STARTER TASK Note down three films or scenes that you consider shocking Write a sentence describing why you found the scene/film shocking What was your initial response to the film? Did the shocking factor wear-off after repeated viewing? If so, why do you think this was?
LEARNING OBJECTIVES Identify key Term: Shocking Cinema Analyse both Un Chien Andalou and Reservoir Dogs and identify what makes them shocking Evaluate the use of shock in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket & A Clockwork Orange
„SHOCKING‟ CINEMA What is ‘Shocking’ Cinema? Shocking cinema does not just refer to scenes of gore, horror, and violence As we have seen early cinema-goers were shocked simply by the sense of realism created in early films However, most people’s initial response when discussing shocking cinema is to think of graphic sexual violence or violent content
„SHOCKING‟ CINEMA List the range of ways in which you can see film as being potentially shocking - Give an example for each Compare your list with a partner How are your lists similar or different? Shock comes from both a films content and form It can depend on the actual content of the film or the way in which the scene is constructed
UN CHIEN ANDALOU Watch the opening for Salvador Dali’s Un Chien Andalou consider the following: Without discussion with class-mates note down your initial personal response to the sequence. What is shocking about this sequence? (content) Une Chien Andalou Why is it shocking? (form) (1929) Surrealist short film by S. Dali. It uses ‘dream logic’ in its narrative flow
UN CHIEN ANDALOU The opening eye-slitting subject matter is clearly shocking and designed to elicit a specific emotional response from the audience, but so is the construction of the scene The way in which the use of close-up’s and Both! editing is used, cuttingmust rememberof thefor You from blank face this women with her eye beingyour open to the held exam! actual eye cuttingYou must support all points shot is designed to heighten the shocking nature of the analysis of both with scene The suddenness of the eye-slicing does not CONTENT & allow for anticipation or mental preparation for FORM the spectator What is more important in the creation of shock? Content or Form?
RESERVOIR DOGS Watch the ear-cutting scene from Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and make notes on the following: How does the sense of shock differ from that of Un Chien Andalou? Consider the use of the micro elements Quentin Tarantino’s film caused controversy for its Both scenes consider whether the nature of use of violence and was banned in shock changes after repeated viewing Australia & New Zealand
EXAM NOTICE! In your exam answers you should discuss films or scenes that also create an „emotional shock‟ Always make sure you are considering both the content and the form of the scenes we study Try to decide on the nature of the emotional response experienced and the intensity of that experience
SUDDEN SHOCK Shock is usually caused as something sudden and unexpected so that the audience is caught unawares It is worth noting that this is not always the case and that shock is sometimes achieved through a long, drawn out fashion Watch the following scene from Stanley Kubrick’s Path‟s of Glory Paths of Glory (1957) Consider both the form and content in the creation of shock – how is this different from Dir: Stanley Kubrick that of the other films we have seen?
PATH‟S OF GLORY Kubrick makes the inescapability of the execution by the firing squad in Path‟s of Glory unbearably painful as he gives the experience of shock not as something sudden but as something of prolonged intensity
VIOLENCE The violence in A Clockwork Orange is considered shocking and repulsive because of its brutality Violence can startle an audience, surprise us and take us by surprise But consider another possible emotional response: The Tearful response Have you ever had a tearful response to a film? Why was this? How did the form and content contribute to your response?
SEXUAL CONTENT As with violence there are various types of sexual material that might be seen as shocking and may create a certain emotional response There are plenty of examples of this, the most shocking (in my opinion) comes from a French film called ‘Irreversible‟ Watch the following sequence and note down why this scene is considered to be Irreversible shocked audiences shocking? with its gratuitous violence and ten What are your personal feelings towards minute anal rape this sort of violence? scene
RELIGIOUS / POLITICAL / CONTEXTUAL Moving away from violence and sexual content, it can be argued that the most shocking elements in films are not actual incidents portrayed, but the ideas that are expressed and underpinned in the events American History X for example is about extreme right-wing politics and racial violence that most audience groups would find disturbing Watch the following sequences and identify the different ways in which spectators could react
AMERICAN HISTORY X The content of the film is straight forward and easy to understand However, does the form of the film suggest the way in which the filmmakers ultimately wished their film to be understood? Spectators are likely to respond in different ways – could a Nazi skinhead gain their own gratification from watching this film? Is that shocking by itself? Or should spectator reaction not concern the filmmaker?
SHOCKING CINEMA Choose one of the scenes we have viewed today and answer the following question: “How is the experience of shock created in your chosen extract?” You must consider both Form & Content Now repeat the exercise with scenes of your choice from both Full Metal Jacket and A Clockwork Orange