JUMP CUT
A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY MEDIA

 

 

Notes

I would like to thank Tyson Namow for his help in preparing the images for this article.

1. James Wan wrote and directed the first Saw film. He was born in Malaysia but went to film school in Australia where he met Leigh Whannell. Whannell came up with the story and starred in the first film. The second and third films were written by Whannell, who again acted in them. In the third film Wan and Whannell collaborated on the writing.[return to page 1 of essay]

2. The interview was on At the Movie’s on ABC on 6th June 2007.

3. Although taking a different narrative and aesthetic approach, we can trace an escalation in explicit sexual violence in European cinema. For example, see Gaspaer Noe’s Irréversible (2002), and Catherine Breillat’s Anatomie de l'enfer (Anatomy of Hell, 2004).

4. Commentaries and reviews that support this claim include

  • Lynden Barber, “Atrocity Entertainment: Filmmakers are Turning up the Volume on Human Degradation,” The Weekend Australian. Review. April 14-15 2007: 25;
  • David Rimanelli and Hanna Liden, “Regarding the Torture of Dudes,” Artforum International Magazine. 44:10 (Summer 2006): 85-6;
  • Devin Gordon, “Horror Show; Scary Movies are Multiplying Faster than Ever, and getting increasingly Sadistic. Why are audiences so hungry for blood? Pull up a chair. Just be careful which one,” Newsweek. 3 April 2006: 60;
  • Ross Douthat, “Punch the Director!” National Review. 59:12 (July 2007): 54;
  • Kim Newman, “Torture Garden,” Sight and Sound. 16:6 (June 2006): 28-31.

5. For further discussion and links to images from Abu Ghraib, see Julia Lesage, “Links: Abu Ghraib and Images of Abuse and Torture,” Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media. 47 (2005). Retrieved on 10 August 2007
http://ejumpcut.org/archive/jc47.2005/links.html
Also see Joan Walsh. ed. “The Abu Ghraib Files.” Salon.com. Retrieved on 25 April 2008
http://www.salon.com/news/
abu_ghraib/2006/03/14/introduction/

I also await with anticipation for the release of Errol Morris’s latest documentary S.O.P.: Standard Operating Procedures, which examines the photographs taken by US soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison, mostly through interviews with the people who took them. The film is in the final stage of production.

6. Freddy vs. Jason (Ronny Yu, 2003) made approximately $82 million in the US, and the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Marcus Nispel, 2003) made around $80 million (IMDB).

7. For further discussion, see

  • Pauline Kael, Review of Bonnie and Clyde,” Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde. Ed. Lester D. Friedman.New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.188;
  • Paul Monaco, “Landmark Movies of the 1960s and the Cinema of Sensation,” The Sixties: 1960-1969, Vol 8: The History of American Cinema. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2001, 168-97;
  • Stephen Prince, Savage Cinema: Sam Peckinpah and the Rise of Ultraviolent Movies. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998.

8. See the exhibition guide for Antony Gormley “Blind Light” exhibition in The Hayward (17 May -19 August 2007). 0:10. [go gack to page 3]

Works cited

Alloway, Lawrence. Violent America: The Movies 1946-1964. Connecticut: Museum of Modern Art, 1971.

Barber, Lynden. “Atrocity Entertainment: Filmmakers are turning up the Volume on Human Degradation.” The Weekend Australian. Review. April 14-15 2007. 25.

Buck-Morss, Susan. “Aesthetics and Anaesthetics: Walter Benjamin’s Artwork Essay Reconsidered.” October. 62 (Autumn, 1992). 3-41.

Cavell, Stanley. The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film. Cambridge: Harvard   University Press, 1979.

CNN.com. “‘Torture Porn’ Hits a Bloody Wall.” 17 July 2007. Retrieved on 19 July 2007  
http://www.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/Movies/
07/16/film.horror.reut/index.html

Douthat, Ross. “Punch the Director!” National Review. 59:12 (July 9, 2007): 54.

Edelstein, David. “Now Playing at Your Local Multiplex: Torture Porn: Why has America Gone Nuts   for Blood, Guts and Sadism.” New York Magazine. 6 February 2006. Retrieved on 19 August 2007 http://nymag.com/search/search/

Gordon, Devin. ”Horror Show; Scary Movies are Multiplying Faster than Ever, and Getting increasingly Sadistic. Why are Audiences so Hungry for Blood? Pull up a Chair. Just be Careful which One.” Newsweek. (3 April 2006): 60.

Iordanova, Dina. “Introduction.” The Celluloid Tinderbox: Yugoslav Screen Reflections of a Turbulent Decade. Ed. Andrew James Horton. Central Europe Review: Shropshire, 2002.

Lesage, Julia. “Links: Abu Ghraib and images of Abuse and Torture.” Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media. 47 (2005) Retrieved on 10 August 2007  
http://ejumpcut.org/archive/jc47.2005/links.html

Liden, Hanna and David Rimanelli. “Regarding the Torture of Dudes.” Artforum International Magazine. 44:10 (Summer 2006): 85-6.

MacDougall, David. The Corporeal Image: Film, Ethnography, and the Senses .Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006.

Newman, Kim. “Torture Garden.” Sight and Sound. 16:6 (June 2006): 28-31.

Scarry, Elaine. The Body in Pain: The Making and the Unmaking of the World. New York: Oxford University Press: 1985.

Slocum, J David. “The ‘Film Violence’ Trope: New Hollywood, ‘the Sixties,’ and the Politics of History.” New Hollywood Violence. Ed. Steven Jay Schneider. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004.

Sobchack, Vivian. “The Violent Dance: A Personal Memoir of Death in the Movies.” Graphic Violence on the Screen. Ed. Thomas R. Atkins. New York: Monarch Press. 1976.

Sontag, Susan. “Regarding the Torture of Others.” The New York Times. May 23 2004. Retrieved on 15 September 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/
05/23/magazine/23PRISONS.html

Also see Joan Walsh. ed. “The Abu Ghraib Files.” Salon.com. Retrieved on 25 April 2008
http://www.salon.com/news/
abu_ghraib/2006/03/14/introduction/


To topPrint versionJC 50 Jump Cut home

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.