The Hollywood myth is well-known. Hollywood is a place of dreams. Celebrities dine in expensive restaurants. Fashion boutiques reflect the money, effluence and aura in their outrageous designs. Red carpet is always just a barricade away. Your footprints stalk those famous names on the floor. This surgery enhanced smiling glamorous Hollywood myth is sold like sugar sweetening millions worldwide. Yet even this myth seems openly a myth. Quietly, whispering – though sometimes louder – in our ears we hear the resonating truth and we acknowledge that Hollywood & Vine is not Hollywood; it’s up those fair hills. Beverly Hills is the real geographical location; Beverly Hills is that Hollywood myth of fashion boutiques and celebrities. The Hollywood myth exists but is just a few miles away…
This honesty concerning the “truth” of the location of the real Hollywood is an extension of the myth. Hollywood, the proper Hollywood, is in Hollywood. Hollywood isn’t the light, bright, young and beautiful of Beverly Hills. Beverly Hills is smoke and mirrors which distracts us from concentrating on Hollywood’s real element. Hollywood the place is the proper Hollywood as it’s filled with industrial-like complexes, studios, sound-proof booths, sound stages, offices and all aspects of the real capitalist process of film-making. On contemplation we understand that this is the real Hollywood: an industrial complex. The myth of Hollywood and the smoke and mirrors of Beverly Hills are used so that the real commercial industrial nature of Hollywood isn’t foregrounded. Hollywood is an industrial complex that produces cultural items – a factory of language but still a factory. We wouldn’t argue that an Ironworks is to be found in the dirt and sweat on the worker’s brow or the workers homes – signs of it true but if we asked for directions and were given this answer we would be angry and lost. The Ironworks would be explained as the physical location: the factory floor or site of production. The Hollywood myth like the continuity system attempts to hide or refract the signs of the mechanical production so as to communicate a more financially viable and sustainable magical atmosphere that doesn’t raise questions or at least subdues them.
6 thoughts on “Discourse Ideology Myth: Hollywood’s Geographical Location”
Interesting post Vedette. It is quite true that Hollywood is continously attempting to distract the consumer from its real existence as a capitalist enterprise. Marx’s ‘fetishism of commodities’ is an interesting side-reading to the myth of celebrity and myth of Hollywood.
Yes, Hollywood studios are business enterprises, but your ideologically-tinted glasses have failed to reveal that in all epochs the Hollywood dream factory has produced great cinema, and also works that offer a profound critique of capitalism and the dark underside of the American dream. For example from the 40s: The Grapes of Wrath, Double Indemnity, Body and Soul, Force of Evil, and many many more.
I don’t believe i excluded the possibility of Hollywood producing great art, the discourse of Hollywood in an interesting area of investigation – concerning how signifiers and the signifed produce certain types of connotation rather than straight denotation. To Hollywood covering up the mechanical processes is a large part of the magic; it should never be forgotten that all cultural products that Hollywood creates are tempered by this discourse [in the same way French cinema is tempered by its centralised funding systems]. I felt that covering the discourse of Hollywood and cinema in general would be imcomplete without looking critically at the processes of signification concerning the geographical location of Hollywood CA.
ehh.. love it 🙂
emm. informative 🙂