Actors' screen images have too often stolen the focus of attention from their behind-the-scenes working conditions. In "Negotiating Hollywood", Danae Clark begins to fill this gap in film history by providing a rich historical account of actors' labour struggles in 1930s Hollywood. For many years, one of the dominant approaches to film studies has been the "star studies" approach, like auteurism or biography wherein one actor or director becomes the object of study. Clark argues for a cultural studies approach, as she investigates both the individual and collective political conflicts that actors encountered within the Hollywood production system in the 1930s. She reveals the contradictory position of actors caught in the forces between production and consumption, representation and self-representation, their role as images and their occupation as labourers.
Taking the formation of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933 as its investigative centrepiece, "Negotiating Hollywood" examines the ways in which actors' contracts, studio labour policies and public relations efforts, films, fan magazines, and other documents were all involved in actors' struggles to assert their labour power and define their own images. Clark supplies information not only on stars, but on screen extras, whose role in the Hollywood film industry has remained hitherto undocumented. "Negotiating Hollywood" should be of appeal to individuals interested in actor labour, film history and cultural studies.
Buy Negotiating Hollywood book by Danae Clark from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(234mm x 156mm x 10mm)
University of Minnesota Press
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
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