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Representation of rape in fiction

Related: Escaping Hades - rape - rape and revenge films - "tentacle rape" - women in prison films

In high art: Le Viol (1934) - René Magritte

Is rape funny?

Do you think rape is funny? Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler do. www.oneangrygirl.net/wackyrape.html

Films with rape scenes

Related: A Clockwork Orange (1971) - Demon Seed (1977) - C'est Arrivé Pres de Chez Vous/Man Bites Dog (1992) - Baise-Moi (2000) (see also translated title)

Rape and revenge film genre

Titles: The Virgin Spring (1960) - Last House on the Left (1972) - Death Wish (1974) - Thriller (1974) - I Spit on Your Grave (1978) - Ms. 45 (1981) - Bad Lieutenant (1992) - Irréversible (2002)

Films about rape

  • Hable con Ella - Talk to Her (2002) - Pedro Almodóvar [Amazon.com]
    Writer-director Pedro Almodóvar makes another masterpiece with Talk to Her, his first film since the wonderful All About My Mother. Marco (Dario Grandinetti) is in love with Lydia (Rosario Flores), a female bullfighter who is gored by a bull and sent into a coma. In the hospital, Marco crosses paths with Benigno (Javier Camara), a male nurse who looks after another coma patient, a young dancer named Alicia (Leonor Watling). From Benigno's gentle attentiveness to Alicia, Marco learns to take care of Lydia... but from there, the story goes in directions that deftly manage to be sad, hopeful, funny, and creepy, sometimes at the same time. The rich human empathy of Almodóvar's recent films is passionate, heartbreaking, intoxicating--there aren't enough adjectives to praise this remarkable filmmaker, who is at the height of his powers. Talk to Her is superb, with outstanding performances from all involved. --Bret Fetzer for amazon.com

  • Accused (1988) - Jonathan Kaplan [Amazon.com]
    Jodie Foster won her first Oscar for her role in this drama, based on an actual incident. She plays a good-time girl who, while out for a night of fun at a poolroom, lets things get out of hand. Before she knows what's happening, the men she's been flirting with have pinned her down for a gang rape. The story centers on the efforts of a district attorney (Kelly McGillis) to press her case, in spite of a wall of silence by the participants--and then to take the unusual step of going after the witnesses as accomplices. Foster is outstanding as a tough, blue-collar woman who persists in what seems like an unwinnable case, despite the prospect of character assassination for standing up for herself. --Marshall Fine for Amazon.com

    Male/male rape

  • Deliverance (1972) - John Boorman [Amazon.com]
    One of the key films of the 1970s, John Boorman's Deliverance is a nightmarish adaptation of poet-novelist James Dickey's book about various kinds of survival in modern America. The story concerns four Atlanta businessmen of various male stripe: Jon Voight's character is a reflective, civilized fellow, Burt Reynolds plays a strapping hunter-gatherer in urban clothes, Ned Beatty is a sweaty, weak-willed boy-man, and Ronny Cox essays a spirited, neighborly type. Together they decide to answer the ancient call of men testing themselves against the elements and set out on a treacherous ride on the rapids of an Appalachian river. What they don't understand until it is too late is that they have ventured into Dickey's variation on the American underbelly, a wild, lawless, dangerous (and dangerously inbred) place isolated from the gloss of the late 20th century. In short order, the four men dig deep into their own suppressed primitiveness, defending themselves against armed cretins, facing the shock of real death on their carefully planned, death-defying adventure, and then squarely facing the suspicions of authority over their concealed actions. Boorman, a master teller of stories about individuals on peculiarly mythical journeys, does a terrifying and beautiful job of revealing the complexity of private and collective character--the way one can never be the same after glimpsing the sharp-clawed survivor in one's soul. --Tom Keogh for amazon.com

    From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies - Molly Haskell

  • From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies - Molly Haskell [Amazon US]
    Molly Haskell describes herself in the introduction of FROM REVERENCE TO RAPE as a film critic first, and only secondly as a feminist. She even remarks negatively on an article about the movie HUSBANDS that Betty Friedan wrote for the New York Times in 1971, saying that Ms. Friedan just used the movie to extrapolate on her basic message in THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE. Having said that, she goes through the decades of film from the silent pictures through to the eighties, and concludes that the basic use of film towards women has been to keep them happily in their place: that is, married, and at home and out of the workplace. She organizes the book chronologically and details the evolution of women both in the industry as writers, actresses and directors. She surprises us with the news that in the beginning, there were many women directors, and only as the industry blossomed did men enter the business and push the women out. Women, however, have had more luck in the film industry than in any other, she maintains, since writing, editing, costume design and especially acting, could be done without sheer physical strength being required. The power denied most women, derived from high incomes, was given in abundance to Hollywood movie stars and successful screenwriters such as Francis Marion, who earned $150,000 per year in the 1930's! Actresses, who played the classic roles of compliant wives and mothers for the most part, had power in their real lives that cost them dearly in their personal relationships. Read the book to find out how the irony of real life personal power clashed with the image of womanhood portrayed on the screen, and how woman's place has changed and how films are changing along with them. Don't be afraid to keep your dictionary alongside; Ms. Haskell's vocabulary is formidable. --Sally B. Drell for amazon.com

    Images of Rape : The 'Heroic' Tradition and its Alternatives - Diane Wolfthal

    Images of Rape : The 'Heroic' Tradition and its Alternatives - Diane Wolfthal [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Images of Rape: The "Heroic" Tradition and its Alternatives is the first in-depth exploration of rape as it has been portrayed in Western art from the twelfth through the seventeenth centuries. Examining the full range of representations, from those that glorify rape to those that condemn it, Diane Wolfthal illuminates the complex web of attitudes toward sexual violence that existed in the medieval and early modern society. She makes her case using a range of visual documentation, including picture Bibles, law treatises, justice paintings, war prints, and the manuscripts of Christine de Pizan. --Book Description

    Wolfthal examines depictions of rape during the medieval and Renaissance periods, and reveals tellingly and thoughtfully how complex and varied the attitudes towards rape were from around 1100-1700. In contrast to the more simplistic views with which we are often presented, her essay points out that rape was by no means always glorified, but frequently viewed with the disapproval which it deserves; and she makes her case compellingly and fascinatingly, using a wide range of illustrations from several countries and all sorts of spheres. This is a learned book, but, though thought-provoking and demanding, never heavy or ponderous. It is sure to become a classic on its subject, and should be read by all who are interested in rape and attitudes to it. I have found it one of the best scholarly books I have read during an academic career that spans more than four decades. --Joost Daalder via Amazon.com

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