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Extreme CinemaAffective Strategies in Transnational Media$
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Aaron Kerner and Jonathan Knapp

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474402903

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474402903.001.0001

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Arousal: Graphic Encounters

Arousal: Graphic Encounters

(p.101) Chapter 5 Arousal: Graphic Encounters
Extreme Cinema

Aaron Michael Kerner

Jonathan L. Knapp

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter explores the inclusion of graphic sexual content in post-millennial cinema. Art films have increasingly incorporated scenes of unsimulated, hardcore sex acts—traditionally associated with pornography—into their narratives in recent years. Arousal, perhaps more so than any of the other themes explored in Extreme Cinema, wields the potential for affective dissonance. In these films, sexual transgression and eroticism might turn towards disgust, signifiers of pain might be confused for signifiers of sexual arousal, or morally objectionable content might elicit sensual arousal—at the intersection of violence and fetishism. The films discussed in this chapter include: Wetlands, Nymphomaniac Volumes I and II, 9 Songs, Helter Skelter.

Keywords:   Sexual arousal, Fetishism, Disgust, Sexual transgression, Sexuality, Pornography

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