LOVING & HATING HOLLYWOOD - BY JANE MILLS
THE HOLLYWORLD VIEW
“An introduction to Hollywood cinema which explains how it influences and in
turn is influenced by alternative cinema traditions,” says the blurb, and even
that sounds good. Jane Mills has delivered an accessible and fascinating book
that is at once academically astringent, entertaining to read and cinematically
literate, writes Andrew L. Urban.
The cover image of Jean Seberg from Jean Luc Godard’s A bout de souffle
(Breathless, 1960) presents this book to the reader as a jaunty, charming and
likeable work – which it is, and more besides. I’m taken by the image, the
choice of which Jane Mills explains in detail at the beginning, in a fascinating
exposition that has me hooked to read on.
The publisher’s description explains: “As the paradigm by which most other
cinemas define themselves and are judged, Hollywood is thought to determine the
shape of all national and local cinemas. But is Hollywood really such a
homogenous and homogenising monolith?
Jane Mills challenges the widespread notion of a Hollywood bounded and fixed at
the centre of a stable cultural landscape, to propose a new way of understanding
inter-cinematic relationships. Placing her close readings of films within the
framework of globalising processes she shows the cultural flows between cinemas
are more fluid and their borders are more porous than commonly assumed.
"challenges filmmakers, critics and audiences to see
the film world afresh"
Loving and Hating Hollywood … “challenges filmmakers, critics and audiences
to see the film world afresh and to recognise the power of dissident imagination
wherever its geographical homeland may be.” She says “what I really hope is that
readers, - filmmakers, critics and audiences – will realise that both Hollywood
and non-Hollywood cinemas are far richer and more varied than most people is
believe. And not invariably in opposition to one another. I’m arguing that if we
look at any film we can find traces of other films and cinemas in it. And the
exciting thing is to follow these traces across borders of nation and genre so
that the boundaries simply don’t make sense any more. Cinema is far more
exciting and enjoyable when we we look outside the borders.”
Responding to the book, Professor James Donald, from the University of New South
Wales says: “Blending a cinephile's close attention to cannily chosen films with
her international experience in film culture and a restless, cosmopolitan
intellect, Jane Mills tells an imaginative story about the fluidity of
'Hollywood' and its constant reinvention through a process of negotiation with
its protean others.”
Extensive Notes, a large Bibliography and a practical (and essential) Index
complete the book, which bridges the needs of academics and the inquiring minds
of screen culture enthusiasts.
Published June 25, 2009
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Loving and Hating Hollywood -
Reframing global and local cinemas
Allen & Unwin, paperback, 240 pages, $39.99
Jane Mills is Associate Professor of Communications at Charles Sturt
University and a Senior Research Associate at the Australian Film Television and