Hollywood’s Dirtiest Secret: The Hidden Environmental Costs of the Movies
Hunter Vaughan's most recent book, Hollywood’s Dirtiest Secret: The Hidden Environmental Cost of the Movies (Columbia University Press, 2019), offers a new history of the movies from an environmental perspective, arguing that how we make and consume films has serious ecological consequences. In an era when many businesses have come under scrutiny for their environmental impact, the film industry has, for the most part, escaped criticism and regulation. Its practices are more diffuse, its final product less tangible, and Hollywood has adopted public-relations strategies that portray it as environmentally conscious.
Bringing together environmental humanities, science communication, and social ethics, Hollywood’s Dirtiest Secret is a pathbreaking consideration of the film industry’s environmental impact that examines how our cultural prioritization of spectacle has distracted us from its material consequences and natural-resource use. Vaughan examines the environmental effects of filmmaking from Hollywood classics to the digital era, considering how popular screen media shape and reflect our understanding of the natural world.
He recounts the production histories of major blockbusters—Gone with the Wind, Singin’ in the Rain, Twister, and Avatar—situating them in the contexts of the development of the film industry, popular environmentalism, and the proliferation of digital technologies. Emphasizing the materiality of media, Vaughan interweaves details of the hidden environmental consequences of specific filmmaking practices, from water use to server farms, within a larger critical portrait of social perceptions and valuations of the natural world.
The Newhouse Center for the Humanities, Cinema and Media Studies, the Paulsen Ecology of Place Initiative, Environmental Studies, and the French Department.
Feb 27, 4:30–6 PM
Apr 15, 4:30–6:30 PM, Apr 16, 12:45 PMThe Importance of Representation: Cinematic Offerings from AdeRisa Productions
Film screenings and discussions of the importance of representation in film and the opportunities independent films offer marginalized communities as they seek to tell their own stories.Event Date:Wednesday, April 15, 2020 -4:30pm to 6:30pmEvent Date:Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 12:45pm
Mar 11, 4:30 PMDiasporic Tradition as Curatorial Practice
Newhouse Fellow Nazan Bedirhanoglu reflects on the use of symbols and narratives as building blocks of the Kurdish diasporic identity and share insights about her field research on the Kurdish diaspora in the United States.Event Date:Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 4:30pm
Feb 27, 4:30–6 PM