer and executives , whereas Locust is about the drab people who try and get into HW – Locust’s are raiders whoa re drawn to space of HW – people are cheated by HW , but are in a place where their dream are never going to come true – it lie to them and misrepresented their expectations –  Locusts is a swarm of grasshoppers – locusts are known as omens of destruction – can go on for miles – this is what becomes of the cheated by the end of the novel – the result of being cheated by HW is the locusts – about the people that failed to succeed in HW –  Written in 1939 which is known as the golden year in HW – however, this devastating novel is written – dangerous industry Novel:  So much symbolism  Todd Hackett who is an artist who studued at Yale, and moved to HW and falls in love with Faye Greener  Cowboys friend who live son hill, Meican man who fights Cocks, and a business man who Faye uses  Pastiche: imitation of another form – instead of having something original we get a product of a buc=nch of pieces cobbled together o Ex. Frankenstein- a man, but made up of all different pieces o Key piece of postmodern society – blurring boundaries between absolutes, we have meaningless images – disconnected from original form and loses its meaning o Hollywood is a pastiche o Todd drivesd down the street in HW and see houses from different parts in the world – swiss chalets, Mexican vilas, cabines o Pg 24 – Todd “the hosues were comic but he didnmt laugh – its ahard to laugh at the need for really romance…few things are sader then the true monstress” o Pastiche has “devoid of laughter” o People in HW are living in illusions – Homers house  Ex. Celebrities houses – o People are patische as well – reforming out identity – identities are artificial since we have made them o Tod comes to HW as an outside observer and can criticize HW o So can Sean and Beverly in Episodes because ethey came from England o The Burnign of Los Angleses – painting that depicts Tods life in HW o Faye Greener- performativity is life  The television executives of Episodes o Fayes rehearsed behaviors and appearance – love is to be performed o Ex morning Randolph of Episodes o Recycles HW stories (pastiche) – alike Fayes acting , she a- faye goes through stories like a pack of cards, flipping through them o All versions of the Cinderella stort – recycled a lot  Pretty Women (1990): film fantasy – was supposed to be a documentary of prostitutes in original pitch – then decided it would be a posistitue who is pulled into the the business life trough a business man who hires her for a week – she decided she has to leave LA and go to San Fran – then the says she used to pretend she was a princess and would get saved bya knight – raised on this farytale, shem moves to HW to make it a reality –  Conveys the dea the even prostitutes can make it big in HW  Mumford’s Utopia of Escape: o Fayes dad goes door to door selling shoe polish, Faye does door to door selling her body – actress sells her image by putting it on escreen for mass distribution – for West prostitution is an extension of this idea  Fayes Sexuality is 1. Echanizes and commodofies – runs tongue off her lips – man after man after man but it doesn’t matter to her 2. Perverse and performative: shes 17 but dresses like shes 12 – looks like she ahs just been born – sex is empties of meaning 3. Violent and morbid – pg 187 imagines hurting her and raping her “smash through her self sufficiency”- he wants her to wake up from her illusions  This shows hoe the audiences loves to see celebrities suffer Mark Conroy “Promise and Prochecy”  Trajectory of desire and frustrations 1. Fatasy of total union with desired object 2. Pain when realize object unattainable 3. Fantasies of possession and degradatins – ex. Fantasies of rape 4. Desire to destroy what initially attracted  Ambivalence towards celebrities – love and hate – at the heart of our relationship with HW  Disintegration of Harry Greener’s dream – identity is oerformance – even his death his body is prepared – Faye dabbing handkerchief to eyes and performing grief – his funeral was like a concert except people were sobbing o Ex. Michael Jacksons death was filmed and televised o Nothing spectacular happens at Harry’s funeral - then people were disappointed that nothing did  Two classical passages about HW: a. The Collapsing Set (chapter 18) – a horse, windmill, donsosaur in studio – movement through time and space – HW allows everything from all over the world to be in one location at once – mystification and demystification from Faye – Powedermaker calls HW the Dream Factory, West calls HW the dream dump (128) – studio is a place where dreams are dumped and cheapened – all dreams eventually end up there i. Battle of Waterloo – recreation of Waterloo, Napolean wanst even there – deflates historical battle- Hackett is at the set and then something goes wrong – the stage collapses – playing at war and accustomed to illusion , then the danger of war becomes reality - b. The Film Premiere Riot (chapter 27) – vicious corwd of the cheated and turned out to see the celebrities – once they see the stars the crowd turns demonic when they see symbols of success they want and become a surging mass – savage, disappointed mass that’s looking for revenge – “they have been tricked and burn with resentment – Homer deciced he must leave HW – Adore throws a stone at Homers face and attacks Adore (symbol of HW hope and success) i. Viedo clip: disturbing is background riot, but the celebrities think its about them – what is happening beneath the surface – Hacketts fantasy of destructions = The Burning of Los Angeles – its not the dreams that come true in Wests version of HW, it’s the nightmares  Episodes explores Wests themes through a TV show MIT- 2506 October 9 , 2012 Sunset Boulevard  “no body important really, just a movie writer”  “crazy movie people built in the crazy 20’s”  Norma Desmond – received 1700 fan letters  Need to have fanciest tuxedo with a tail  I had to get outta there – I had to hear someone laugh again (when he moved out)  Attractive headline – great star kills herself for online writer (after she slits her wrists) Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Wilders Sunset Boulevard  First studio was on sunset boulevard  1950 directed by Billy Wilder  Ebert “it sees through the illusion” – mufords utopia of escape – danger of getting lostin there illusions – Norma gets lost  When she goes to studio she is only recognized by the sone security guard – producer makes her sit and not act –  You have made a rope of words and strangled this business – appears in film knot on Norma’s neck  Tension between writer and the star  Film revolves around question of nature of cimema? Is it about dialogue or is it about images?  “I am big, it’s the pictures that got small”  “I am ready for my closeup”  Time: “HW at its worst told by HW at its best”  Corliss: “the definitive HW horror movie” o Norma as monstrous HW casualty – depicted on poster with her large face being larger then the innocent writers o  Blurs the lines of reality – Wolfreys: “unsettling disjunction and doubling” – HW inside and outside o Ex. Sansons/Desmonds shared history  Uses Gloria to play Norma – she is a unknown actor made to play an unknown actor  Realism that made the movie so horrifying to HW – referencing reality  Stroheims/Max’s shared history  Forgotten “wax works” = trajedy based on reality – fear of decline for stars – industry that chews you up then spits you out – fear of popularity being on decline  Ames: “iconography of the HW dream and its corruption” o Ex: the swimming pool – pool represents dream of hw – luxury, material wealth, ability to escape heat in middle of LA heat, common people must go to public pool – celebrities get a private pool and a symbol of success – o We see pool empty first – then full with a dead body – o Rats were in the pool fighting over an orange which represents California = failure of American Dream  Old vs New – Normas old film vs new film which is joe/takies/dialogue – o Ex. New years eve parties- arties party is active/fun/full of life then there is Norma’s new years eve party – norma is inbetween stardom and darkness  HW illusions – Norma was raised on these illusions – she was everyones dream girl – as she grows older, she is still stuck in illusions of the past o In locust houses were represented as lush, luxurious, and come from different places – things look amazing but they are all fake – ex. Its not actually an old English manor o Normas house was similar – it is a pastiche – ceiling from Portugal – represents HW itself – her home perserves/memorializes itself – she is trapped in a world of her self and never wants to leave the place where she can worship her past – she is the greatest star here because she is the only st
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