Not Hollywood by Sherry B. Ortner
Independent Film at the Twilight of the American Dream

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The pioneering anthropologist Sherry B. Ortner combines her trademark ethnographic expertise with critical film interpretation to explore the independent film scene in New York and Los Angeles since the late 1980s. Not Hollywood is both a study of the lived experience of that scene and a critical examination of America as seen through the lenses of independent filmmakers. Based on interviews with scores of directors and producers, Ortner reveals the culture and practices of indie filmmaking, including the conviction of those involved that their films, unlike Hollywood movies, are "telling the truth" about American life. These films often illuminate the dark side of American society through narratives about the family, the economy, and politics in today's neoliberal era. Offering insightful interpretations of many of these films, Ortner argues that during the past three decades independent American cinema has functioned as a vital form of cultural critique.

About Sherry B. Ortner

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Sherry B. Ortner is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at UCLA. She is the author of numerous books including New Jersey Dreaming: Capital, Culture, and the Class of '58 and Anthropology and Social Theory: Culture, Power, and the Acting Subject, both published by Duke University Press.
Published February 5, 2013 by Duke University Press Books. 352 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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New Jersey Dreaming, 2003, etc.) presents the indie film world as one in which “we encounter a value system in which ‘Hollywood’ is seen as presenting false pictures of reality, as ‘telling lies,’ while independent film sees itself as trying to tell the truth, to represent reality ‘as it really i...

Nov 26 2012 | Read Full Review of Not Hollywood: Independent Fi...

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By analyzing the basic plots and characteristics of these independent films (a chapter is devoted to the particularly “dark” ones, though it is noted that almost all independent films have a grittiness that is absent from many Hollywood-produced films), Ortner is able to show how independent film...

Feb 26 2013 | Read Full Review of Not Hollywood: Independent Fi...

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