Quotation by O.B. Hardison

Popular cinema cooperates with desire for reverie rather than opposing it. This is why mass-audience movies are so conscious of genre formulas. A formula—the formula for romance, for example, or thrillers or westerns—is something predictable. If it is made sufficiently obvious through advance advertising and the use of identifying motifs in the introductory scenes of the movie itself, the audience can settle immediately into its reverie, secure in the knowledge that there will be no surprises. Nothing will happen that will require conscious mental effort. The art film, it should be admitted, attempts to move in just the opposite direction—to awaken and shock and engage the audience.
O.B. Hardison (1928–1990), U.S. critic, educator. "Words and Images," Entering the Maze: Identity and Change in Modern Culture, Oxford University Press (1981).
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