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The Cinema Dreams Its Rivals

Media Fantasy Films from Radio to the Internet

2005
Author:

Paul Young

The Cinema Dreams Its Rivals

Reveals the complexity of the ties between Hollywood and new media

Paul Young looks at the American cinema's imaginative constructions of three electronic media—radio, television, and the Internet—at the times when these media seemed to hold limitless possibilities. The Cinema Dreams Its Rivals demonstrates that Hollywood is marked by the advent of each new medium, but conversely, the identities of the media are themselves changed as Hollywood turns them to its own purposes.

An important interrogation of technological mediation in culture, The Cinema Dreams It Rivals delves into film history to find instances of 'media fantasies'—moments when extant technologies construct myths about other, newer media.

Donald Crafton, University of Notre Dame

By the middle of the twentieth century, Hollywood, formerly the one and only dream factory, found itself facing a host of media rivals for the public’s attention. In the 1980s, another competitor arrived in the form of the proto-Internet—a computer network as yet untested by all but research scientists, college students, the military, and a few thousand PC and modem owners. How did Hollywood respond to this nascent challenge? By dreaming about it, in a series of technological fantasies, from Tron to War Games to Lawnmower Man. The Cinema Dreams Its Rivals examines the meaning and effect of the movies’s attempts to reshape the shifting media landscape.

Paul Young looks at the American cinema’s imaginative constructions of three electronic media—radio, television, and the Internet—at the times when these media seemed to hold limitless possibilities. In doing so, he demonstrates that Hollywood is indelibly marked by the advent of each new medium, from the inclusion of sound in motion pictures to the use of digital graphics. But conversely, Young argues, the identities of the new media are themselves changed as Hollywood turns them to its own purposes and its own dreams.

The Cinema Dreams Its Rivals

Paul Young is professor of English and director of the film studies program at Vanderbilt University.

The Cinema Dreams Its Rivals

An important interrogation of technological mediation in culture, The Cinema Dreams It Rivals delves into film history to find instances of 'media fantasies'—moments when extant technologies construct myths about other, newer media.

Donald Crafton, University of Notre Dame

An intelligent, thought-provoking examination of the interplay between media technologies.

Journal of Popular Culture

In The Cinema Dreams Its Rivals, Paul Young integrates media industry history, historiography of public discourse on media industries, and film analysis to produce a compelling book that offers multiple payoffs for the reader.

Afterimage

The narrative sweep is strong and leaves the reader with a desire to find out what the next chapter will be in the fraught but productive relationship between cinema and other technologies.

Convergence

The Cinema Dreams Its Rivals is a welcome and impressive work.

Science Fiction Film and Television