JUMP CUT
A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY MEDIA

 

Notes

1. As Christopher Sharrett points out, “While Bush [Senior] pummelled Iraq with a devastating air Armada, the talk shows were filled with hand-wringing about the popularity of serial killer movies” (13).

2. By “normative” I do not mean “normal,” a term which is often used to oppress those people who do not conform to social norms, but rather what dominant ideology constructs as “normal,” often to the detriment of many minoritized subjects.

3. Jean Baudrillard, theorist of the hyperreal, has argued that the order of the hyperreal substitutes the signs of the real (i.e. representations and simulations of reality) for the real itself (2). In our media-saturated, image-dominated, cyber-immersed culture, Baudrillard pessimistically declares the impossibility of recovering the real, a vacuum that is being filled by simulacra (copies without originals) (19).

4. For a summary of reviewers’ discussions of the oppositions installed between Lecter and Buffalo Bill, see Staiger (145).

5. Lesbian and gay activists also picketed cinemas showing Basic Instinct for its association of transgressive sexuality with serial killing.

6. For a reading of the monster in horror films as a projection of repressed fears and desires, see Wood, ch. 5.

7. Richard Dyer has made a similar point about whiteness generally, arguing that its very ordinariness means that it cannot escape implications of non-existence, meaninglessness and sterility (White 212).

Works cited

Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulations. Trans. Sheila Faria Glaser. Michigan: The University of Michigan Press, 1994.

Clover, Carol. Men, Women and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. London: BFI, 1992.

Davies, Jude, and Carol. R. Smith. Gender, Ethnicity and Sexuality in Contemporary American Film. Edinburgh: Keele University Press, 1997.

DiPiero, Thomas. “White Men Aren’t.” Camera Obscura: A Journal of Feminism and Film Theory 30 (1992): 112-37.

Dollimore, Jonathan. Sexual Dissidence: Augustine to Wilde, Freud to Foucault. Oxford: Clarendon, 1991.

Dyer, Richard. “Kill and Kill Again.” Action/Spectacle Cinema: A Sight and Sound Reader. Ed. José Arroyo. London: BFI, 2000. 145-50.

—. Seven. BFI Modern Classics. London: BFI, 1999.

—.  White. London: Routledge, 1997.

Ellis, Bret Easton. American Psycho. Basingstoke: Picador, 1991.

Grant, Barry Keith. “American Psycho/sis: The Pure Products of America Go Crazy.” Mythologies of Postmodern Violence in Postmodern Media. Ed. Christopher Sharrett. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1999.23-40.

Halberstam, Judith. Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1995.

Hall, Stuart. “Introduction: Who Needs Identity?” Questions of Cultural Identity. Ed. Stuart Hall and Paul du Gay. London: Sage, 1996. 1-17.

Harris, Thomas. Red Dragon. New York: Putman, 1981.

Hutcheon, Linda. The Politics of Postmodernism. London: Routledge, 1990.

Jameson, Fredric. Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. London: Verso, 1991.

Modleski, Tania. Feminism Without Women: Culture and Criticism in a “Postfeminist” Age. New York: Routledge, 1991.

Mulvey, Laura. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” Screen  16.3 (1975): 6-18.

Newitz, Annalee. “Serial Killers, True Crime, and Economic Performance Anxiety.” Mythologies of Postmodern Violence in Postmodern Media. Ed. Christopher Sharrett. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1999. 65-83.

—. “White Savagery and Humiliation, or a New Racial Consciousness in the Media.” White Trash: Race and Class in America. Ed. Matthew Wray and Annalee Newitz. London: Routledge, 1997. 131-54.

Newitz, Annalee and Matthew Wray. “What Is ‘White Trash’? Stereotypes and Economic Conditions of Poor Whites in the United States.” Whiteness: A Critical Reader. Ed. Mike Hill. London: New York University Press, 1997. 168-184.

Pfeil, Fred. White Guys: Studies in Postmodern Domination and Difference. London: Verso, 1995.

Robinson, Sally. Marked Men: White Masculinity in Crisis. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.

Rogin, Michael. “Blackface, White Noise: The Jewish Jazz Singer Finds His Voice.” Critical Inquiry 18.3 (1992): 417-53.

Rutsky, R. L. “Being Keanu.” The End of Cinema As We Know It: American Film in the Nineties. Ed. Jon Lewis. London: Pluto, 2002. 185-94.

