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Real Sex FilmsThe New Intimacy and Risk in Cinema$
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John Tulloch and Belinda Middleweek

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190244606

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190244606.001.0001

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Beyond High Theories of Intimacy

Beyond High Theories of Intimacy

Authorship, Performance, and “Obscenity” in The Piano Teacher

(p.257) 10 Beyond High Theories of Intimacy
Real Sex Films

John Tulloch

Belinda Middleweek

Oxford University Press

Chapter 10 explores the ways in which intertexuality within and between the stages of writing, directing, and performing the film The Piano Teacher create a multi-authored text. In the absence of an ethnography of production impossible for films made in the past, the authors devised a “soft ethnography” approach focused on some key players in this “multiply authored” semiotic model (namely, the prize-winning author, director, and lead actor) to suggest the flow and feedback between these different “signatures” in the text. This soft ethnography is grounded in knowledge of the writer’s discursive history and politics, the director’s television/film sense of liberation via “obscene” cinema, and the actor’s “directing” (via her construction of character) through her performance as a developing part of her star persona. These personal/public negotiations are symptomatic of the reflexive “synthesize and extend” interdisciplinary approach of Real Sex Cinema.

Keywords:   soft ethnography, intimacy, reflexivity, authorship, Michael Haneke, Isabelle Huppert, Elfriede Jelinek, ethnography of production, obscene cinema

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