Heller-Nicholas 2011 Violation

Title Information

Author: Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Title: The Violation of Representation

Subtitle: Art, Argento and the Rape-Revenge Film

Journal: Forum: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts

Volume: -

Issue: 13

Year: Autumn 2011

Pages: 12 pages

ISSN: 1749-9771 – Find a Library: Open Access Journal

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | Italian History | Representations: Films / La Sindrome di Stendhal; Victims: Revenge

Full Text

Link: Forum (Free Access)

Additional Information

Abstract: »Considering the moral controversies surrounding films such as I Spit on Your Grave (Meir Zarch, 1976) and Baise-Moi (Virginie Despentes and Coralie Trinh-Thi, 2000), the rape-revenge film is often typecast as gratuitous and regressive. But far from dismissing rape-revenge in her foundational book Men, Women and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film (1992), Carol J. Clover suggests that these movies permit unique insight into the representation of gendered bodies on screen. In Images of Rape: The 'Heroic' Tradition and Its Alternatives (1999), art historian Diane Wolfthal demonstrates that contradictory representations of sexual violence co-existed long before the advent of the cinematic image, and a closer analysis of films that fall into the rape-revenge category reveals that they too resist a singular classification. Despite the broadness of the rape-revenge category, however, these films predominantly involve some kind of visceral skirmish between victim/villain, good/evil, female/male and right/wrong, and the desire for vengeance upon which their narratives rely provides a widely shared melodramatic foundation. The ideological leanings, thematic cores and moral messages of any given text hinge upon its representational mechanics-in this instance, how film formally constructs meaning-and can thus shift radically from text to text, despite the uniformity of the trope itself.« (Source: Forum)


  Representing Rape and Revenge (p. 2)
  Aesthetics, Ethics and Rape-Revenge (p. 3)
  Framing Rape in The Stendhal Syndrome (p. 4)
  Do You Recognize Me Now? (p. 7)
  The Futility of Vengeance (p. 8)
  Works Cited (p. 9)

Wikipedia: Rape and revenge film: The Stendhal Syndrome

Added: March 7, 2015 – Last updated: March 7, 2015