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Senses Of Cinema

Related: film - film theory

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Perversion In Cinema - sensesofcinema.com

An introduction to the concept of the "perverse" and to this special spotlight on perversion within cinema, representation, and theory. -- Patricia MacCormack (editor) http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/04/30/contents.html#perversion

A Kind of (Perverse) Loving: The Gothic Horror Films of Joe D’Amato by Xavier Mendik
Mendik digs deep into the world of European trash cinema to bring to the surface the extreme films of Joe D'Amato and their unique psychosexual concerns.

Hot, Hard Cocks and Tight, Tight Unlubricated Assholes: Transgression, Sexual Ambiguity and “Perverse” Pleasures in Serge Gainsbourg’s Je t’aime moi non plus by Jack Sargeant
If certain body parts and functions are coded as normal and acceptable, Sargeant examines a film that turns these presuppositions on their head.

Excess and Resistance in Feminised Bodies: David Cronenberg’s Videodrome and Jean Baudrillard’s Seduction by Martin Ham
An exploration of the politics of representation, in particular, notions of excess and resistance, as they are worked through in both Baudrillard's Seduction and Cronenberg's Videodrome.

Towards a Perverse Neo-Baroque Cinematic Aesthetic: Raúl Ruiz’s Poetics of Cinema by Michael Goddard
Both Ruiz's writings and his cinema are underpinned by a truly unique, radical and perverse aesthetic.

Whips and Bodies: The Sadean Cinematic Text by Lindsay Hallam
Lindsay Hallam examines the paradigms of sadism and masochism and traces their dramatisation in cinema.

There is a clear investment in cultural hegemonic processes of normalisation and stabilisation of both self and society. In reference to cinema and all forms of art, censorship reflects the anxiety society exhibits at that which threatens the perversion of axes of social norms. Norms are given power not through their value so much as through their repetition, which therefore repeats the power by which repetition is enforced. At best censorship denies extreme versions of everyday paradigms of power which rightly disgust through their hyper-representation of issues such as misogyny, racism and other minoritarian oppressions. At worst it prevents any alteration in these paradigms by devaluing certain issues. Sexuality which does not conform to established heterosexual or vindicated “nice” homosexual relations, the exhibition of the interiors of the flesh, and violence that indulges in that same flesh, are usually the victims of censorship.

Clean violence such as gun death can punctuate films but not so easily visceral worlds, even those not necessarily related to death or violence but baroque configurations of flesh for their own sake (seen most emphatically in films such as City of the Living Dead [Lucio Fulci, Italy, 1980] or Hellbound [Tony Randel, UK, 1988] as two examples). Splanchnic explorations frequently exist beyond or independent of narratives of aggressive forms of violence, showing that “violence” is not necessarily concomitant with “gore”. Here we have flesh as devil. The occult interiors of our thoraxes provoke the risk of becoming-otherwise, materially expressing our capacity to unfold and refold. The body is a clandestine geology. In flesh and desire we exist as plateaus over which we have no control, knowledge or, as seen in gore cinema, image. Folding flesh and desire outward through provoking images refolds and thus transforms the self. Those who resist transformation most frequently resist the encounter which brings its ecstasy (ex-stasis, outside of self) into being – the encounter with perverse worlds often only available in film. Film encourages pathological voyeurism, without object or aim. This alone fulfils traditional clinical definitions of perversion. Perverse films eviscerate the viewer as they eviscerate the represented flesh, and our skin is pinned back, our selves autopsied, destroyed to be reborn in alternate configurations of cinematic pleasure and self. --Patricia MacCormack, http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/04/30/perversion_intro.html

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