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Los Angeles and Cinema: An Interdisciplinary Site

  • Society for Cinema and Media Studies Toronto Canada (map)

Our panelists will consider the ways Los Angeles history and film history intersect. The first panelist will look at the Selig Zoo as an important component of the rise of film studios in Southern California, drawing connections between the spectacle of wildlife viewing and early film industry practices. Our next panelist will examine the porous boundaries between early Hollywood art/production design and modern architecture (what would become known as California Modernism). Next, our third panelist will explore how the image of Los Angeles as a white space, despite being one of the most diverse U.S. cities, continues on film through established film stars as celebrity tour guides. Lastly, our final panelist will focus on how the late 1970s and early 1980s Los Angeles punk rock scene overlapped with the region’s independent film scene, infusing filmmaking culture with punk music’s DIY ethic and influencing an approach to film production that can be seen in recent films such as Sean Baker’s Tangerine (2015).


Chair: John Trafton, Seattle University

  • René Thoreau Bruckner, Columbia College Hollywood, “Wildness Enclosed: The Film-Animal Industry in Los Angeles”

  • James Tweedie, University of Washington, “The Art Director as Architect, or the Construction of Classical Hollywood”

  • Michael Green, Arizona State University, “Whiteness in the Los Angeles-set Films of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling”

  • John Trafton, Seattle University, “L.A. Punk Cinema and La Caméra-Stylo”