AGORA
: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.


CRITICAL WOMEN HEADLINES

4/8/08

More on Funny Games from Linda Z & NKR:
Nancy,
Your comment that most of the violence in Haneke films happens not on screen but is inferred. The sound of the gun being shot which the audience infers to be the death of a dog in Funny Games is a case in point The audience responds to his suggestion of violence by grabbing at it like it is "the truth" and then they turn away declaring the film too violent. But that poses the question, who is the violent one, Haneke the film maker, or the audience who has been over exposed to violence and thus over reacts even to the suggestion that it has taken place?
Isn't this essentially the problem with Nazi Germany? We hear about it and we can't imagine and yet in film we do image. What is the difference? Why in real life situations we are so remiss in understanding the depth of the violence and yet in film we project more than is shown.

LindaZ

Nancy Keefe Rhodes writes back:
I think what you raise speaks to the whole issue of the fourth wall & how that operates. Part of what feels like a violation in Funny Games is that he breaks the dream-state of cinema, within which we may indeed be able to take in some things that are harder to take in directly from life. I think this is very complex. At the end of the day it's also related to the power of art, which is sometimes greater & more persuasive that some in-your-face stuff. I don't think it's a coincidence that some of the most interesting experimenting in cinema right now occurs in documentary as those filmmakers wrestle with how to be persuasive on-screen about what we really don't want to watch. A number of them I've spoken with in the past year or so feel that flooding viewers with statistics, for example, is basically ineffective and bankrupt, & some suspect that onsluaghts of "gritty" or "ugly" reality may be too.

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