Examines popular films made in Hollywood by European directors, offering a fresh take on the much-debated issue of the "great divide" between modernism and mass culture.
CHOICE 1999 Outstanding Academic Books
In Passport to Hollywood, James Morrison examines a series of Hollywood films by directors from European art-cinemas. Drawing widely on current research in film theory, film history, and cultural studies, he traces the influence of European filmmakers in Hollywood from the 1920s to the 1980s and illuminates the relation between modernism and mass-culture in American movies. By interpreting important American films, Morrison also shows how these films illustrate key issues of cultural hierarchy and national culture over fifty years of American cinema. In addition, he explores the complex and often contradictory ways that these Hollywood movies conceptualize ideas about "foreignness. " Using insightful close viewings, Morrison demonstrates new connections among modernism, postmodernism, and American movies.
James Morrison is Associate Professor and Co-Director of Film Studies at North Carolina State University.
"James Morrison's Passport to Hollywood is a superb examination of the American films of some of the most gifted European cineastes. Using such classic films as Scarlet Street, This Land is Mine, and more recent works such as Petulia, Morrison demonstrates the ways in which the concerns of such disparate directors as Lang, Renoir, Lester, Murnau, and Forman found expression within the Hollywood cinema, enriching both the cinema of America, as well as demonstrating to others what films were possible working within the Hollywood machine. Engrossing, carefully researched, and richly detailed, Morrison's book is at once accessible and meticulous. " — Wheeler Winston Dixon, author of The Films of Jean-Luc Godard