Communicating the 'unspeakability' of violent acts in cinema

De Bruyn Dirk 2009, Communicating the 'unspeakability' of violent acts in cinema, in Session 10: Violence in Film conference proceedings, Inter-Disciplinary.Net, London, England, pp. 1-14.

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Title Communicating the 'unspeakability' of violent acts in cinema
Author(s) De Bruyn Dirk
Conference name Global Conference Violence & the contexts of hostility ( 8th : 2009 : Budapest, Hungary)
Conference location Budapest, Hungary
Conference dates 4 – 7 May 2009
Title of proceedings Session 10: Violence in Film conference proceedings
Editor(s) [Unknown]
Publication date 2009
Conference series Violence in Film Conference
Start page 1
End page 14
Total pages 14
Publisher Inter-Disciplinary.Net
Place of publication London, England
Keyword(s) trauma
neurology
perpetrator
unspeakability
violence
testimony
dissociation
cinema
Summary This paper explores the forensic testimony employed in James Benning‟s experimental narrative film Landscape Suicide (1986, 16mm, 95min USA). As a belated example of Judith Walker‟s „Trauma Cinema‟, this film in part re-enacts the court transcripts of two perpetrators of physical violence: Ed Gein and Michelle Protti. Teenager Protti killed another student with a kitchen knife after having been subjected to bullying by a group of girls and Wisconsin farmer Gein shot a storekeeper‟s wife, took the body home to then skin and dissect it. Gein‟s case is said to have provided the model for the cinematic serial killers portrayed in Psycho (1959), The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). In its strategy of communicating or representing the overwhelming and traumatic impact of violence cinematically Landscape Suicide is contrasted to the melodrama and shock of mainstream violence in Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Silence of the Lambs for its ability to identify „unspeakable‟ aspects of overwhelming experience. This paper will concentrate on the representation of Ed Gein‟s violent acts, rather than Protti‟s and enlists recent neurological research that suggests a model for forgetting that is identifiable in the film‟s structure and content.
Language eng
Field of Research 190201 Cinema Studies
Socio Economic Objective 950205 Visual Communication
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
ERA Research output type E Conference publication
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30025436

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Communication and Creative Arts
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