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Troubled EverydayThe Aesthetics of Violence and the Everyday in European Art Cinema$
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Alison Taylor

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474415224

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474415224.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

‘A lightning that illuminates the banal’: Violence and the Everyday

‘A lightning that illuminates the banal’: Violence and the Everyday

(p.1) Chapter 1 ‘A lightning that illuminates the banal’: Violence and the Everyday
Troubled Everyday

Alison Taylor

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter one establishes and justifies the link between a compelling tendency towards extremes in violence erupting out of the everyday in recent European cinema. It argues that while it is the nature of the everyday to be a kind of backdrop – taken for granted, imperceptible, and uneventful, it is in fact a crucial and under examined aspect in several extreme films. This is evident in terms of the films’ subject matter and setting (the prevalence of family, home, school, workplace), and/ or aesthetics (the Bressonian paring back of performance and playing down of the eventful). Drawing on the notorious instant of graphic on-screen suicide in Haneke’s Hidden, chapter one highlights what the book takes to be a central dynamic present in varied ways across the body of films under examination – an aesthetic strategy that attempts to provoke an experience of discomfort by preventing viewers from containing moments of violence with a coherent meaning or motivation. This introductory chapter argues that by attending to the ordinary as well as the extreme, we might better understand the affective grip of these films.

Keywords:   Everyday, Violence, Aesthetics, New Extremism, Hidden

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