Hollyworld: Space, Power, and Fantasy in the American Economy

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Hollywood is currently one of the largest and most profitable sectors of the U.S. economy. In just a few decades, it has transformed itself from a dying company town into a merchandising emporium of movies, games, and licensed characters. It is quickly moving even further into cyberspace, virtual reality, and digital imaging. Aida Hozic writes of these enormous changes in the film industry from a novel perspective: by tracing shifts in spatial organization of film production from the enclosed worlds of old Hollywood studios through globally dispersed location shooting to digital production and distribution. Hozic's fascinating tale of latter-day capitalism suggests that the physical reorganization of production-across the American economy, but in Hollywood in particular-alters material and conceptual boundaries between work and leisure, public and private, reality and fantasy. Particular economic regimes and forms of spatial organization have specific moral implications, and so the story of Hollywood's cultural production is partly a story of censorship and moral surveillance. Hozic's account of industrial change in Hollywood, and of its attempts at moral control over the production of fantasy, is an illuminating confrontation with the peculiar nature of Hollywood's political authority and of its complex power.