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From the publisher:
Los Angeles: the ‘City of Angels’. Whether this epithet evokes sunshine and beaches, glamorous movie stars or the possibility of fame, many around the world have a fantasy of this enchanting, impossible place stored in their minds. Its reality is as much the record of the place on film as the ‘real’ Los Angeles. This is because Los Angeles is first and foremost a city of cinema, both in the movies that are made there, and the filmed image of the place, either recorded on location or recreated in a studio set. In Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles, Mark Shiel explores Los Angeles from the invention of motion pictures in the 1890s to the decline of the studio system in the 1950s, describing the ever-changing cinematic image of the city, and the ways in which its representations reflected and manipulated its physical geography. Shiel shows how the construction of studios helped to change the shape of Los Angeles, and how Hollywood not only contributed to but also complicated its economic, political, social and cultural life. The author describes the incredibly popular films that were produced during this time, from the early slapstick comedies to film noir, arguing that the histories of Los Angeles and its film industry cannot be understood in isolation from each other. Shiel gives a close analysis of narrative, mise en scene, cinematography, editing and other elements of film style, concentrating on the ways in which filmmakers engaged with the architecture of the city both inside the studios and on location in California. Written by an expert in the history and theory of cinema and the city, Hollywood Cinema and the Real Los Angeles in a must-read for anyone interested in Hollywood movies, or the history and architecture of Los Angeles. As well as being illustrated with many previously unpublished photographs, the book offers an in-depth view of the city that has never been seen before.