A shameful spectacle

Yeates, Helen L. (1998) A shameful spectacle. Peace Review: A journal of Social Justice, 10(4), pp. 553-557.

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The linguistics of violence in film and on television is a hotly debated topic, especially whenever outrageously violent crimes are committed in the community. The debate tends to proceed thus: was the perpetrator addicted to watching violent films and videos, and if so, did the language of mediated violence translate into the language of everyday action, blurring the boundaries between fantasy and reality? The cause—effect relationship between fantasies enacted on screen and horrific real-life crimes has never been proven scientifically, despite endless governmental inquiries and many attempts by academics to discover a causation formula.

I will not be looking so much at the vexed question of the relationship between stylized violence on celluloid and real violence in a community. Rather, I wish to explore the nature of a particular form of mediated, gendered violence through an analysis of the language of several key films made in the past decade focusing on the violent crime of rape: Hollywood films The Accused (1988), Casualties of War (1989), Thelma and Louise (1991), Strange Days (1996), and the Australian films Shame (1988) and The Boys (1998). In this way, I wish to show how rape is depicted linguistically in film, and how such films may actually give solutions to this abhorrent kind of violence rather than thrill the viewer vicariously, or, in a worst case scenario, stimulate people to further violence.

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ID Code: 30370
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: violence in film, cinematic representations of rape
DOI: 10.1080/10402659808426203
ISSN: 1040-2659
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Cinema Studies (190201)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Disciplines > Film & Television
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1998 Carfax Publishing Ltd.
Copyright Statement: This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published Peace Review: A Journal of
Social Justice, 10:4, 553-557. The article is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10402659808426203#preview
Deposited On: 05 Jun 2012 00:20
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2012 00:21

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