The line between movies and merchandising is getting thinner all the time. These days if a movie can't sell action figures it's less likely to get made. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, a eulogy to Hollywood. Also, a Hong Kong film maker gets his first taste of the dream factory — big budgets, Steven Spielberg, and on-the-set sushi chefs. And a scholar deconstructs Xena and Hercules.
Film historian Robert Allen tells Judith Strasser that Hollywood no longer makes movies for theatrical exhibition — what's really driving the industry is merchandising, from videos to action figures. He says that's why so many family films get made.SEGMENT 2:
Peter Chan is one of Hong Kong's hottest directors, but he doesn't make action movies. He just directed "The Love Letter" - his first American movie (for Dreamworks) and tells Steve Paulson about working in Hollywood with Kate Capshaw, Tom Selleck and Steven Spielberg.SEGMENT 3:
Kim Taborn is the editor and publisher of an on-line magazine (Whoosh.org) dedicated to Xena, the warrior princess. She tells Jim Fleming why she loves the show and what makes it a cult classic. Also, classics scholar Matthew Gumpert, who's also a Xena fan, tells Jim that the anachronisms and historical distortions in Xena are nothing new — people have always re-invented myths to suit their own times. And, cultural critic Neil Gabler tells Steve Paulson that the United States has become the Entertainment Republic; that we all think of our lives as movies; and that Bill Clinton is our entertainer-in- chief. Gabler's book is "LIFE the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality."Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 99-02-21-C.
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