Could’t get any reading done yesterday save for the remaining pages of Kernan’s second chapter on “Trailer Rhetoric.” Yet, I was lucky to encounter another good quote on Hollywood’s ecology which fleshes out in greater detail the system of relations revolving around commodified images and personas.

The quote belongs to a section dedicated to stars which Kernan describes as one of three trailers’ forms of audience appeal (the other two being genre and story). The main feature of the rhetoric of stars is that they bring to the trailer an excess (of knowldege , of seduction, of information) that is linked to their “indexical relationship” with the social world. That is, a star’s trailer performance is imbued with an “intertextual specificity” overlaying the characteriological identity found in the promotional video with the audience’s knowledge of the star’s past roles and public persona. The peculiar relationship that the audience is supposed to entertain with stars, which Kernan argues is based on fascination, eroticization and a desire of identification, informs the author’s ecological approach to Hollywood as a “demimonde” existing in between myth and reality. A demimonde, which elsewhere Kernan describes as a “limbo,” is thus a

promotional realm wgere audiences, astars and filmmakers alike play roles, and where there is a different set of expectations as to truth claims than either fictiyon or documentary engender. This promotional world is a known entity, yet it has no geographical or even conceptual boundaries. It’s a culturally determined site, a shared commonplace: everyone knows what you mean when you say “Hollywood.” And wherever stars physically reside, they are the denizens of Hollywood along with the invisible technical crews and semivisible above-the-line production personnel such as directors and writers (who also sometimes appear in trailers). (66)

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