Film-Philosophy

Journal | Salon | Portal (ISSN 1466-4615)

Vol. 6 No. 6, April 2002

 

 

Joan Hawkins

Revisiting the Philosophy of Horror

 

 

 

_Film and Philosophy_

Special Edition on Horror, 2000

Edited by Daniel Shaw

ISSN 1073-0427

142 pp.

 

When Laura Mulvey published 'Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema' in 1975 she both inaugurated feminist film theory and seemed to stop it in its tracks. The essay was so good, so powerful, that for years, it seemed, scholars could only adopt its terms and apply them to other films. There were small correctives here and there, of course. Mary Ann Doane attempted to account for female spectatorship; E. Ann Kaplan began important work on women directors working within the narrative tradition. [1] For the most part, however, feminist film scholarship done in the immediate wake of Mulvey's essay simply extended her analysis. Even the essays which attempted to address the problematic areas in Mulvey's text (the issue of female spectators, for example), did so from the standpoint of friendly critique. That is, they sought to augment the work that Mulvey had done; they did not challenge the basic premises of the essay. [2]

 

Noel Carroll's 1990 work _The Philosophy of Horror; or, Paradoxes of the Heart_ has had a similar effect on the discussion of philosophy and horror. The first major work to appear on the subject, the book simultaneously set the terms of the horror-philosophy discussion and ended the debate. Carroll's work was so good and so definitive that it seemed to leave little room for further investigation. The unfortunate result is that not much work has been done on horror and philosophy since 1990. As Daniel Shaw notes in 'Power, Horror, and Ambivalence', since the 90s, 'the most discussed solution to the ambivalence problem [we like horror, but it also terrifies and appalls us] in philosophic circles has been Noel Carroll's' (5).

 

_Film and Philosophy_'s special edition on horror, therefore, constitutes something of an event. Promising to re-open the discussion of philosophy's relationship to horror, the volume includes essays on both classic horror films covered in Carroll's work (the most notable being _The Bride of Frankenstein_), and films which have appeared in the decade since Carroll first published his now-seminal text. As one might expect from such a volume, the collection often reads like something of a homage. It is a rare essay which does not cite Carroll's work on ambivalence, and the majority of the essays position themselves as augmenting or extending Carroll's scholarship.

 

That said, the volume does a remarkable job (especially for so slim a text) of covering new ground. Comprising essays on technology (sound and special effects) as well as narrative, on uncanny art cinema (Kieslowski's _The Double Life of Veronique_ and David Lynch's _Lost Highway_) as well as horror films, the volume goes a long way in opening up the generic category of horror and expanding the range of topics we can discuss. In addition, Daniel Shaw's essay, 'Power, Horror, and Ambivalence', provides a good overview of the existing scholarship in the field and lays out many of the issues and problems which we have yet to address. For all these reasons, the special edition would work well as an introductory text and I hope the editors plan to release it as a book.

 

For me, the most interesting essays are those which depart somewhat from discussions of Carroll's work. One of the best essays in the collection, for example, is Anat Pick's '_Third Man_, Fourth World: The Fantastic Imagination of Orson Welles in Peter Jackson's _Heavenly Creatures_'. _Heavenly Creatures_, Peter Jackson's third feature, is about a famous New Zealand murder case. In 1954 two teenage girls, Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme (the New Zealand mystery writer Anne Perry), battered Pauline's mother, Honora Parker, to death using a brick wrapped in a stocking.

 

The girls had become *obsessively* close and had increasingly retreated into a kind of fantasy world, and Mrs Parker planned to separate them by sending Pauline away. The girls stood trial and were found guilty, but because of their young age they were spared the death penalty. Both spent time in prison and were later released on condition that they never see each other again. As Pick notes, 'the affair was particularly scandalous due to the insinuation that the girls were romantically involved' (24).

 

There's plenty in this film to write about: the *obsessive* friendship of the girls and the way in which their physical intimacy is portrayed, the depiction of female violence, matricide, and even the relationship of image to written and spoken text (Pauline's diaries). What Pick chooses to focus on, however, is the element of fantasy in the girls' relationship, particularly the role which Orson Welles plays in that fantasy world. Not only does the film include actual scenes from Carol Reed's _The Third Man_ (1949), in which Welles plays the compelling if unscrupulous character of Harry Lime, but it also depicts the figure of Welles taking over the girls' fantasy world. In one particularly dizzying scene, Welles himself comes to stand in for everything that seems forbidden and exciting to the girls. As Pauline bends over to kiss Juliet, the shadow she casts on the wall of her bedroom is that of Orson Welles. When the girls finally do embrace, Pauline is transformed before our eyes into Welles himself. As Pick notes, 'this, surely is a *queer* moment all round' (27).

