Film at the Intersection of High and Mass Culture
Film at the Intersection of High and Mass Culture analyses the contradictions and interaction between high and low art, with particular reference to Hollywood and European cinema. Written in the essayistic, speculative tradition of Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno, this study includes analyses of several key films of the 1980s. Tracing the boundaries of such genres as film noir, science fiction and melodrama, it demonstrates how these genres were radically expanded by such filmmakers as Neil Jordan, Chris Marker and Georges Franju. This work also reflects on kitsch, the star system, racial and gender stereotypes, and the nature of audience participation. While defining the conditions under which the symbiotic relationship between high and mass culture can be cross-fertilizing, the study stresses their inevitably contradictory characteristics.