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Misery, pornography, utopia

the critical diagnosis of the mediated, self-conscious, lost world it describes. And this is nowhere clearer than in its use of pornography. For Houellebecq – more straightforwardly, perhaps, than for Despentes – pornography demonstrates the reductive materialism of contemporary sexual relations. The paradigm of the measurable, marketable body to which western men and women are now to aspire, is the pornographic body, reduced

in The new pornographies

challenges posed to established beliefs, conventions and modes of expression by new cultural developments: post-war housing problems and the spread of new social mores ( For Better, For Worse ) ; the impact of foreign cultural forms on the British way of life (As Long As They’re Happy ) ; the megalomania of media tycoons and the dangers of materialism ( An Alligator Named Daisy ) ; and the erosion of small-scale modes of

in J. Lee Thompson
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– include a critique of the reductive, empty consumerism of this world, for which the pornographic, defined for these purposes by a soulless, commercially motivated materialism, can become a kind of shorthand. At times, however, this thematisation is marked by a very contemporary ambivalence, which leaves any critique of the ways of this world, and of this pornography, awkwardly entangled with the very structures it might like to

in The new pornographies
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engaging with different oppressions and repressions at different times, Renoir’s cinéma is never able or never seeks to combine a broad critique of materialism and productivism with a critique of specific oppressions. The early 1930s focus largely on the bourgeoisie’s self-repression and hypocrisy but neglect that class’s exploitative relationship to other groups. The Frontist films focus on class oppression but move away from

in Jean Renoir
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acknowledged, for the first time since the Great Depression, the nation’s ongoing inability to realise the dreams of its anti-materialist, spiritually-driven early settlers. At the hands of the authoritarian militarism of successive governments and the rapacious self-seeking consumer fetishism of individuals, the nation for Romero had broken its foundational covenant with God; condemning itself to the crass materialism and paranoid jingoism so powerfully encapsulated in the zombie apocalypse. But as I will illustrate in Chapter 5, zombie horror was not the only subgenre

in The wounds of nations

manuscript note in the Jarman archive at the British Film Institute in fact dedicates Jubilee to William Blake in the course of an outburst against materialism and in favour of art and the imagination: This film is dedicated here to all those who secretly work against the tyranny of marxists Fascists trade unionists maoists capitalists socialists etc who have

in Derek Jarman
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materialism that accompanies it reinforces the role of cinema as social commentator. In this regard, the function of film is diametrically opposite in North and South Korea. Although the cinematic rendition of the ideological antagonism between the North and South Korea is certainly worthy of investigation, this study draws equal attention to their similar use of the cultural legacy from their shared past. The representation of

in Contemporary Korean cinema
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Catherine Millet, Virginie Despentes

described. Les Chiennes savantes (1996) is set in the sex industry (in which Despentes has famously worked): its first-person narrator, Louise, is a performer in a peep show, and her text continues to view the world through a pornographic lens, consistently describing its female characters with the brutal materialism of its milieu. In Les Jolies Choses (1998), Pauline discovers that her now-dead twin Claudine has made a porn film; the

in The new pornographies
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Traumatic events and international horror cinema

trauma and cinematic genre as its subject, that this book aims to contribute. As I have already intimated, this study is concerned with the social, cultural and political function of horror cinema. It also addresses the ways in which the generic and sub-generic conventions of horror allow for a decoding of traumatic memories already encoded within the cultural, social, psychic and political life of the nation’s inhabitants by shocking historical events. It does so, however, from a critical perspective that owes every bit as much to historical materialism as to the

in The wounds of nations
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-wing agenda, Senza pietà can be read as a denunciation both of the corrupt nature of the bourgeoisie and as a metaphor for the corruption of materialism and alien values. On the side of the villains are Pierluigi, his business associate, the fat, elderly, racist Argentinian gangster, and the racist, white American military police. Black soldiers are ‘just like us’ according to Marcella, lower class people denied a future

in European film noir