 

Pick explores the representation of Orson Welles as a fantasmatic figure in both the girls' diegetic imaginary world and in the cinematic unconscious of the film itself. For Welles, as Pick is well aware, 'has become a symbol of the demonic' in cinema (26). All of those who worked with Welles have talked of his 'magician's method' and his flamboyance. Scandals dogged his _War of the Worlds_ broadcast and _Citizen Kane_. And his final film project (in Brazil) so frightened the studio bosses that they stopped production and put all the film cans in storage (for more on this, see the documentary, _It's All True_). _Heavenly Creatures_ exploits Welles's demonic reputation throughout the film, and uses it to make an interesting link between adolescent sexual fantasy and intertextuality. In a very real way, intertextuality is fantasy in this film, as Welles becomes a fantasmatic figure which links the protagonists' diegetic imaginary world to the repressed history of cinema itself. Moving gracefully from Stanley Cavell's comparison of dreams to film, to Freud's _Interpretations of Dreams_, and finally to LaPlanche and Pontalis's reworking of Freud, Pick explores the way in which _Heavenly Creatures_ uses intertextuality (the scenes from _The Third Man_) as fantasy and thereby establishes the screen itself as the 'site in which the cinematic explores its own pathology' (28), through the wunderkind/monster figure of Welles. It's a beautifully written and beautifully argued essay, one of the best I've read on Jackson's marvellous film.

 

_Heavenly Creatures_ is an interesting film to include here, since the film blurs the lines between the types of horror which Daniel Shaw delineates in 'Power, Horror, and Ambivalence': 1, a sort of 'power-driven' horror, in which the audience derives pleasure from the sheer power and control of the monster or serial killer, and 2, 'nihilistic horror', in which the monster or serial killer seems to be out of control, and therefore powerless. In speaking of 'nihilistic horror', Shaw writes,

 

'deeply disturbing and hence not as pleasurable as the bulk of horror films we have been discussing, works of nihilistic horror provide the negative to the positive image of monsters and serial killers that I have been contending comes from their power. Our response to nihilistic horror is different precisely because it denies us the pleasure of identifying with truly powerful (human) protagonists and superhuman antagonists. Like a deer caught in the headlights on a pitch black night, we quiver at the prospect of such an absurd and meaningless fate' (11).

 

_Heavenly Creatures_ muddies this divide between a kind of pleasurable Nietzschean ('will to power') horror and a distinctly unpleasurable nihilistic horror by constantly shifting registers. For many cinephiles, the figure of Welles -- demonized here -- certainly does lend a Nietzschean frisson of pleasure-in-power to what is otherwise a story about the hopelessness and helplessness of adolescent love (and the general powerlessness of adolescents). I'm not sure, however, that one could really call _Heavenly Creatures_ 'nihilistic' -- that is, I'm not sure where the film would fall on Shaw's continuum of pleasure/unpleasure. In part, this is the inevitable problem with drawing binaries. The drawing of the binary line invites readers to look for examples which fall outside, or otherwise contaminate, the categories. In part, however, it's a problem with the term 'nihilism' itself, a term which operates in such contradictory registers that it needs far more unpacking than Shaw is able to give it here.

 

One article which does attempt to unpack the term and explore nihilism in depth is Kevin Stoehr's article 'Kubrick and Ricoeur on Nihilistic Horror'. Stoehr begins his article with a discussion of Paul Ricoeur's work on evil and defilement, but then moves beyond Ricoeur to explore the full philosophical implications of the invocation of 'nihilistic horror' in the films of Stanley Kubrick (all of his films, not just his 'horror' title, _The Shining_). As Ricoeur defines it, defilement 'is a primordial, pre-ethical, pre-conceptual level of confession' (89), and one which Stoehr believes most tellingly captures 'the genuine meaning of nihilistic horror as the richest and most potent species of horror . . . with defilement, we enter into the reign of Terror' (89). It is this type of terror which Stoehr claims is usually experienced in the modern world as an 'experience of fault and limitation' (89) which characterizes so much of Kubrick's work.

