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Deleuze and Horror Film

Deleuze and Horror Film

Anna Powell
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Deleuze and Horror Film
    Book Description:

    The horror film analysed from a Deleuzian perspective

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-2878-0
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vii)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. Introduction: New Directions in Horror Film Studies
    (pp. 1-13)

    Mike, the soundman of a film crew lost in the woods, admits to kicking their only map into the creek, because it was ‘useless’. From this point, they move on, clinging to their own rigid map of reality and to the heavy film equipment which weighs them down. They follow the lines of an invisible, occult map which draws them further off track into a terrifying maze. I take this moment in The Blair Witch Project, directed by Meyrick and Sanchez, as a way in to re-theorising the horror film from the perspectives of Deleuze. The existing theoretical map of...

  5. CHAPTER 1 From Psychoanalysis to Schizoanalysis: An Intensive Voyage
    (pp. 14-61)

    Nola Carveth, in residential analysis under Dr Raglan at the Soma Free Institute, is kept in isolation under lock and key. Raglan’s intensive psychosomatic therapy has broken through Nola’s ego-defences and released her repressed rage against her parents as well as hatred of her own daughter and jealousy of her husband’s woman friend. Expressed at first through their transference to the eroticised father figure of the analyst, Nola’s libidinal forces soon adopt a more physical expression. They manifest themselves on the outside of her body, undermining the distinction between psychic and physical states. The pustules that break from her skin...

  6. CHAPTER 2 Becoming Anomalous and the Body-Without-Organs
    (pp. 62-108)

    Alone in his bathroom, Seth Brundle watches himself in the mirror. Anxiously scanning his increasingly knobbly face, he chews his fingernail and it comes off between his teeth. His exposed finger-end squirts white liquid onto the mirror, which he shamefacedly wipes off with toilet paper. The next scene in David Cronenberg’s The Fly (1986) begins with a slow track up the solid metal of a computer, panning round to reveal Seth at the screen. Instead of providing him with reassurance, what he sees on the screen intensifies the horror. Analysing the cellular make-up of Seth’s teleportation, the computer reveals that...

  7. CHAPTER 3 The Movement-Image: Horror Cinematography and Mise-en-scène
    (pp. 109-153)

    The Count in Bram Stoker’s Dracula moves in the mysterious ways lent to him by the cinema’s own technological powers of movement. He glides with the motion of a rapidly tracking camera; and experiences the movements of others as the jumpy, fast motion of silent-film footage. Like Murnau’s Orlock, he sends out distorted shadows that do not match his apparent position, by a trick of the light. Morphing extends his arms to unnatural lengths. He also moves by the flamboyant shape-shifting skills of CGI, becoming a loping wolf, a rampant demon or a green mist that penetrates keyholes.

    As well...

  8. CHAPTER 4 Horror Time
    (pp. 154-200)

    At the birth of cinema, the vampire Louis watches Lumière’s train. Among the clips we see in the same sitting are Murnau’s Nosferatu and Sunrise, which fades into Tequila Sunrise, a self-reflexive reference to the star, Tom Cruise, who plays the Vampire Lestat in the 1991 film. Time, history and memory are compressed in cinema as well as in the vampire, for whom a century elides into a few minutes. In this brief sequence of from Neil Jordan’s Interview with the Vampire, a shorthand version of cinema history is presented via a screen within the screen. Cinematic memory operates time...

  9. Conclusion: Living Horror: Thoughts On Our Nerve-Endings
    (pp. 201-209)

    Deleuzian horror films threaten the stability of body and mind. They transform the embodied mind of the spectator as well as the bodies on screen. We feel and think the films directly on our nerve-endings, ‘inside’ with emotions and ideas, and on the surface of our skin in goose-bumps. Film alters our perceptions, extending and transforming mundane modes of consciousness. We are not the same viewer before, during or after the horror film event. Rather than seeking to capture the meaning of my chosen films, I have followed their affective lines of force. Locating horror both on screen and in...

  10. Glossary of Key Terms
    (pp. 210-215)
  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 216-222)
  12. Filmography
    (pp. 223-224)
  13. Index
    (pp. 225-232)