Intellectuals enjoy ‘trash’ films, study finds
Contrary to a popular belief that intellectuals only enjoy watching documentaries and science-related shows, a researcher has found that people with “terrible” movie preferences tend to be smarter.
Film scholar Keyvan Sarkhosh of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt, Germany, came up with the findings through a survey based on data from 372 respondents with a presence on Facebook and trash film-focused online forums.
According to a Huffington Post report, participants were asked to point out 20 words that they associate with “trash films” and to detail how often and in what context they viewed such films. They were also asked to enumerate 10 film titles that they considered as “bad” films.
“There was no pre-selected list of trash-film titles,” Sarkhosh told The Huffington Post.
The respondents, who mostly came from intellectual backgrounds, described “bad movies” as cheaply or poorly made films that feature embarrassing or disturbing content.
Unsurprisingly, television comedy-disaster film “Sharknado” topped the list as the most horrible movie mentioned by those who took the survey.
Upon further conclusion, Sarkhosh claimed that one’s enjoyment of trashy cinema indicates “a positive, transgressive deviance from the cinematic mainstream.”
Individuals choose such films ironically, solely for humor and entertainment, while others watch them so they can make fun of them, the report said.
This was supported by the study’s findings that participants who appreciated “trash” films were fans of the art cinema as well.
“Items in the questionnaire were designed to uncover the relationship of trash-films to other modes of filmmaking and distribution like blockbuster films, Hollywood mainstream or art-house cinema,” Sarkhosh said. “We also asked for the general art, media and film genre preferences of our participants.”
He added that people who enjoy “cheap and worthless” films more often than not have a wide array of interests, and are sometimes just simply looking for a good laugh at the expense of a terrible movie.
“We are dealing here with an audience with above-average education, which one could describe as ‘cultural omnivores,’” he explained. “Such viewers are interested in a broad spectrum of art and media across the traditional boundaries of high and popular culture.” Khristian ibarrola
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