Why It's OK to Love Bad Movies  book cover
1st Edition

Why It's OK to Love Bad Movies

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 30, 2021
ISBN 9780367407650
December 30, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
168 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Most people are too busy to keep up with all the good movies they’d like to see, so why should anyone spend their precious time watching the bad ones?

In Why it’s OK to Love Bad Movies, philosopher and cinematic bottom-feeder Matthew Strohl enthusiastically defends a fondness for disreputable films. Combining philosophy of art with film criticism, Strohl flips conventional notions of "good" and "bad" on their heads and makes the case that the ultimate value of a work of art lies in what it can add to our lives. By this measure, some of the worst movies ever made are also among the best.

Through detailed discussions of films such as Troll 2, The Room, Batman & Robin, Twilight, Ninja III: The Domination, and a significant portion of Nicolas Cage’s filmography, Strohl argues that so-called "bad movies" are the ones that break the rules of the art form without the aura of artistic seriousness that surrounds the avant-garde. These movies may not win any awards, but they offer rich opportunities for creative engagement and enable the formation of lively fan communities, and they can be a key ingredient in a fulfilling aesthetic life.

Key Features:

  • Written in a humorous, approachable style, appealing to readers with no background in philosophy.
  • Elaborates the rewards of loving bad movies, such as forming unlikely social bonds and developing refinement without narrowness.
  • Discusses a wide range of beloved bad movies, including Plan 9 from Outer Space, The Core, Battlefield Earth, and Freddy Got Fingered.
  • Contains the most extensive discussion of Nicolas Cage ever included in a philosophy book.

Table of Contents

1. The Good, the Bad, and the Good-Bad
2. Artists’ Intentions and Bad Movie Greatness
3. A Beautiful Rainbow of Badness
4. Taste and Twilight
5. Nicolas Cage and the Limits of the Critical Imagination
6. Bad Movies and the Good Life

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Matthew Strohl is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Montana. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and blogs about movies, food, and philosophy of art at strohltopia.com and aestheticsforbirds.com.