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The New Extremism in Cinema

From France to Europe

Edited by Tanya C Horeck, Tina Kendall

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Explosive images of sex and violence in films by directors such as Catherine Breillat, Gaspar Noé, Michael Haneke and Lars von Trier have attracted media attention for the ways in which they seek to shock and provoke the spectator into powerful affective and visceral responses.

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1 Introduction
Tanya Horeck and Tina Kendall
2 Flesh and Blood: Sex and Violence in Recent French Cinema
James Quandt
Part I French Cinema and the New Extremism
3 The Wounded Screen
Martine Beugnet
4 Reframing Bataille: On Tacky Spectatorship in the New European Extremism
Tina Kendall
5 Beyond Anti-Americanism, Beyond Euro-Centrism: Locating Bruno Dumont's Twentynine Palms in the Context of European Cinematic Extremism
Neil Archer
Part II Becoming Animal: Posthumanism and the New Extremism
6 Shadows of Being in Sombre: Archetypes, Wolf-Men and Bare Life
Jenny Chamarette
7 Eastern Extreme: The Presentation of Eastern Europe as a Site of Monstrosity in La Vie nouvelle and Import/Export
Michael Goddard
8 Naked Women, Slaughtered Animals: Ulrich Seidl and the Limits of the Real
Catherine Wheatley
Part III Watching the Extreme: Cultural Reception
9 Watching Rape, Enjoying Watching Rape…: How does a Study of Audience Cha(lle)nge Film Studies Approaches?'
Martin Barker
10 Censorship, Reception and the Films of Gaspar Noé: The Emergence of the New Extremism in Britain
Daniel Hickin
11 'Sex and Violence from a Pair of Furies': The Scandal of Baise-moi
Leila Wimmer
12 'Close Your Eyes and Tell Me What You See': Sex and Politics in Lukas Moodysson's Films
Mariah Larsson
Part IV Ethics and Spectatorship in the New Extremism
13 Lars von Trier's Dogville: A Feel-Bad Film
Nikolaj Lübecker
14 A 'Passion for the Real': Sex, Affect and Performance in the Films of Andrea Arnold
Tanya Horeck
15 Interrogating the Obscene: Extremism and Michael Haneke
Lisa Coulthard
16 On the Unwatchable
Asbjørn Grønstad
17 More Moralism from that 'Wordy Fuck'
James Quandt
Notes on Contributors
Works Cited

About the Author

Tanya Horeck is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Anglia Ruskin University. She has published essays in a number of journals including Screen, New Formations and Women: A Cultural Review, and is the author of the book Public Rape: Representing Violation in Fiction and Film (Routledge, 2004). Her research interests include film theory, representations of crime and violence, documentary theory and film, affect and spectatorship.

Tina Kendall is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Anglia Ruskin University, where she is also Pathway Leader for the undergraduate Film Studies degree. Her research interests include theories of spectatorship, affect, and unpleasure, especially as these relate to contemporary European cinema. She has published on questions of stillness, intermediality, disgust, and the new materialism in film. She is currently preparing a monograph on the cinema of Bruno Dumont.


'This is the first important study of its kind, and it is both perspicacious and unflinching in examining the provocative issues raised by such directors as Lars von Trier and Gaspar Noe with their graphic portrayals of sex and violence. Critical methods and the contentious debates regarding the expression of sexuality are both handled by the contributors with great rigour.'
- Barry Forshaw , Crimetime

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