PCMS: Decherney on Hollywood's Auteurism

This upcoming Friday marks the semester's resumption of the Philadelphia Cinema and Media Seminar:

"Auteurism on Trial: Hollywood’s 'Moral Rights'"

Peter Decherney, University of Pennsylvania
Respondent: Paul Saint-Amour, University of Pennsylvania

Friday, 15 February 2008
Temple University Center City (TUCC)
Room 420, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

From Douglas Fairbanks to Steven Soderberg, the U.S. legal system has treated Hollywood filmmakers as a special category of artist. When feature films have been translated to new media, from two-reel serials to home video, courts have consistently offered filmmakers unusually broad authorial protection for their works. In my presentation, I will consider some of the reasons that filmmakers, and the Directors’ Guild of America, in particular, have been able to achieve special legal status, and I will consider some of the implications of their lofty perch for film on the internet.
Peter Decherney is assistant professor of Cinema Studies and English at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Hollywood and the Culture Elite: How the Movies Became American, and he is currently at work on a history of Hollywood and copyright law.

Paul Saint-Amour works on Victorian and modernist literature, with special interests in the novel, law, trauma, and visual culture studies, at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of The Copywrights: Intellectual Property and the Literary Imagination. He is currently at work on an edited volume, Modernism and Copyright, and a book-length
project entitled Archive, Bomb, Civilian: Modernism in the Shadow of Total War.


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