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Americanizing BritainThe Rise of Modernism in the Age of the Entertainment Empire$
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Genevieve Abravanel

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199754458

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199754458.001.0001

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The Entertainment Empire

The Entertainment Empire

Britain's Hollywood between the Wars

Chapter:
(p.85) 3 The Entertainment Empire
Source:
Americanizing Britain
Author(s):

Genevieve Abravanel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199754458.003.0003

In the period shortly after the First World War, the vast majority of films viewed in Britain and its Empire came from America. This worrisome state of affairs led some British politicians, cultural critics, and writers to assert in all seriousness that Hollywood film had the potential to undermine the British Empire. This chapter introduces the concept of the “entertainment empire” in order to explain how some in Britain perceived American entertainment as a new kind of imperialism, one based less on colonial occupation and more on the marketing of mass-reproduced leisure. The chapter further considers how a group of modernist film critics including H.D., Bryher, and Kenneth Macpherson recast the aesthetic philosophy of their pioneering journal, Close Up, in reaction to the new sounds of Hollywood.

Keywords:   Hollywood, close up, H.D. Bryher, Kenneth Macpherson, blackmail, American English, borderline, Aldous Huxley, Evelyn Waugh

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