Savran, David. Taking It Like a Man: White Masculinity, Masochism, and Contemporary American Culture. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998.

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985.

Seltzer, Mark. Serial Killers: Death and Life in America’s Wound Culture. New York: Routledge, 1998.

Sharrett, Christopher. Introduction. Mythologies of Postmodern Violence in Postmodern Media. Ed. Christopher Sharrett. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1999. 9-20.

Simpson, Philip. Psycho Paths: Tracing the Serial Killer Through Contemporary American Film and Fiction. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2000.

Slotkin, Richard. Regeneration through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600-1860. New York: HarperPerennial, 1996.

Staiger, Janet. “Taboos and Totems: Cultural Meanings of The Silence of the Lambs.” Film Theory Goes to the Movies. Ed. Ava Preacher Collins et al. New York: Routledge, 1993. 142-54.

Tasker, Yvonne. The Silence of the Lambs. BFI Modern Classics. London: BFI, 2000.

—. Working Girls: Gender and Sexuality in Popular Cinema. London: Routledge, 1998.

Williams, Linda. Playing the Race Card: Melodramas of Black and White From Uncle Tom to O.J. Simpson. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Wood, Robin. Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan. New York: Columbia University Press, 1986.

Young, Elizabeth. “The Silence of the Lambs and the Flaying of Feminist Theory.” Camera Obscura: A Journal of Feminism and Film Theory 27 (1991): 5-36.

Filmography

  • American Psycho. Dir. Mary Hannon. Lions Gate Films, 2000.
  • Basic Instinct. Dir. Paul Verhoeven. Tristar Pictures, 1992.
  • Blood Work. Dir. Clint Eastwood. Warner Brothers, 2002.
  • Blue Steel. Dir. Kathryn Bigelow. MGM Pictures, 1990.
  • Bone Collector, The. Dir. Philip Noyce. Universal Pictures, 1999.
  • Bonnie and Clyde. Dir. Arthur Penn. Warner Brothers, 1967.
  • Cell, The. Dir. Tarsem Singh. New Line Cinema, 2002.
  • Copycat. Dir. John Amiel. Warner Brothers, 1995.
  • Deliverance. Dir. John Boorman. Warner Brothers, 1972.
  • Dressed to Kill. Dir. Brian de Palma. Filmways Pictures, 1980.
  • Falling Down. Dir. Joel Schumacher. Warner Brothers, 1993.
  • Fight Club, Dir. David Fincher. Twentieth Century Fox, 1999.
  • Grand Canyon. Dir. Lawrence Kasdan. Twentieth Century Fox, 1991.
  • Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Dir. John McNaughton. Greycat Films,1986.
  • Kalifornia. Dir. Dominic Sena. Gramercy Films, 1993.
  • Lethal Weapon. Dir. Richard Donner. Warner Brothers, 1987.
  • Man Bites Dog. Dir. Rémy Belvaux. Roxie Releasing, 1991.
  • Manhunter. Dir. Michael Mann. Anchor Bay Entertainment, 1986.
  • Matrix, The. Dir. Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski. Warner Brothers, 1991.
  • Monster. Dir. Patty Jenkins. Newmarket Films, 2003.
  • Natural Born Killers. Dir. Oliver Stone. Warner Brothers, 1994.
  • Peeping Tom. Dir. Michael Powell. Astor Pictures, 1960.
  • Psycho. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. Paramount Pictures, 1960.
  • Rambo: First Blood Part II. Dir. George Pan Cosmatos. Tristar Pictures, 1985.
  • Red Dragon. Dir. Brett Ratner. Universal Pictures, 2002.
  • Resurrection. Dir. Russell Mulcahy. Columbia Tristar, 1999.
  • Seven. Dir. David Fincher. New Line Cinema, 1995.
  • Silence of the Lambs, The. Dir. Jonathan Demme. Orion Pictures, 1991.
  • Stepfather, The. Dir. Joseph Ruben. Columbia Pictures, 1987
  • Switchback. Dir. Jeb Stuart. Paramount Pictures, 1997.
  • Taking Lives. Dir. D.J. Caruso. Warner Brothers, 2004.
  • Virtuosity. Dir. Brett Leonard. Paramount Pictures, 1995.
  • Watcher, The. Dir. Joe Charbonic. Universal Pictures, 2000.
  • White Men Can’t Jump. Dir. Ron Shelton. Twentieth Century Fox, 1992.

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