Cinema, Pain and Pleasure: Consent and the Controlled Body

Overview

The idea that pain can be a pleasure is a troubling one, and yet it informs cultural practices ranging from extreme sports to BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism). This book considers how mainstream cinema borrows heavily from these cultural activities for its imagery, but typically rejects their social motivations founded on masochistic pleasure and an assertion of autonomy. Noting a shift in the late twentieth century to narratives that highlight subjection, endurance and ...

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Cinema, Pain and Pleasure: Consent and the Controlled Body

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Overview

The idea that pain can be a pleasure is a troubling one, and yet it informs cultural practices ranging from extreme sports to BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism). This book considers how mainstream cinema borrows heavily from these cultural activities for its imagery, but typically rejects their social motivations founded on masochistic pleasure and an assertion of autonomy. Noting a shift in the late twentieth century to narratives that highlight subjection, endurance and willed-acquiescence, it probes the confluence of pain, pleasure and consent to analyse the implications of the change. Films addressed include Crash, Fight Club, Saw, Se7en and Sick. Individual chapters focus on the influence of BDSM, body modification, provocative artwork, dangerous games and torture, and collectively they offer an address of how cinema's viscerally dominated, marked and suffering body – the controlled body – destabilizes the pain/pleasure dichotomy, as well as other binaries founded on gender, sexuality and disfigurement/beauty.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Really excellent: very well written and extremely well informed, both about BDSM and movies. The opening chapter very usefully disposes of some 'standard' psychoanalytic approaches to BDSM, and this greatly helps to situate the ensuing discussions of the controlled body in films in a refreshingly different context from that in which this subject is still all too often discussed."
- Julian Petley, Brunel University, UK
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230319387
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 3/28/2013
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 5.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

STEVEN ALLEN is a lecturer in the School of Media and Film at the University of Winchester, UK.  He is author of Framing Film: Cinema and the Visual Arts (co-edited with Laura Hubner, Intellect, forthcoming) as well as a number of articles on animation, British cinema history and horror cinema in international jourbanals and edited collections.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Situating the Controlled Body
Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, and Sadomasochism (BDSM) at the Movies
Body Modification: Beauty and the Pleasures of the Modifiable Flesh
Aestheticized Pain and the Artistic Serial Killer
Playing with Control
Choosing Torture Instead of Submission
Conclusion
Endnotes
Bibliography
Filmography
Television Programmes
Index

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