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Introduction

  • Janice Loreck
Chapter
  • 515 Downloads

Abstract

Narrative cinema is filled with moments that present the violent woman as an enigma. In Lars von Trier’s Antichrist (2009), a psychotherapist takes his bereaved wife into his care as a patient. During their many sessions, he asks her to recount her fears and memories: unresponsive to her husband’s treatment, the woman retaliates by inflicting acts of violence upon him. A similar scenario of interrogation takes place in The Reader (Stephen Daldry, 2008): a judge presiding over a war crimes trial repeatedly asks a former Schutzstaffel guard to account for her actions. Confused and evasive, the woman replies, ‘Well, what would you have done?’ Even if a film does not literally command the violent woman to speak in this manner, many inscribe a desire to reveal her subjectivity onscreen. Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson, 1994) opens as two teenage girls run screaming through a public park, covered in the blood of a woman they have just murdered. Trouble Every Day (Claire Denis, 2001) centres on the search to cure a diseased woman who murders her lovers. Monster (Patty Jenkins, 2003) retrospectively explores the circumstances surrounding real-life murderer Aileen Wuornos’s acts of homicide. Road movie Baise-moi (Coralie Trinh Thi and Virginie Despentes, 2000) uncovers its murderous protagonists’ intimate pleasures and deprivations in explicit detail.

Keywords

Film Text Film Festival Horror Cinema Popular Cinema Female Violence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Janice Loreck 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janice Loreck
    • 1
  1. 1.Monash UniversityAustralia

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