Film as a cultural genre commands great popularity and exercises influence over today’s Western culture in no small way (Bordwell & Thompson, 1997; McDonald & Wasko, 2008). As such, film is also a sizeable global industry that annually churns out hundreds of new movies in many different countries. The enormous supply contains commercial movies for large mainstream audiences and art films for the specialized few (Tudor, 2007) in an array of genres, subgenres, and styles (Cook, 2007). Film audiences may emerge from preferences for particular directors, actors, screenwriters, composers, genres, styles, series, formulas, or themes. Further, audiences differ with regard to expertise and seek different viewing experiences; movies may meet the need for escapism or provide intellectual challenges (Silvia & Berg, 2011). For example, fans of the romantic comedy genre aim for submersion in an emotionally resonating story, while admirers of director David Lynch’s surrealism look for analysis and interpretation. In other words, they employ different terms of enjoyment.

M.S.S.E. Janssen (Susanne)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
This dissertation research was conducted as part of the VICI-project Cultural Classification Systems in Transition, funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO-project 277-45-001) and with the support of the Erasmus Trust Fund
ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture
Department of Media and Communication

Kersten, A. (2012, November 22). Terms of Enjoyment: Film Classification and Critics’ Discourse in Comparative Perspective. ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from