 

Stoehr uses Nietzsche to complicate the term 'nihilistic horrors'. As Stoehr reminds us, Nietzsche makes a clear distinction between active and passive nihilism: 'He tells us that passive or negative ('incomplete') nihilism is a rejection of seemingly fixed values *without* the spiritedness which allows one to transform himself into a self-creator.' (90) In other words, for Nietzsche, only passive nihilism has the negative connotations which Shaw ascribes to 'nihilistic horror'. Active nihilism, on the other hand, 'is the process of undergoing passive nihilism and rising above mere resentment, thereby acquiring the principle of creative life-affirmation in the face of existential and spiritual crisis' (90). It is this latter form of nihilism which Stoehr sees in Kubrick's work. (To put it another way, Shaw sees 'nihilistic horror' as necessarily imbricated in Nietzsche's regime of passive nihilism, whereas for Stoehr, 'nihilistic horror' can be informed by a Nietzschean active nihilism).

 

In discussing what, precisely, he means by 'existential and spiritual crisis', Stoehr departs from Nietzsche and Ricoeur, and complicates their ideas with a discussion of Heidegger. He is particularly interested in Heidegger's theories of primal anxiety -- the dread 'which is not a fear of anything in particular, but rather the experience of the threat of *no-thing in particular*, of the world as such' (91) -- and his elaboration of 'transformational terror'. In fact, one of the strongest sections of the essay deals with Heidegger's notion of 'transformational terror', a terror which is produced by 'confrontation with the utterly irrational and amoral, with the savage and otherworldly' (92). It is this terror (the terror which many of us experienced on September 11) which forces us into an 'absolute acknowledgment of sheer contingency' (92), the necessary precondition and cause of existential angst.

 

The case which Stoehr makes for a nihilistic horror grounded in existential angst is compelling, and his use of Kubrick's films to illustrate his points make for a highly interesting read -- from both a theoretical/philosophical and film-crit standpoint. That is, the readings of Kubrick's films are good, and would seem so, I suspect, even to readers not particularly interested in the theoretical and philosophical framework of the article. For those of us who *are* interested in nihilistic horror and existentialism, however, this approach to Kubrick's work is dynamite.

 

For Stoehr, 'nihilism arises on the cultural, historical and political plane only *after* the realities of ethical and religious life have been formulated and evaluated. But the terrifying negativity of nihilistic existence is anchored in primal experiences that are pre-cultural, pre-theological and even pre-historical' (91); it is a 'primordial encounter with the impure' (92). Nihilistic horror, then, is both 'a unique mode of horror that sometimes emerges in our pre-philosophical awareness of contemporary life' (90) and the necessary result of the post-philosophical awareness of contingency. It is a state that is at once hypo- and hyper-philosophical. This is a Heideggerian reading complicated with implied references to both Freud and Levi-Strauss, and it is one that has implications beyond the films of Kubrick or the horror genre in general.

 

I have discussed this essay at length, not only because it is an elegantly complex piece of work but because its inclusion here highlights one of the strengths of the volume. Throughout this _Film and Philosophy_ special issue we encounter pairs and groups of essays which seem to enter into dialogue with each other. Here Stoehr's essay seems to do a kind of double duty, as it complicates both Shaw's earlier discussion of 'nihilistic horror' (which Shaw, unlike Stoehr, finds unsatisfying) and Tarja Laine's discussion of _The Shining_ (the essay which immediately precedes Stoehr's in the volume).

 

Tarja Laine's essay on Kubrick, 'Empathy, Sympathy, and the Philosophy of Horror in _The Shining_', is not as philosophically challenging as Stoehr's piece, but her reading of the film, and particularly her discussion of camera work (its visual grammar), is excellent. The essay takes off from Noel Carroll's assertion that a horror film may provoke a sympathetic emotional response on the part of the viewer, but 'this response is not based on identification', so 'an empathic response seems impossible' (72). Linking empathy to identification or emotional proximity, Carroll argues that horror is frequently characterized by 'a distance, an asymmetry, between the spectator's emotion and the character's emotion' (72); it is this distance which renders empathy impossible. Laine, on the other hand, argues that empathy requires both identification and distance, and uses Kubrick's _The Shining_ to make her point. In a way, this seems like a slender thread on which to hang an entire essay, but it permits her to explore the paradoxical emotions which come into play in any good horror film, particularly in _The Shining_. Again, it's her reading of the film which is stunning here, most notably her discussion of the terrifying end.

