The dialectics of cruelty: rethinking Artaudian cinema

Koutsourakis, Angelos (2016) The dialectics of cruelty: rethinking Artaudian cinema. Cinema Journal, 55 3: 65-89. doi:10.1353/cj.2016.0027

Author Koutsourakis, Angelos
Title The dialectics of cruelty: rethinking Artaudian cinema
Journal name Cinema Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0009-7101
Publication date 2016
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1353/cj.2016.0027
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 55
Issue 3
Start page 65
End page 89
Total pages 25
Place of publication Austin, TX, United States
Publisher University of Texas Press * Journals Division
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Antonin Artaud’s concept of a theater of cruelty and his scarce writings on cinema have profoundly influenced film scholarship, especially in view of the large number of contemporary European films that employ images of extreme violence and utilize an aesthetics of visual unpleasure. But is the politics of the Artaudian aesthetic to be reduced to the reproduction of gory images of revolting violence? This article explores the politics of Artaudian cinema by going back to Artaud’s writings on the medium and comparing them to Brecht’s writings on film. The focus of this article is twofold: the first part goes back to Artaud’s writings and investigates the politics of the cinema of cruelty, while the second uses as case studies Jonas Mekas’s The Brig (1964) and Costas Zapas’s The Rebellion of Red Maria (2011). The first film is a screen adaptation of a performance renowned for reconciling the theater of cruelty with a political context, while the second is a contemporary paradigm of a film that draws on the Artaudian and Brechtian traditions with a view to responding to the political concerns of the present.
Keyword Theater of cruelty
Antonin Artaud
Extreme violence
Cinema of cruelty
Subjective thoughts
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Created: Fri, 06 May 2016, 12:37:27 EST by Ms Stormy Wehi on behalf of School of Communication and Arts