By Richard Dyer
Routledge – 2002 – 198 pages
Only Entertainment explores entertainment as entertainment, asking how and whether an emphasis on the primacy of pleasure sets it apart from other forms of art.
Dyer focuses on the genres most associated with entertainment, from musicals to action movies, disco to porn. He examines the nature of entertainment in movies such as The Sound of Music and Speed, and argues that entertainment is part of a 'common sense' which is always historically and culturally constructed.
This new edition of Only Entertainment features a revised introduction and five new chapters on topics from serial killer movies to Elizabeth Taylor. In the final chapter Dyer asks whether entertainment as we know it is on the wane.
Richard Dyer is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Warwick.