Hollywood: bad cinema's 'bad' other.

Jane Mills

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Abstract

'Bad cinema' is widely defined in terms of its opposition to both art and mainstream cinema, making it 'Hollywood's 'bad other'. Underlying this conceptualisation are the binaries of a Hollywoodcentric approach to Film Studies: the globally dominant cinema sets the standard by which all other cinemas are judged ' and often found lacking. Paradoxically, cinemas seen to oppose Hollywood are also valorised at the expense of the globally dominant cinema which is denigrated. Thus good is bad and bad is good. Hollywood, however, is bad in more ways than one. Not only is it accused of 'ruining all the cinemas in Europe'(Godard: 1989-1998), it is the significant bad Other, from which all other cinemas need to be protected. (Elsaesser: 2005)In this scenario, cinemas are imagined to possess rigid and impermeable borders. These supposedly keep Hollywood conservative and immune from the ideas, images and sounds of Bad cinema. Similarly, the borders often erected around Bad cinema are thought to keep Hollywood out and protect its essential 'otherness'. This paper challenges the common perception of Hollywood's relationship to its 'bad other'. It addresses issues of cultural value and aesthetics to propose replacing the notion of fixed cinematic borders with that of a chaotic, fluid screenscape in which global cultural flows carry 'badness' between cinemas within the transnational imaginary. It asks if films commonly perceived to abhor the excess, low production values and sleaze of bad cinema, are also widely imagined to be bad itself, just how bad is bad, what value can we place on badness, and do two bads make a good?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication'B' for Bad Cinema
Subtitle of host publicationaesthetics, politics and cultural value
EditorsConstantine Verevis
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherMonash University Publishing
Pages56 (abstract)
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventInaugural Centre for Film and Television Studies Conference - Monash Uni, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 15 Apr 200917 Apr 2009

Conference

ConferenceInaugural Centre for Film and Television Studies Conference
CountryAustralia
Period15/04/0917/04/09

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