 

As I mentioned above, the way the volume pairs Laine and Stoehr's essays creates a kind of dialogue on Kubrick, that has a certain philosophical resonance in and of itself. A second pairing of essays similarly opens a discussion (or, in this case, a debate) on the use of the uncanny in Krzystof Kieslowski's _The Double Life of Veronique_. By juxtaposing Cynthia Freeland's cognitivist essay, 'Explaining the Uncanny in _The Double Life of Veronique_', against Steven Schneider's compelling psychoanalytic discussion (he uses Otto Rank's work on the doppelganger), the editor highlights not only what each approach can bring to a difficult film text, but also the ways in which each theoretical 'take' either complements or truly challenges the other.

 

In explaining the cognitivist approach, Cynthia Freeland states bluntly that she rejects psychoanalysis 'as an outmoded theory of the mind' (34), and that she plans to analyze the uncanny elements in _The Double Life of Veronique_ 'without resorting to unconscious motivations or repressed beliefs' (35). I think I should state at the outset that I'm much more sympathetic to Steven Schneider's view that 'Freud's theory of the uncanny, including his account of the double, is 'metaphysical' (because untestable) rather than genuinely scientific in nature' (58). That is, I'm not convinced that we need to jettison Freudian models of interpretation -- as analytical tools for exploring meaningful and often mythological allegories of experience -- just because it falls scientifically short of cognitive theories of the mind. But, while I don't agree with Freeland's *general* statements about the usefulness or relevance of psychoanalytic theory as an analytic tool, I do believe she is correct in her assertion that psychoanalytic theories of the uncanny are inadequate to providing a complete reading of this film.

 

It's Freeland's analysis of the textual elements in _The Double Life of Veronique_ -- elements which, for her, fall outside the purview of Freud's theories -- that makes the article so good. Freeland's discussion of the number of scenes in the film which juxtapose eroticism with grief, and art with contingency, is excellent. And her observation that there are 'echoes of Kant's theories of the sublime in Freud's theory of the uncanny' (42) is beautifully made and supported. She provides a compelling discussion of reflexivity in the film, arguing that _The Double Life of Veronique_ 'presents a puzzling breakdown of the medium of representation -- here, of course, film' (43). Finally, she draws a nice contrast between this self-conscious, reflexive, aesthetic aspect of the film and the film's use of gender. As Freeland argues, _The Double Life of Veronique_ is a 'film permeated by sensibility and emotions' (44). In a way, it can be read as a 'woman's film' -- not in the sense of melodrama, but rather in the sense of being a film organized around certain perceptual structures which it identifies as feminine.

 

Steven Schneider's 'Manifestations of the Literary Double in Modern Horror Cinema' *looks* likes it going to be about David Cronenberg's disturbing doppelganger tale, _Dead Ringers_ (a still from the film 'introduces' the article). Instead, however, it's about the larger theme of the double in literature and film. In a sense the article opens with a double quotation -- the still from _Dead Ringers_ and a quote from Lawrence Rickel's marvelous book, _The Vampire Lectures_:

 

'Literature which is where the phantasm of the double used to be at home . . . in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, during the opening era of the uncanny, suddenly released the double and no longer featured it. At the same time film and psychoanalysis were the two new institutions that began attending to the double feature' (51).

 

As Schneider points out, 'neither film nor psychoanalysis attended to this double feature in isolation from one another' (51). Using a 1914 paper by Otto Rank to make his transition, he asks 'by virtue of what do doubles engender such [uncanny] effects in viewers?' (51) And he announces his plans to 'present and defend a psychoanalytic answer to this question' (51).

 

Now, lest the reader think this is going to be some stuffy traditional adumbration of doppelganger motifs, we have the opening Rickels quotation to set the tone. Where Schneider takes us in his exploration of a 'distinctly doubling phenomenon' -- which he elsewhere calls 'uncanny realism' (52) -- is all over the psychological and philosophical map. Like much of Schneider's work, this essay is a bravura theoretical performance as much as it is a good solid *explication*. Schneider directly engages Cynthia Freeland's article at the end of his own piece, answering some of her objections to the psychoanalytic approach (57-60). Not only is this interesting to read, but it adds a level of discursivity usually lacking in anthologies of this kind. By juxtaposing certain essays and putting them into play with each other, editor Daniel Shaw situates the volume within a larger theoretical and methodological debate currently raging within film studies.

