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Excremental Ecstasy, Divine Defecation and Revolting Reception: Configuring a Scatological Gaze in Trash Filmmaking

Zoe Gross

Figshare 2017

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  • Title:
    Excremental Ecstasy, Divine Defecation and Revolting Reception: Configuring a Scatological Gaze in Trash Filmmaking
  • Author/Creator: Zoe Gross
  • Publisher: Figshare
  • Creation Date: 2017
  • Subjects: Media Studies
  • Description: Scatology, for all the sordid formidability the term evokes, is not an especially novel or unusual theme, stylistic technique or descriptor in film or filmic reception. Shit happens – to emphasise both the banality and pervasiveness of the cliché itself – on multiple levels of textuality, manifesting it- self in both the content and aesthetic of cinematic texts, and the ways we respond to them. We often refer to "shit films," using an excremental vocabulary redolent of detritus, malaise and uncleanliness to denote their otherness and "badness". That is, films of questionable taste, aesthetics, or value, are frequently delineated and defined by the defecatory: we describe them as "trash", "crap", "filth", "sewerage", "shithouse". When considering cinematic purviews such as the b-film, exploitation, and shock or trash filmmaking, whose narratives are so often played out on the site of the grotesque body, a screenscape spectacularly splattered with bodily excess and waste is de rigeur. Here, the scatological is both often on blatant display – shit is ejected, consumed, smeared, slung – and underpining or tincturing form and style, imbuing the text with a "shitty" aesthetic. In these kinds of films – which, as their various appellations tend to suggest, are defined...
  • Identifier: DOI: 10.4225/03/5922697fedda0