Hollywood Vs. America: Popular Culture and the War On Traditional Values
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Hollywood Vs. America: Popular Culture and the War On Traditional Values
Hollywood vs. America: Popular Culture and the War on Traditional Values
Hollywood vs. America.jpg
First edition
AuthorMichael Medved
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
GenreSocial Trends, Popular Culture, cultural relativism
PublisherHarperCollins
Publication date
October 1992
Pages400 p. (hardback edition), 416 p. (paperback edition)
ISBN006016882X (Hardback), ISBN 0060924357 (Paperback)
Preceded byThe Hollywood Hall of Shame: The Most Expensive Flops in Movie History 
Followed bySaving Childhood: Protecting Our Children from the National Assault on Innocence 

Hollywood vs. America: Popular Culture and the War on Traditional Values is a 1992 book by conservative film critic Michael Medved.[1] Its purpose is an examination and condemnation of violence and sexuality in cinema, as well as other media, such as TV and rock music.[2] Medved argued in the book that since the 1960s, American popular culture- especially Hollywood cinema-had been producing art that was excessively violent, sexual and disrespectful to authority, and that such art was having a harmful effect on American society.[2] The book's evidence relies heavily on the Lichter & Rothman book Watching America and the 1990 conference "The Impact of the Media on Children and the Family" to conclude that violence in cinema has a negative impact on American culture, especially by motivating viewers to mimic the violence they see on the screen. The book was praised by George Gilder in its American edition.[1]

Reception

In his book Movies About the Movies, film historian Christopher Ames took issue with Hollywood vs. America. Ames described the book's viewpoint as overly simplistic, and argued that it exhibited "virtually no awareness of the function of fantasy and vicarious experience...That audiences might have complex reasons for viewing behavior they do not wish to emulate or experience firsthand eludes Medved." [3]

Charles Oliver, reviewing the book for the libertarian monthly magazine, Reason, took issue with many of Medved's arguments. Oliver stated the commercial failure of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was due to the fact "it was simply the worst of the series", not because of Medved's statement that audiences objected to what Medved claimed as the anti-religious tone of the film.[2] Oliver pointed out themes like anti-heroes, crime and adultery had been staples of the American film industry since the 1940s, citing films like Double Indemnity and White Heat. Oliver also stated "Medved never once considers the idea that maybe adultery is a powerful dramatic theme-powerful because we value marriage so much".[2]

In the liberal magazine, The New Republic, the then-film critic for The New Yorker magazine, David Denby, wrote that Hollywood vs. America "is the stupidest book about popular culture that I have read to the end." [4]

John Podhoretz in the conservative magazine Commentary praised the book, stating: "The central point of Hollywood vs. America is, however, unassailable: not only is there a gaping chasm between Hollywood's America and the real America, but Hollywood seems willing to pay in the coin of reduced profits for its continual refusal to bridge the chasm".[2]

Hollywood vs America was criticized in two articles by Brian Siano in the January 1993 issue of The Humanist magazine as being a case of Medved trying to exaggerate in order to make his point.[5]

The English novelist Martin Amis agreed with some of Medved's points about violence affecting young audiences, while still ultimately rejecting Medved's argument, saying violence was an inevitable part of any artistic medium.[6]

References

  1. ^ a b Medved, Michael (1992). Hollywood vs. America: Popular Culture and the War on Traditional Values. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-016882-X.
  2. ^ a b c d e Charles Oliver,"It's Not a Wonderful Book" (Review of Hollywood vs. America), Reason Magazine, February 1993, (pp. 46-48).
  3. ^ Christopher Ames, Movies about the movies : Hollywood reflected. Lexington, Kentucky : University Press of Kentucky, ISBN 9780813109381 (p. 121) .
  4. ^ "At Odds With Hollywood Values: Interview with Michael Medved". November 17, 1992. Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved November 8 2019.
  5. ^ The Screening Room of Dr. Caligari Archived 2008-08-28 at the Wayback Machine Reprint of Siano's article
  6. ^ Martin Amis: The War Against Cliche: Essays and Reviews, 1971-2000 .Knopf Canada, 2001

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Hollywood_vs._America:_Popular_Culture_and_the_War_on_Traditional_Values
 



 



 
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