Explosive images of sex and violence characterise what has come to be known as the 'new extremism' in contemporary European cinema. This collection of essays is devoted to the new extremism in contemporary European cinema and will critically interrogate t
Explosive images of sex and violence characterise what has come to be known as the 'new extremism' in contemporary European cinema. This collection of essays is devoted to the new extremism in contemporary European cinema and will critically interrogate this highly contentious body of work.
Tapping a rich vein of phenomenological and post-phenomenological approaches to film, this book explores how moving images are 'experienced' and 'encountered' as well as 'read' and 'viewed'. Jenny Chamarette brings theorizations of phenomenology from philosophy, psychology and anthropology, to four close studies of experimental and avant-garde moving image works by internationally recognized and widely studied contemporary French filmmakers, whose cinematic production spans the 1950s to the present day. Acknowledging the shifting ground of the cinematic across multiple media and geographies, from 35mm feature film, to video-tape, to projected installation and digital video, this volume asks how phenomenological approaches to film can help us to rethink the relationship of subjectivity to our future cinematic world.
Since the early 1990s the twin leitmotifs of the European art house, and French cinema in particular, have been images of intense graphic violence and explicit sexuality. Scholars and critics generally refer to this phenomenon as a tendency toward "New Extremism" in cinema. In this dissertation, I demonstrate that the violence and sexuality in these films is neither "new" nor "extreme," but extends and expands upon the themes and elements of the modern American horror film. Historical context is largely missing from existing scholarship on these films and their representations of violence, and this project addresses this gap by drawing the violence characterizing post-Wall European art cinema and the violence of the modern American horror film into taut relation. The definitions of horror have been confused with definitions of related negative affects and emotions, particularly terror. Making a distinction between horror and terror best illustrates these differences by aligning the formal devices and narrative strategies of the American horror film with terror, and representations of violence in post-Wall European art cinema with horror. The point of this distinction is that horror in the popular imagination does not align with the concept and feeling of horror proper as it has been written about and understood in continental philosophy and critical theory (where horror is a foundational concept). I show how terror is an external phenomenon bound up with space, spectacle, and the proximity of a threat, while on the other hand, horror is an internal, metaphysical phenomenon linked to time, absence, and memory. Arguing for these distinctions between horror and terror in cinema also has significant ramifications for the history of the horror genre and how it has been received as both a critical object and as a popular text, for not only are we compelled to reevaluate what we mean when we say we are watching horror, but the feelings these works inspire in audiences and the critical frameworks that are relied upon to conceptualize such feelings must also be reconsidered. In this dissertation, I argue that continental philosophy informs a new approach to the violence in post-Wall European art cinema and our general understanding of horror while further clarifying on what grounds horror and terror are separable in cinema.
Affective Aesthetics and the Social Politics of Neoliberalism in New Extremism Cinema
A Companion to Contemporary French Cinema presents a comprehensive collection of original essays addressing all aspects of French cinema from 1990 to the present day. Features original contributions from top film scholars relating to all aspects of contemporary French cinema Includes new research on matters relating to the political economy of contemporary French cinema, developments in cinema policy, audience attendance, and the types, building, and renovation of theaters Utilizes groundbreaking research on cinema beyond the fiction film and the cinema-theater such as documentary, amateur, and digital filmmaking Contains an unusually large range of methodological approaches and perspectives, including those of genre, gender, auteur, industry, economic, star, postcolonial and psychoanalytic studies Includes essays by important French cinema scholars from France, the U.S., and New Zealand, many of whose work is here presented in English for the first time
The first of its kind, this study examines the exemplars of hardcore horror--Fred Vogel's August Underground trilogy, Shane Ryan's Amateur Porn Star Killer series and Lucifer Valentine's "vomit gore" films. The author begins with a definition and critical overview of this marginalized subgenre before exploring its key aesthetic convention, the pursuit of realist horror. Production practices, exhibition and marketing strategies are discussed in an in-depth interview with filmmaker Shane Ryan. Audience reception is covered with a focus on fan interaction via the Internet.
Received an Honorable Mention for the 2017 British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS) Best Monograph Award From Shortbus to Shame and from Oldboy to Irreversible, film festival premieres regularly make international headlines for their shockingly graphic depictions of sex and violence. Film critics and scholars alike often regard these movies as the work of visionary auteurs, hailing directors like Michael Haneke and Lars von Trier as heirs to a tradition of transgressive art. In this provocative new book, Mattias Frey offers a very different perspective on these films, exposing how they are also calculated products, designed to achieve global notoriety in a competitive marketplace. Paying close attention to the discourses employed by film critics, distributors, and filmmakers themselves, Extreme Cinema examines the various tightropes that must be walked when selling transgressive art films to discerning audiences, distinguishing them from generic horror, pornography, and Hollywood product while simultaneously hyping their salacious content. Deftly tracing the links between the local and the global, Frey also shows how the directors and distributors of extreme art house fare from both Europe and East Asia have significant incentives to exaggerate the exotic elements that would differentiate them from Anglo-American product. Extreme Cinema also includes original interviews with the programmers of several leading international film festivals and with niche distributors and exhibitors, giving readers a revealing look at how these institutions enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the “taboo-breakers” of art house cinema. Frey also demonstrates how these apparently transgressive films actually operate within a strict set of codes and conventions, carefully calibrated to perpetuate a media industry that fuels itself on provocation.
The films of the New French Extremity have been reviled by critics but adored by fans and filmmakers. Known for graphically brutal depictions of sex and violence, the subgenre emerged from the French art-house scene in the late 1990s and became a cult phenomenon, eventually merging into the horror genre where it became associated with American torture porn. Decidedly French in flavor, the films seek to reveal the dark side of French society. This book provides an in-depth study of New French Extremity, focusing on such films as Trouble Every Day (2001), Irreversible (2002), Twentynine Palms (2003), High Tension (2003) and Martyrs (2008). The author explores the social implications of cinematic cruelty presented not as "violent films" but as "films about violence."