24 Şubat 2011, Perşembe
The New York Times reviewer of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival underlines the common ingredient that brings together the majority of the award-winning films: “Violence Reaps Rewards at Cannes Festival” (05/25/2009). While the best director award winner Brillante Mendoza’s Kinatay (Slaughter) shows a brutal rape and dismembering of a prostitute at length, the best actress award went to Charlotte Gainsbourg of Lars von Trier’s Antichrist, a film with graphic scenes of torture and genital mutilation. Similarly, bloody scenes of beating and murders dominate Jacques Audiard’s Grand Prix winner prison drama A Prophet. The striking synchronicity of these films suggests a new trend in European art-house cinema where graphic scenes of violence become not only a convenient tool to further audience affect but also a means to reinforce the reality effect. In the light of anthropological literature on violence, this lecture analyzes the narrative possibilities opened up by stylistic violence in cinema: possibilities such as providing a commentary on the disposability of bodies under a neo-liberal economy obsessed with efficiency and adaptability. This talk also inquires into the narrative limits of the above award-winning films that reflect violence as an eruptive force that speaks to the liberal imagination. I explore how films commenting on neo-liberal biopolitics simultaneously and paradoxically produce a “violent-chic”.