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Hollywood by Hollywood – The Backstudio Picture and the Mystique of Making Movies - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Hollywood by Hollywood: The Backstudio Picture and the Mystique of Making Movies

Steven Cohan


The backstudio picture, or movie about filmmaking, is a genre as old and as recent as commercial filmmaking itself. This genre’s longevity is due to its function in branding filmmaking with the mystique of Hollywood. As the backstudio picture depicts it, Hollywood is simultaneously (1) an actual locale in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, (2) a business dedicated to the standardized production of motion pictures, and (3) an enduring cultural fantasy about fame, leisure, consuming, sexuality, artistry, and modernity. This overlapping of the literal (the locale) onto the material (the business) ... More

Keywords: Hollywood, film history, film industry, stardom, filmmaking, filmmakers, studio system, genre, brand

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190865788
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190865788.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Steven Cohan, author
Professor Emeritus of Film, Syracuse University