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Cinematic shots and cuts: on the ethics and semiotics of real violence in film fiction
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Literature and History of Ideas, History of Literature.
2011 (English)In: Journal of Aesthetics and Culture, ISSN 2000-4214, Vol. 3, 1-15 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article I discuss a few ethical and semiotic problemsrelated to reality’s ability to actually take place within, andbreak through, fictional representations. I am particularlyconcerned with the presence of material bodies in theperforming arts. I consider Hideshi Hino’s Flower of Fleshand Blood (Ginıˆ piggu 2: Chiniku no hana, 1985) as aninitial example of purely fictional film violence. From abrief presentation of traditional theatre semiotics and theconcept of a fictive stance, I then discuss two specific filmswhere the body of the actor functions not only as thecarrier of symbolical meaning but also as an indexicalreference to a factual situation: John Waters’ Pink Flamingos(1972) and Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust(1980). My main interest lies in the occurrence of realviolence, and particularly animal killings, in exploitationcinema. By considering directors’ own statements on thematter, I suggest that such violence can not simply bedismissed as ethically flawed; rather, it carries a potentialcritique of the ideology of meat as pure commodity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Co-Action , 2011. Vol. 3, 1-15 p.
Keyword [en]
violence, fictive stance, theatre semiotics, bodily presence, exploitation cinema, animal killing
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-57590DOI: 10.3402/jac.v3i0.6280OAI: diva2:416525
Available from: 2011-08-03 Created: 2011-05-12 Last updated: 2012-12-17Bibliographically approved

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