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vol. XV-n°1 | 2017
Les spécificités du kitsch dans le cinéma anglophone

The Specificities of Kitsch in the Cinema of English-Speaking Countries
Edited by Nicole Cloarec and Isabelle Le Corff

Kitsch has often been used negatively by the elite to signify any type of bad taste, any style of low-brow, crowd-pleasing art exploiting stock emotions and popular icons. While the notion has long been developed in theorizing upon art in general, it has so far been much neglected in film studies. This is all the more surprising since the definition of kitsch as a form of mass culture devised to have popular appeal is one that is well suited to cinema itself.

This issue of Revue LISA/LISA e-journal explores English-speaking cinema through the notion of kitsch. It examines how the defining elements of kitsch, such as exuberance, artifice, accumulation and the use of clichés, are conveyed in cinematographic terms. The films’ reference to kitsch reveals aesthetic and generic conventions that are recycled with some greater or lesser degree of critical distance. It also highlights underlying ideologies and social prejudice constitutive of American, English and Irish cultures. More specifically, the films’ reference to kitsch questions the viewers’ criteria of judgment when watching a film. In other words, exploring cinema through the notion of kitsch leads to articulating a close analysis of representations with reception studies.

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