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The Feel-Bad Film - Edinburgh Scholarship Online
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The Feel-Bad Film

Nikolaj Lübecker


In recent years some of the most innovative European and American directors have made films that place the spectator in a position of intense discomfort: Feel-Bad Films. Systematically manipulating the viewer, sometimes by withholding information, sometimes through shock or seduction, these films have often been criticised as amoral, nihilistic, politically irresponsible or anti-humanistic. But how are these unpleasurable viewing experiences created? What do the directors believe they can achieve via the ‘feel-bad’ experience? How can we situate these films in intellectual history? And why sho ... More

Keywords: feel-bad film, spectatorship, ethics, transgression, unpleasure, art cinema, avant-garde, Lars von Trier, Claire Denis

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780748697977
Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2016 DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748697977.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Nikolaj Lübecker, author
University of Oxford