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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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Everyday Structures/Everyday Language

Everyday Structures/Everyday Language

Fat Girl/À ma soeur! (Breillat 2001), Twentynine Palms (Dumont 2003)

(p.60) Chapter 4 Everyday Structures/Everyday Language
Troubled Everyday

Alison Taylor

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter four expands on both the aesthetic tendency to refuse guidance in relation to depictions of violence, and the need in the critical discourse that surrounds extreme cinema to impose coherence on violent representation. Where the films in chapter three stylistically equate moments of extreme violence with the banal, chapter four considers films in which the intrusion of violence into the everyday is marked as a definite rupture. Catherine Breillat’s Fat Girl (2001) and Bruno Dumont’s Twentynine Palms (2003) establish familiar patterns and worlds only to break them with paroxysms of violence in their final minutes. Disoriented by these seemingly illegible shifts, critical and scholarly responses tend to interpret them in terms of a shift in genre, or dismiss them as an authorial misstep. Unpacking these responses, and considering issues of authorship, genre, and aesthetics, chapter four argues that it is the films’ broader orienting structures that pave the way for disturbing affect. This chapter considers the ways in which Breillat and Dumont’s films involve us by establishing proximate and alienating structures congruent with the theoretical distinctions between positive and negative conceptions of the everyday.

Keywords:   Everyday language, Film genre, Film structure, Film authorship, Breillat, Dumont, Fat Girl, Twentynine Palms

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