Article

Musicals

Steven Cohan

in Cinema and Media Studies

ISBN: 9780199791286
Published online October 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199791286-0047
Musicals

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The film musical is usually identified almost exclusively with Hollywood, specifically those lavish star-filled films made during the heyday of the studio era. Furthermore, it has often been considered a genre that sings volumes about the American character and national sensibility, and for this reason, the film musical has also been taken to be an American “invention” tied to American show business traditions. Neither premise is entirely true, however. Other national film industries—most famously but not exclusively, the Hindi cinema nicknamed “Bollywood”—have their own histories of producing musicals that reflect their culture’s own popular entertainment tradition, tastes, styles, and ideological tensions. Nonetheless, it is the case that most scholarship on this genre has concentrated on the American musical, usually on its own terms but sometimes as it has influenced productions from Britain, France, or elsewhere in the West. While a few references to other national industries that heavily feature musical elements, such as Bollywood, are included in this bibliography, those films and their cinemas are most usually studied by scholars in other generic, national, or cultural contexts. Finally, while The Wizard of Oz (1939) or full-length animation films epitomize the musical genre for many of today’s young audiences, these more properly belong to the genre of children’s (or family) film, so they are not given much attention here.

Article.  9758 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies ; Film ; Radio ; Television

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