Movie-Made Los Angeles

Wayne State Univ. (Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media). Oct. 2023. 252p. ISBN 9780814347768. pap. $36.99. FILM
Film expert Trafton (film and media history, Seattle Univ.; The American Civil War and the Hollywood War Film) takes readers on a fascinating academic journey detailing how photography, painting, and moving images coalesced into a perfect setting for the reimagining of place and time. Written like a lecture series, the book clearly explains the author’s thought process, including many references to other writers who have also explored this topic. Focusing largely on the years of the Progressive Era (late 1800s–1920), Trafton proves that the special landscape and history of Los Angeles provided a unique backdrop for art of many types. Even before the motion-picture boom, people known as “boosters” took photos and painted the vast L.A. landscapes to entice those on the East Coast to populate this area—to great success. This, in turn, allowed for a legacy of creation that easily carried over to motion pictures and to their entrenchment in Los Angeles. 
VERDICT An excellent source on the development of the arts and film. It would work well as a supplemental text in a film or art history course.
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