The Leadership Legacy of Charlie Bluhdorn

Some of the most iconic films in the history of Hollywood are referred to as ‘happy accidents.’ Despite emerging from erratic story development, casting battles, and even public controversies, Casablanca, High Noon, and The Godfather are examples of projects that have become timeless classics. The serendipity eventually attributed to the films typically focuses on the successful if unexpected harmony… Continue reading

Hollywood’s Self-Fulfilling Marketing

Two recent pieces astutely cast light on the Hollywood’s stubborn predilection for mainstream filmmaking. A.O. Scott in the New York Times and James Surowiecki in The New Yorker discuss why mega-franchises like Transformers continue to dominate film production. In part, as Scott observes, this is the ritual of questioning summer schlock fare. More tellingly, though,… Continue reading

The Biggest Names in Sex?

Playboy magazine recently published its list of the “55 Most Important People in Sex” over the last 55 years to celebrate the magazine’s anniversary.  (The list isn’t available without subscription on the Playboy site, but has been re-printed elsewhere, such as http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-01-13/the-biggest-names-in-sex-1/3/ .) It’s unavoidably provocative and underscores how intertwined the histories of politics, culture,… Continue reading