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Sounding Modern, Sounding Moral: Censorship and Hollywood’s Transition to Sound


Sounding Modern, Sounding Moral: Censorship and Hollywood’s Transition to Sound

Smith, Kyla Rose (2017) Sounding Modern, Sounding Moral: Censorship and Hollywood’s Transition to Sound. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This thesis examines the relationship between Hollywood’s transition to synchronized sound and the rise of the industry’s self-censorship practices, processes which were precisely commensurate during the late 1920s and early 1930s. Through nuanced historiographical discussion, this thesis explores how the transition to sound interfaced with other mechanisms at work in the Hollywood industry of the late 1920s—namely, regulatory discourses and practices. Both of these processes represent crucial shifts in the technologies, practices, and politics of Hollywood filmmaking. This thesis proposes that this coalescence produced compelling negotiations visible in the films of that era. Synchronized sound film is defined as part of a broader web of emergent sound media which, as Steve Wurtzler (2007) argues, interfaced with pre-existing concerns surrounding technologically mediated modernity and its effects on traditional morality. The study is illustrated by discussion of two part-talkie films of the flapper cycle, Our Dancing Daughters (1928) and Our Modern Maidens (1929) both of which negotiate a new technological terrain and indicate Hollywood’s ongoing negotiations with contemporaneous film-morality debates.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Smith, Kyla Rose
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Film Studies
Date:June 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Wasson, Haidee
ID Code:982750
Deposited On:09 Nov 2017 20:30
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:55
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