Bayles on The Big Picture

BC faculty member Martha Bayles offers her take on the new book The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies by entertainment journalist Ben Fritz in a piece for The American Interest. She writes that The Big Picture “offers a lively, readable account of a profound transformation taking place in the U.S. entertainment industry: namely, the collapse of the self-contained narrative film that for the last 100 years has defined the art and business of the cinema, and the massive shift of cultural weight and influence from movies to television—or more accurately, to the multi-part dramatic series that was originally developed for broadcast television but has now migrated to digital streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.” According to Bayles, Fritz’s narrative on movies and entertainment as products of commerce is compelling, but he is less cogent when addressing the cultural and artistic significance of the changes in the classic American moviegoing experience. Bayles is the author of the book Through a Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America’s Image Abroad.

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