 

A final pairing of essays, on art-horror, occurs at the end of the volume. Chris Meyers and Sara Waller's 'Disenstorted Horror: Art Horror Without Narrative' uses Noel Carroll's _The Philosophy of Horror_ to discuss painting and other non-narrative forms of horrific art. While many definitions of horror as a genre (most notably Robin Wood's) rely on the presence of a monster or a threat, Meyers and Waller argue that such definitions come 'from identifying horror too closely with *narrative* horror' (122) and with narrative traditions. Turning their attention to the graphic arts -- Gustave Moreau's 'Apparition', Edvard Munch's 'The Scream', Ivan Albright's 'The Picture of Dorian Gray', the paintings of Francis Bacon, and Hans Bellmer's dolls, to cite a few examples -- they elaborate a definition of horror which relies more on affect (the presence of anxiety or dread in both the artwork's subject and in the viewer) than on simple cause and effect narrative logic. I found myself wishing that this essay had been longer and that Meyers and Waller had complicated their use of Carroll with the work of other theorists (Freud on the uncanny and Bataille on the 'informe', for example). But on the whole this is a graceful piece that reopens a number of interesting questions touching on both the aesthetics and epistemological grounding of horror qua horror.

 

Richard Gilmore's 'Horror and Death at the Movies' follows nicely from Meyers and Waller's essay. Like Schneider's earlier piece on the double, 'Horror and Death at the Movies' opens with a still, this time from David Lynch's _Lost Highway_, and a quote, this time by Virgil: 'Death plucks my ear and says / Live -- I am coming.' This is the first of several places throughout the essay where the postmodern is juxtaposed with the 'classical' (a later discussion of Adorno and the ancient Greeks is introduced by a quote from Baudrillard, for example), as though this essay were physically demonstrating Meyers and Waller's assertion that an 'epistemological defect' -- a certain failure of the classical model -- is 'essential to horror' (118). Certainly the still from _Lost Highway_ resonates nicely with Meyers and Waller's key points. Lynch's film demonstrates that even narrative films may rely more on an atmosphere of anxiety and dread than on any diegetic *representation* of a monster or threat.

 

Gilmore follows Meyer and Waller's lead in engaging with Noel Carroll's work, but then moves on to consider Freud, Plato, Nietzsche, and Adorno. The key issue here is twofold (or perhaps threefold). On the simplest level, Gilmore wants to reopen the 'ambivalence' issue, asking 'what is it in us or about us that makes us (or at least *some* of us) so responsive to horror movies?' (128). But he also wants to revisit the two key paradoxes which Noel Carroll identified in _The Philosophy of Horror_: '1) how can anyone be frightened by what they know does not exist, and 2) why would anyone be interested in horror, since being horrified is so unpleasant' (128).

 

While Gilmore's examination of the paradox of pleasure (drawing on such diverse thinkers as Konrad Lorenz, Ermano Bencivenga, and Freud) is interesting, the heart of the essay is really his discussion of movies and death. 'Death', as the epigram from Baudrillard reminds us, 'is a rendez-vous', and Gilmore shines when he describes just what a strange rendez-vous it is. I particularly liked his discussion of Zizek's essay on _Lost Highway_, a discussion which stands as essential reading for anyone interested in either Zizek or Lynch.

 

Two essays in the collection deal specifically with formal cinematic elements and technology. James Wierzbicki's 'Wedding Bells for _The Bride of Frankenstein_: Symbols and Signifiers in the Music for a Classic Horror Film' discusses an egregiously undertheorized aspect of cinema -- sound. Positing a semiotic theory, 'i.e. that most horrific triggers in Western theatrical music are signifiers contained within the music itself', Wierzbicki argues: 'These signifiers exist as anomalies within the so-called 'tonal' system upon which Western art music since 1600 has been based, and they owe their potency to the fact that they are *recognized* as anomalous.' (104)

 

While I'm not convinced by Wierzbicki's argument that our response to the 'uh-oh' music of horror isn't a learned response, I do find his analysis of the music in _Bride of Frankenstein_ compelling. And his parental interjections -- discussing the ways in which the theme for the article came to him and the way in which he had to work (with a toddler sitting on his lap) -- will bring a chuckle of appreciative recognition to anyone who's ever worked at home when the bambini are present.

 

More successful, I think, is Patrick Crogan's 'Things Analog and Digital' which uses the writings of Vivian Sobchack and Samuel Weber to explore some of the meanings created by special effects and computer graphics imagery. For Sobchack, the world of special effects is an uncanny realm. For Weber, it opens a space in which the image itself can be theatricalized. Crogan elegantly interweaves these two modes of viewing the 'altered' image to assert that 'the special effect always shows us not only the thing it represents, but the 'presence of representation', as a medium through which we're shown things' (13). That is, special effects are always about the regime of representation itself and the status of the image within that regime.

