Cloth $77.50 ISBN: 9789089640307 Published December 2008 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Paper $38.50 ISBN: 9789089640109 Published December 2008 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

Transfigurations

Violence, Death and Masculinity in American Cinema

Asbjørn Grønstad

Asbjørn Grønstad

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

288 pages | 6-1/3 x 9-2/3
Cloth $77.50 ISBN: 9789089640307 Published December 2008 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Paper $38.50 ISBN: 9789089640109 Published December 2008 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
In many senses, viewers have cut their teeth on the violence in American cinema: from Anthony Perkins slashing Janet Leigh in our most infamous of shower scenes; to the 1970s masterpieces of Martin Scorsese, Sam Peckinpah, and Francis Ford Coppola; to our present-day undertakings in imagining global annihilations through terrorism, war, and alien grudges. Transfigurations brings our cultural obsession with film violence into a renewed dialogue with contemporary theory, challenging the orthodoxies of previous research on film violence and contributing a fresh perspective to how we might reconceptualize fictional forms of this particular kind of aggressive cinema. Asbjörn Gronstad argues that the use of violence in Hollywood films should be understood semiotically rather than viewed realistically; Tranfigurations thus alters both our methodology of reading violence in films and the meanings we assign to them, depicting violence not as a self-contained incident, but a convoluted network of our own cultural ideologies and beliefs.
 
Contents
Acknowledgments
 
Prolegomenon
 
Introduction: Film Violence as Figurality
 
I   Screen Violence: Five Fallacies
    Empiricism
    Aristotelianism
    Aestheticism
    Mythologicism
    Mimeticism
 
II  Filming Death
1  The Transfigured Image
2  Narrating Violence, or, Allegories of Dying
 
III Male Subjectivities at the Margins
3  Mean Streets: Death and Disfiguration in Hawk's Scarface
4  Kubrick's The Killing and the Emplotment of Death
5  Blood of a Poet: Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch
6  As I Lay Dying: Violence and Subjectivity in Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs
7  One-Dimensional Men: Fincher's Fight Club and the End of Masculinity
 
Postscript
Notes
Bibliography
Index of Names
Index of Film Titles
Index of Subjects
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