By Linnie Blake
The Wounds of Nations explores the ways that horror motion pictures permit overseas audiences to accommodate the horrors of contemporary history--from genocide to terrorist outrage and nuclear conflict to radical political switch. faraway from being mere escapism or titillation, it exhibits how horror (whether it's from Nineteen Seventies the United States, Nineteen Eighties Germany, post-Thatcherite Britain or post-9/11 the US) is in reality a hugely political and very likely healing movie style that allows us to discover, and most likely get over, the terrors of lifestyles within the actual world.
Exploring a variety of stylistically targeted and generically assorted movie texts, Blake proffers an intensive critique of the countryside and the ideologies of id it promulgates, exhibiting that horror cinema can provide us a annoying, but perversely lifestyles asserting, technique of operating during the tense legacy of modern times.
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Extra info for The Wounds of Nations: Horror Cinema , Historical Trauma and National Identity
Thus, in his distinctively alienated musings on the existential isolation of the desiring German subject, in his libidinally ambiguous re-animation of the deeply repressed historical past and in his highly self-reflexive plays on cinema’s capacity for the dissemination and reproduction of regressive ideologies of race and gender (themselves designed to bind up the damage wrought to German self-image by the events of 1939– 45) Buttgereit would deliver not, as has been argued, the ‘limp, inane’ message that ‘it’s okay to f**k [sic] the dead as long as you don’t kill them’2 but a considered and often playful exploration of one of the key subjects of recent German cinema and a core concern of this book – die Unbewaltigte Vergangenheit – the past that has not been adequately dealt with.
Horrifically, the result of such congress with the living dead is Monika’s pregnancy which for all it echoes the unnatural reproduction of Hot Love does seem to offer some model of authentic subjectivity emerging from a union with the dead, some kind of potentially meaningful inter-subjective relationship emerging from Monika’s act of eroticised mourning. For without such an affirmation, all life once more is death and all becoming is an ending; a dynamic which Buttgereit so clearly wants to move on from in his films.
In this, the onryou has granted compelling-yet-repulsive access to the political unconscious that lies Nihonjinron, women, horror 45 beneath the psychological unconscious of individual characters, the film narrative as a whole and indeed the cultural life of the nation. For in both Japanese and American onryou narratives the vengeful ghost’s target is not merely ‘the living’ but the repressive and totalising ideologies that they have internalised as a means of denying the dislocations to national self-image wrought by traumatic events such as war.
The Wounds of Nations: Horror Cinema , Historical Trauma and National Identity by Linnie Blake