Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Death and the Moving ImageIdeology, Iconography and I$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michele Aaron

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748624430

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624430.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

The Cinematic Language of Dying

The Cinematic Language of Dying

Chapter:
(p.99) Chapter 4 The Cinematic Language of Dying
Source:
Death and the Moving Image
Author(s):

Michele Aaron

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624430.003.0005

This chapter presents and evaluates a cinematic language of dying through surveying a selection of the principle mainstream films about terminal illness from Dark Victory (Edmund Goulding, 1939) to The Death of Mr Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, 2005). Though Elaine Scarry declared pain's inexpressibility in Western culture, mainstream cinema is shown in this chapter to provide a rich language for illness, injury and bodily decline. It is a language rife with displacement, distortion and conservatism however. Sensationalism and sentimentality and the mythic proportions of the good death are privileged on-screen but, more than this, all the films discussed in the chapter share and promote the common emphases upon triumph, betterment and futurity. The cinematic language does express dying, however, and is even capable, especially outside of mainstream North American cinema, of doing this extrasensorially and without prohibiting the truths of the body. These latter examples are shown to privilege embodied and mundane dying more reflective of the physical, economic and demographic realities of the contemporary deathbed.

Keywords:   terminal illness, cinematic language of dying, the good death, embodiment, extrasensorial, Scarry, Elaine

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.