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What is 'fun' about the Hollywood version of girlhood? Through re-evaluating notions of pleasure and fun, The Aesthetic Pleasures of Girl Teen Film forms a study of Hollywood girl teen films between 2000-2010. By tracing the aesthetic connections between films such as Mean Girls (Waters, 2004), Hairspray (Shankman, 2007), and Easy A (Gluck, 2010), the book articulates the specific types of pleasure these films offer as a means to understand how Hollywood creates gendered ideas of fun. Rather than condemn these films as 'guilty pleasures' this book sets out to understand how they are designed to create experiences that feel as though they express desires, memories, or fantasies that girls supposedly share in common. Providing a practical model for a new approach to cinematic pleasures The Aesthetic Pleasures of Girl Teen Film proposes that these films offer a limited version of girlhood that feels like potential and promise but is restricted within prescribed parameters.
From the precocious charms of Shirley Temple to the box-office behemoth Frozen and its two young female leads, Anna and Elsa, the girl has long been a figure of fascination for cinema. The symbol of (imagined) childhood innocence, the site of intrigue and nostalgia for adults, a metaphor for the precarious nature of subjectivity itself, the girl is caught between infancy and adulthood, between objectification and power. She speaks to many strands of interest for film studies: feminist questions of cinematic representation of female subjects; historical accounts of shifting images of girls and childhood in the cinema; and philosophical engagements with the possibilities for the subject in film. This collection considers the specificity of girls' experiences and their cinematic articulation through a multicultural feminist lens which cuts across the divides of popular/art-house, Western/non Western, and north/south. Drawing on examples from North and South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, the contributors bring a new understanding of the global/local nature of girlhood and its relation to contemporary phenomena such as post-feminism, neoliberalism and queer subcultures. Containing work by established and emerging scholars, this volume explodes the narrow post-feminist canon and expands existing geographical, ethnic, and historical accounts of cinematic cultures and girlhood.
This book draws on aesthetic theory, including ideas from the history of painting, music and dance, to offer a fresh perspective on the video game as a popular cultural form. It argues that games like Grand Theft Auto and Elektroplankton are aesthetic objects that appeal to players because they offer an experience of form, as this idea was understood by philosophers like Immanuel Kant and Theodor Adorno. Video games are awkward objects that have defied efforts to categorize them within established academic disciplines and intellectual frameworks. Yet no one can deny their importance in re-configuring contemporary culture and their influence can be seen in contemporary film, television, literature, music, dance and advertising. This book argues that their very awkwardness should form the starting point for a proper analysis of what games are and the reasons for their popularity. This book will appeal to anyone with a serious interest in the increasingly playful character of contemporary capitalist culture.
The Aesthetic Brain takes the reader on a wide-ranging journey addressing fundamental questions about aesthetics and art. Using neuroscience and evolutionary psychology, Chatterjee shows how beauty, pleasure, and art are grounded biologically, and offers explanations for why beauty, pleasure, and art exist at all.
Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses is an outrageously rollicking account of the life and career of Roger Corman—one of the most prolific and successful independent producers, directors, and writers of all time, and self-proclaimed king of the B movie. As told by Corman himself and graduates of “The Corman Film School,” including Peter Bogdanovich, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, and Martin Scorsese, this comprehensive oral history takes readers behind the scenes of more than six decades of American cinema, as now-legendary directors and actors candidly unspool recollections of working with Corman, continually one-upping one another with tales of the years before their big breaks. Crab Monsters is supplemented with dozens of full-color reproductions of classic Corman movie posters; behind-the-scenes photographs and ephemera (many taken from Corman’s personal archive); and critical essays on Corman’s most daring films—including The Intruder, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Big Doll House— that make the case for Corman as an artist like no other. Praise for Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses: “This new coffee table book, brimming with outrageous stills from many of Corman’s hundreds of films, looks at the wild career of the starmaker who was largely responsible for so much of the Hollywood we know today.” —New York Post “Vividly illustrated.” —People “An enthusiastic ode to colorful, seat-of-your-pants filmmaking, this one’s hard to beat.” —Booklist (starred review) “It includes in-depth aesthetic appreciations of ten of Corman’s movies, which, taken together, make a compelling case for Corman as an artist.” —Hollywood.com “Author Nashawaty deftly describes how Corman’s legacy is far more nuanced than most realize.” —American Way magazine “Outrageously entertaining . . .” —Parade magazine “Endlessly fascinating.” —PopMatters.com “You’d think it’d be impossible for any writer to put together a Roger Corman biography that's anywhere near as fun as his movies, but Entertainment Weekly writer/critic Chris Nashawaty has done just that.” —Complex magazine
This book is a critical cultural studies analysis of the CW’s hit teen television drama Gossip Girl (2007–2012). Bindig examines the show in terms of gender, race, class, sexuality, and consumerism, and she explores the potential ramifications of popular media texts like Gossip Girl.
To understand why the concept of aesthetic sexuality is important, we must consider the influence of the first volume of Foucault's seminal The History of Sexuality. Arguing against Foucault's assertions that only scientia sexualis has operated in modern Western culture while ars erotica belongs to Eastern and ancient societies, Byrne suggests that modern Western culture has indeed witnessed a form of ars erotica, encompassed in what she calls 'aesthetic sexuality'. To argue for the existence of aesthetic sexuality, Byrne examines mainly works of literature to show how, within these texts, sexual practice and pleasure are constructed as having aesthetic value, a quality that marks these experiences as forms of art. In aesthetic sexuality, value and meaning are located within sexual practice and pleasure rather than in their underlying cause; sexuality's raison d'être is tied to its aesthetic value, at surface level rather than beneath it. Aesthetic sexuality, Byrne shows, is a product of choice, a deliberate strategy of self-creation as well as a mode of social communication.

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