JGSLA 2010 will recount the influence of Jewish pioneers who headed west, not for gold, but for better production facilities. These pioneers built and headed the major movie studios, making Hollywood the industry’s center.
Author Vincent Brook will speak on “Ost Meets West: Immigrant Jewish Moguls: Jewish Directors and the Rise of Film Noir.”
Hollywood was founded largely by a group of immigrant Ostjuden (Eastern European Jews), who eventually headed nearly all of the major American film studios.
In the 1930s, an influx of German/Austrian Jewish film directors arrived in the US, due to the rise of Nazism. Some would play an important role in the rise of a crime genre later called film noir.
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Brook will examine the ethnic origins of these filmmakers and what part their backgrounds played in their contributions to American cinema.