9780231132473

Shocking Representation : Historical Trauma, National Cinema, and the Modern Horror Film

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780231132473

  • ISBN10:

    0231132476

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-11-15
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr

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Summary

In this imaginative new work, Adam Lowenstein explores the ways in which a group of groundbreaking horror films engaged the haunting social conflicts left in the wake of World War II, Hiroshima, and the Vietnam War. Lowenstein centers Shocking Representation around readings of films by Georges Franju, Michael Powell, Shindo Kaneto, Wes Craven, and David Cronenberg. He shows that through allegorical representations these directors' films confronted and challenged comforting historical narratives and notions of national identity intended to soothe public anxieties in the aftermath of national traumas. Borrowing elements from art cinema and the horror genre, these directors disrupted the boundaries between high and low cinema. Lowenstein contrasts their works, often dismissed by contemporary critics, with the films of acclaimed "New Wave" directors in France, England, Japan, and the United States. He argues that these "New Wave" films, which were embraced as both art and national cinema, often upheld conventional ideas of nation, history, gender, and class questioned by the horror films. By fusing film studies with the emerging field of trauma studies, and drawing on the work of Walter Benjamin, Adam Lowenstein offers a bold reassessment of the modern horror film and the idea of national cinema.

Author Biography

Adam Lowenstein is associate professor of English and film studies at the University of Pittsburgh

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
ix
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction: The Allegorical Moment 1(16)
France
History Without a Face: Surrealism, Modernity, and the Holocaust in the Cinema of Georges Franju
17(38)
Britain
``Direct Emotional Realism'': The People's War, Classlessness, and Michael Powell's
Peeping Tom
55(28)
Japan
Unmasking Hiroshima: Demons, Human Beings, and Shindo Kaneto's Onibaba
83(28)
United States
``Only a Movie'': Specters of Vietnam in Wes Craven's Last House on the Left
111(34)
Canada
Trauma and Nation Made Flesh: David Cronenberg and the Foundations of the Allegorical Moment
145(32)
Afterword: 9/11/01, 8/6/45, Ground Zero 177(8)
Notes 185(36)
Bibliography 221(20)
Index 241

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