In 1953 Josef Stalin said that, if the Soviet Union had Hollywood, the whole world would be communist. Well, have Hollywood he did not, for Hollywood had Hollywood. Just as American culture spanned the countries of the globe—what Hollywood insiders termed their ‘territories’—so too did the culture of southern California. Sunny days, warm watered beaches, girls in skimpy bathing suits and that catchy, infiltrating slang inundated cinemas the world over. Be it the increased sales in hitherto unneeded household appliances, makeup and automobiles, which swept Europe in the post-war years, or the many other cultural nuances attributed to Hollywood film, southern California left its mark on the global brain.
But the current financial crisis—and impending societal collapse in the US—threatens Hollywood’s hegemony over the celluloid screen.