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Jeffrey Sconce

Related: paracinema - film theory

Key text: Trashing the Academy: Taste, Excess, and an Emerging Politics of Cinematic Style (1995)

In addition to art, horror, and science fiction films, "paracinema" catalogues "include entries from such seemingly disparate genres" as badfilm, splatterpunk, mondo films, sword-and-sandal epics, Elvis flicks, government hygiene films, Japanese monster movies, beach party musicals, and "just about every other historical manifestation of exploitation cinema from juvenile delinquency documentaries to ... pornography" (Sconce, 372).


Jeffrey Sconce is an American scholar teaching at the Northwestern University. He specializes in media studies and has elaborated on paracinema, a term he coined in 1995 in his frequently cited Trashing the Academy. [Nov 2005]

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Sconce

Paracinema defined by Jeffrey Sconce

As Sconce explains, this is an "extremely elastic textual category," and comprises "less a distinct group of films than a particular reading protocol, a counter-aesthetic turned subcultural sensibility devoted to all manner of cultural detritus [trash]. In short, the explicit manifesto of paracinematic culture is to valorize all forms of cinematic `trash' whether such films have been either explicitly rejected or simply ignored by legitimate film culture" (372). --Sleaze Mania, Euro-trash, and High Art, Joan Hawkins, The Place of European Art Films in American Low Culture; 1999 via http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1070/is_2_53/ai_59210751/print [Aug 2005]

Sconce, Jeffrey. “Trashing the Academy: Taste, Excess, and an Emerging Politics of Cinematic Style.” Screen 36.4 (Winter 1995): 371-93.

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