Category: Movies

L.A.’s Future Economic Engine: Silicon Beach

LUCY HOOD, executive director of the Institute of Communication Technology Management, USC’s Marshall School of Business.

This op-ed originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 9.

What’s the future of L.A.’s economy? That’s a question that should be at the center of this year’s mayoral campaign. Key to that discussion should be recognition that Los Angeles, despite all its economic problems, is an increasingly prominent home to the next generation of technology companies that will drive the digital revolution in the 21st century.

Los Angeles’ tech awakening is unfolding in a slice of territory — dubbed “Silicon Beach,” which initially referred to Venice and Santa Monica and then expanded to Hollywood and downtown — where established giants such as Google and Apple have opened offices and where some 500 newcomer ventures have taken root. Silicon Beach culture, unlike Silicon Valley’s, is more consumer-oriented, drawing on art, entertainment and commerce to explore the intersections between technology and gaming, fashion, advertising and video.

Why We Can’t Let Marilyn Monroe Go

LOIS BANNER, professor of history and gender studies, USC Dornsife.

This op-ed originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

Why is Marilyn Monroe still an American icon 50 years after her death? She is endlessly analyzed in films and biographies; her image appears on T-shirts and posters; her popularity is reflected in the 52,000 Marilyn-related items for sale on EBay. My USC students, fixated on contemporary pop culture, know little about 1950s Hollywood stars, except for Monroe. Like everyone else, they puzzle over her death, respond to her beauty, recognize her paradoxes: the ur-blond child-woman, the virgin-whore of the Western imagination.

The Importance of Oscar Night — Showing up and Being Photographed

ELIZABETH CURRID-HALKETT, assistant professor USC Price School of Public Policy:

This article originally appeared in Salon.

“This Sunday, hundreds of Hollywood’s brightest stars will cram into the Academy Awards. Among them will be George Clooney, Michelle Williams and many of the best-known names of the entertainment industry — along with lots and lots of people you’ve barely heard of, forming an endless stream of anonymous penguins and haute couture gowns.

It’s not exactly headline news that being nominated for an Oscar can catapult the careers and celebrity status of newcomers like Jennifer Lawrence. What most people don’t know is that Oscar night is even more important to the invited non-nominees – those donning tuxes,

Behind Ocsar’s Nostalgia: Self-Loathing

NEAL GABLER, senior fellow, USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center:

This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

“This is the Oscars’ year of nostalgia — or at least that has been the pronouncement among observers. There is, of course, “The Artist,” a silent film set in the silent film era. There is Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo,” which is the story of the rediscovery of one of the early pioneers of the movies, the French director George Méliès. There is Woody Allen’s”Midnight in Paris” in which the protagonist slips through a hole in time into the Paris of the expatriate