Hollywood Aesthetic


in Projections
Todd Berliner University of North Carolina Wilmington, USA berlinert@uncw.edu

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Hollywood Aesthetic: Pleasure in American Cinema investigates the Hollywood film industry's chief artistic accomplishment: providing aesthetic pleasure to mass audiences. Grounded in film history and supported by research in psychology and philosophical aesthetics, the book explains (1) the intrinsic properties characteristic of Hollywood cinema that induce aesthetic pleasure; (2) the cognitive and affective processes, sparked by Hollywood movies, that become engaged during aesthetic pleasure; and (3) the exhilarated aesthetic experiences afforded by an array of persistently entertaining Hollywood movies. Hollywood Aesthetic addresses four fundamental components of Hollywood's aesthetic design—narrative, style, ideology, and genre—aiming for a comprehensive appraisal of Hollywood cinema's capacity to excite aesthetic pleasure. This article outlines the book's main points and themes. As a précis, it is heavy on ideas and light on evidence, which is to be found in the book itself.

Contributor Notes

Todd Berliner, Professor of Film Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, teaches film aesthetics, narration, and style and American film history. He is the author of Hollywood Incoherent: Narration in Seventies Cinema (University of Texas Press, 2010) and Hollywood Aesthetic: Pleasure in American Cinema (Oxford University Press, 2017). Email: berlinert@uncw.edu.

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The Journal for Movies and Mind

  • Gombrich, E. H. 1979. The Sense of Order: A Study in the Psychology of Decorative Art. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

  • McBride, Joseph. 2001. Searching for John Ford: A Life. New York: St. Martin's.


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