Thursday, April 12, 2007

The House of Dreams

Jane Addams presents this document "The House of Dreams" to show the connection between Youths and the theater. The influence of film has a profound effect on youths, for they are drowned i what is make believe and finds it difficult to separate it from reality. The theater to many youths is something that they want to relate to. They see unconventional stories that are played in theaters and these stories and are somewhat connected to their lives or how they imagine things to be. The theater helps to create fantasies for these youths and they look foward to see shows that portray a better life for people and society (a higher lifestyle) because they are deprived of having this life. "In a very real sense the drama alone performs for them the office of art as is clearly revealed in their blundering demand stated in many forms for "a play unlike life". The theater becomes to them a "veritable house of dreams" infinetly more real than the noisy streets and the crowded factories" (p.76). Therefore the conception of mystery, romance and drama that are presented in film is a highly better life than the life that is offered to these youths.
They also see that theater presents a conception of sanity and positive aspects of life; "The drama provides a transition between the romantic conceptions which they vainly struggle to keep intact and life's cruelties and trivialities whiich they refuse to admit. a child whose imagination has been cultivated is able to do this for himself through reading and reverie, but for the overworked city youth of meager education, perhaps nothing but the theater is able to perform this important office"(p.77). In other words, Industrial youth workers depended upon film and art to hold on to the contradictions of what their perception of life was, which was not full of nobility and not harmonious.

Cultural changes breeds societal scrutiny

Cultural changes breeds societal scrutiny.
In Early Motion Pictures, Daniel Czitrom quotes Reverend Richard H. Edwards as saying:

"Why has the love of spontaneous play given way so largely to the love of
merely being amused?''
I believe his concern, as a cultural traditionalist, was with the decreasing use of parks, playgrounds, libraries, museums and the like for movies whichtook place in arcades, dance academies, vaudeville, dance halls and burlesque theaters. Such places were looked upon as the seamier side of life.

The growth of movies and other types of amusements was seen as a weakness and a cause for a shift in the values of American life.

In my opinion, this viewpoint occurs whenever something new is presented to our culture. In the 1960's, Elvis Presley's dancing was considered to be vulgar and seen as a corruptive force to teenages, same was seen with the Beatles, Heavy Metal and Hip Hop. The advent of the computer age has its own brand of criticism in that children, teens and even adults are thought to spend too much time online, in a virtual world. The web has a never ending supply of corruptive forces such as chat rooms, porn sites , to name a few.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hollywood Has Always Been Scrutinized!

As Paul starr states, "A variety of religious, social reform, and other groups, however saw the movies as a seductive, and all too popular source of moral subversion and, begining in 1907, persuaded some municipalities and states to censor the new medium." This has been going on since Hollywoods inception. The religious right and the so called moral majority have been trying to censor all entertainment since the beginning of this form of entertainment. This has always as it does today, slaped the constitution in the face, metaphorically speaking. People have a right to speak their mind, and as long as it does not cause anybody bodily harm this is okay. This is what America is all about. If people do not like what they are watching they should turn it off. When people try to censor intellectual property, the censoring takes away from the integrity of that property. People have a right to not watch something they deem offensive, but they should not have the right to censor someone else's work.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Captivating Moving Picture Sensations: M-O-V-I-E-S kids just want their movies.

It is amazing how something we take for granted today could have captivated people over a hundred years ago. The Nickelodeons of the early 1900’s were so popular with everyone, but especially the young kids and adolescents. A reason for this was because it was cheap and everyone could go at once, along with the face that it was something completely new and exciting for their eyes. No longer did they have to read books or listen to stories, they could now sit and watch and be relaxed and not think about anything too much. It is very interesting that for as long as film and motion pictures have been around, schools and parents have had objections about their children watching it. Even when this was a new technology, the children flocked to it and put down their books. Educators felt that it was unfair to them to have to compete with motion pictures for the attention span of their students, but what could they do? The motion pictures could captivate and instill knowledge better then reading a book for most children and eventually motion pictures were being used in schools because it was a better way to keep the children interested about the topic. So as most schools are just now becoming friendly with technology and videos, we can look back and see that right when moving pictures became popular, schools were interested in using them because they knew it was a better way to grab young minds, much as they do now. The children were captivated with this new form of entertainment and would never let go.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Chapter 9: The path to the Nickleloden

According to Paul Starr, The Creation of the Media, but they "had to provide forms and places of entertainment that were public in the sense that they belonged to no particular social groups, exciting enough to appeal to the millions, and respectable enough to offend no one"

My opinion about this quote is that individual entrepreneurs during the 1880's had to provide the public with movie theaters so that people could watch short movies. This quote also states that wealthy class had to obtain buildings that didn't belong to social groups during this period. It also means that they had to make movies that wasn't disrepectful to people. They had to make movies that appealed to the poor.


