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Politics, Theory, and FilmCritical Encounters with Lars von Trier$
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Bonnie Honig and Lori J. Marso

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190600181

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190600181.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 November 2020

The Suffering Spectator?

The Suffering Spectator?

Perversion and Complicity in Antichrist and Nymphomaniac

(p.71) 3 The Suffering Spectator?
Politics, Theory, and Film

Rosalind Galt

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the structures of spectatorial complicity offered in von Trier’s films illustrate how entwined cinema, sexuality, and the political can be. It examines how Antichrist and Nymphomaniac (2014) are especially apt films through which to explore the question of spectatorial complicity because both incite strong feelings through scenarios of sex and sexualized violence. The politics of these films depends upon the generation of an intense and perversely destabilizing affective relationship with the spectator. Both films assail the viewer with scenes that might be difficult or pleasurable to watch. Both also possess an uncertain relationship to these apparently socially engaged themes.

Keywords:   spectatorial complicity, spectator, Antichrist, Nymphomaniac, sexual politics, sexualized violence, cinema, sexuality

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