The Visceral Screen

Between the Cinemas of John Cassavetes and David Cronenberg

Robert Furze

The Visceral Screen

Robert Furze

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

256 pages | 20 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2015
Cloth $86.00 ISBN: 9781783203703 Published September 2015
Narrative and spectacle describe two extremes of film content, but the oeuvres of John Cassavetes and David Cronenberg resist such categorization. Instead, Robert Furze argues, the defining characteristic of these directors’ respective approaches is that of “visceral” cinema—a term that illustrates the anxiety these filmmakers provoke in their audiences. Cassavetes demonstrates this through disregard for plot structure and character coherence, while Cronenberg's focus is on graphic depictions of mutilation, extreme forms of bodily transformation, and violence.

The Visceral Screen sets out to articulate alternative ways of appreciating film aesthetics outside the narrative/spectacle continuum. Cassavetes and Cronenberg are established auteurs, but the elements of their films that appear to be barriers to their artistic status—for example, slipshod method and lingering violence or pre-digital special effects—are reassessed here as other indicators of creativity. In this way, Furze encourages debates of what makes a film good or bad—beyond how much it is seen to adhere to particular, established models of filmmaking. 
Contents
Acknowledgements
Biographical Note

Prologue
Cassavetes, Cronenberg, Barthes: A literature review
Gestation
Visceral
Hidden
The viewer
The chapters to follow: An overview

Chapter 1: The Visceral: From Adjective to Noun
Excess
Legibility
Semiology
Denotation
The visceral

Chapter 2: The Auteur and the Visceral Sense
The place of the author
The out-of-control auteur
The imperfect auteur
The auteur and the visceral sense: John Cassavetes and David Cronenberg
John Cassavetes
David Cronenberg
A few words on cult cinema

Chapter 3: John Cassavetes and David Cronenberg: Lists and Emptiness
Cassavetes, Cronenberg and the DVD special feature
Lists
Emptiness
Semiotics or semiology?
Arbitrariness
Paradigm / syntagm

Chapter 4: Effects
Spectacle
Attractions
Digital
Horrors
Camera Lucida
Theatre
Objects
Videodrome
Faces
Limits
Love Streams
From film to video games
The Path
Digital / analogue
Reaching out, pulling away
Conclusion: The visceral ‘Wounds’

Chapeter 5: Cities
Princes and shards: Ideology’s response to the visceral
Eastern Promises
Views from bridges
No centre
Terror
Husbands
Freedom
Division

Conclusion

Appendices
Appendix A: The visceral – a relational model
Appendix B: Cassavantes and Cronenberg – An annotated filmography
Appendix C: Glossary

References
Bibliography
Filmography
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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