Hollywood Aesthetic: Pleasure In American Cinema
by Todd Berliner /
2017 / English / PDF
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Hollywood makes the most widely successful pleasure-giving artworks the world has ever known. The industry operates under the assumption that pleasurable aesthetic experiences, among huge populations, translate into box office success. With that goal in mind, Hollywood has systematized the delivery of aesthetic pleasure, packaging and selling it on a massive scale.
In Hollywood Aesthetic, Todd Berliner accounts for the chief attraction of Hollywood cinema worldwide: its entertainment value. Analyzing Hollywood in the areas of narrative, style, ideology, and genre, Hollywood Aesthetic offers a comprehensive appraisal of the aesthetic design of American commercial cinema. Grounded in film history and in the psychological and philosophical literature on aesthetics, the book situates aesthetic analyses within the context of film reception, the film industry, and the current understanding of human psychology.
Illustrated with numerous examples, Hollywood Aesthetic analyzes the design of a range of films that span Hollywood history. The book examines films, such as City Lights and Goodfellas, that have earned aesthetic appreciation from both fans and critics. But it also studies curious outliers and celebrated Hollywood experiments, such as The Killing and Starship Troopers, films popular with cinephiles and cult audiences. And it demonstrates the ways in which even ordinary popular films, from Tarzan and His Mate to Rocky III, as well as New Hollywood action blockbusters, like Die Hard and The Dark Knight, offer aesthetic pleasure to mass audiences. Hollywood Aesthetic explains how these and dozens of other Hollywood movies engage viewers by satisfying their aesthetic desires.
Many film scholars dismiss Hollywood cinema as mere commercial entertainment and leave it at that. Hollywood Aesthetic explains how Hollywood creates, for massive numbers of people, some of their most exhilarating experiences of art.