"It was during the progressive era, particularly between 1910 and 1917 that a free-speech movement began to stir as writters and artists in rebellion against genteel culture discovered a common cause with radical dissenters on the left in the battle against censorship. A new generation of young intellectuals, convinced that America's old Puritan hypocracy stood in the way of an honest understanding and full enjoyment of life, sought to open up disscussion of sex, birth control, and other forbidden subject."

This was a very progressive time for censorship, and more liberal thinking which kind of came from one another. Politics and society made it very uncomfortable to discuss topics such as sex, and birth control freely. Then more liberal thinkers began to question the political aspect of censorship with the First Amendment. The spread of ideas was inevitable and no censorship wasg going to stop people from freely utilizing their given rights.


This is a picture of an early magazine
"Toward the end of the nineteenth century in yet another phase of the revolution of cheap print, magazines underwent a transformation similar to the one that had already taken place in newspapers. Although there had been some cheap magazines in the early 1800's, they had been short lived failures. As of the early 1800's, the major national magazines were relatively expensive at 35 cents a copy and had a limited readership concentrated in the more comfortable and conservative classes, in contrast to the newspapers' lower prices and more popular audience." (Starr)

Politics and markets have an direct effect on magazines and its audiences. Much of this political influence is seen through the direct effect censorship has on material. Newspapers began as a limited commodity for common man, later with greater circulation, came penny papers. They say if you examine history you can predict the future, well this holds true for media engines as well.

Chapter 9 The nickelodeon area

"Although more middle-class people would soon be going to the movies, the audience in the nickelodeon area was predominantly working-class " (p. 303)
- One of the major developments in the exhibition side of the U.S. movie industry during the early 1900s was the establishment of theaters devoted exclusively to the showing of motion pictures. These storefront theaters, or nickelodeons, revolutionized American popular entertainment. Nickelodeons catered to recent immigrants as well as to working-class and middle-class people in many metropolitan areas, and in so doing, they attracted a relatively diverse audience. During this period, the U.S. movie industry experienced an explosion in the demand for movies. The majority of films that filled the nickelodeon theaters, however, came from European firms, but many of the eventual founders of the Hollywood studio system, got started in the movie industry and earned huge profits running nickelodeons.

Chapter 8 The Rediscovery of the First Amendment

"While journalism and political debate in America continued to be exceptionally uninhibited and free of government control, the courts interpreted free speech rights in a highly restrictive fashion" (p. 267)
- The U.S. Supreme Court's development of a judicial approach to the protection of First Amendment freedoms has long been a source of frustration to those who feel that free expression is one of the most basic and fragile rights in our constitutional system. One recurring theme, ongoing since at least the early part of the 20th century, has been the notion that government must demonstrate some significant competing interest to limit certain types of speech. Judges using this approach to judicial review seek to balance the value of free expression against the need to implement other societal interests. Depending on the type of speech in question, the balancing test may require the competing interest achieve a given level of significance, whether "compelling," "substantial," or "important," or a variety of other descriptive terms, before the competing interest can override the strong interest in freedom of expression.

Chapter 7 Great Transformation

"Moral censorship enjoyed support not merely from elite men but from others as well, including women - indeed for a long time it hardly met with any opposition" (p. 242)
- Since the new republican ideology required informed citizens, newspaper reading exceeded the province of an enlightened elite and became a duty for all white men. Soon, universal access to knowledge appeared to be a prerequisite for an independent, virtuous white population, which had to include well-informed republican women. Virtuous women were, then, the target of advice on what to read and what not to readA plausible explanation for this trend seems to be that an orientation to reform through individual rehabilitation, rather than social change, was congenial to the affluent. However, that orientation was a survival of religious attitudes that were waning in a secular age. It was a reflection of, rather than a substitute for, tradition, and was widely diffused through the product of elite manipulation.