 

The 'case studies' part of the article considers special effects technology from two significant 'effects' films: John Carpenter's _The Thing_ (1982) and James Cameron's _Terminator 2: Judgement Day_ (1991). These films 'represent the epitome of work that was achievable through special effects at the time they were made' (14); Carpenter's film utilized analog effects and _T2_ used digital technology. Since both modes of special effects (analog and digital) 'theatricalise the film's work of imaging things in general . . . taken together they can provide some insight into the shifts that are in train between an analog and a digital space of cinematic representation' (14). Unlike many essays which simply use a theoretical frame to set the stage for what essentially amounts to a close reading of a text, Crogan turns his test cases into complex discussions of the ways in which different forms of technology work to destabilize the 'positioning of the subject and the object' (19). Specifically, Crogan argues, _T2_'s digitally produced effects 'theatricalise a major transition in the cinematic image' (16), a transition which made later changes in genre itself (which Crogan dubs 'hypergenericity') possible.

 

Lastly, there's the question of perversion and spectatorship. Michael Levine's 'Depraved Spectators and Impossible Audiences', reopens the question of ambivalence (the spectator who enjoys being scared) as it is articulated by Berys Gaut, and gives it more of a psychoanalytic twist. Interacting with both Laura Mulvey's essay on visual pleasure and Carol Clover's writing on horror, Levine attempts to complicate the discussion of the 'depraved spectator', one whose 'sadistic and masochistic impulses may become mobilised transiently while watching movies' (65). Similarly, Daniel Shaw's 'Power, Horror, and Ambivalence' introduces the major theories that have dominated discussions of viewer response to horror, and examines some of the larger philosophical questions which they've omitted. Tracing a horror trajectory which includes such diverse thinkers as Robin Wood, Carol Clover, William Paul, Isabel Christina Pinedo, Michael Ryan and Douglas Kellner, and Noel Carroll, Shaw provides a splendid introductory essay for anyone working in the field.

 

Two minor quibbles -- both Daniel Shaw's 'Introduction' and his essay 'Power, Horror, and Ambivalence' raised my hopes that the volume would explore the relationship between horror and Nietzsche's will to power (i.e. use Nietzschean ideas to explore significant power tropes in horror). While 'Power, Horror, and Ambivalence' and a number of other essays do provide some of that exploration (as evidenced by my earlier account of the debate over nihilist horror), the volume doesn't go nearly far enough for my taste -- and the Nietzschean connection remains an area which I hope subsequent volumes will mine more fully. Secondly, many of the authors in the volume appear to present 'pleasure' as a largely reified and undifferentiated category -- that is pleasure appears to be the same for all horror fans, regardless of their class, gender, race, and personal histories. Some of the best non-philosophical work in horror, in my opinion, is currently being done by people like Jeffrey Sconce and Mark Jancovitch, who have been heavily influenced by Pierre Bourdieu's writings on the relationship between taste, pleasure, and class. That is, some of the best work on horror is being done by people who want to complicate the discussion of 'pleasure' as a category. While some of the essays in this volume (most notably Michael Levine's and Richard Gilmore's) do challenge conventional notions of pleasure, I hope that subsequent work in the field will interact more with the sociologically-inflected studies taking place within other branches of film studies, and perhaps with some of the Deleuzian articulations explored by Gaylyn Studlar. [3]

 

As I said earlier, these are areas which I hope *subsequent* horror-philosophy anthologies will take up -- suggestions for future work. For now, this volume remains an important contribution to an area of investigation which has lain dormant too long, and it should be of interest to students and professors of both philosophy and film studies.

 

Indiana University, Bloomington, USA

 

 

Footnotes

 

1. Mary Ann Doane, _The Desire to Desire: The Woman's Film of the 1940s_ (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1987). E. Ann Kaplan, _Women and Film: Both Sides of the Camera_ (New York and London: Methuen, 1983).

 

2. This has changed. In recent years a number of scholars have challenged Mulvey's view that women can only be the object of a sadistic or fetishistic gaze onscreen, and that *only* women can be the object of such a gaze. For more on this see: Carol J. Clover, _Men, Women and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film_ (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992); Steven Cohan and Ina Rae Hark, eds, Screening the Male: Exploring Masculinities in Hollywood Cinema (London and New York: Routledge, 1993); Gaylyn Studlar, 'Masochism and the Perverse Pleasure of the Cinema', and Andrea Weiss, 'A Queer Feeling When I Look at You', both in Gerald Mast, Marhsall Cohen, and Leo Braudy, eds, _Film Theory and Criticism_ Fourth Edition (Oxford, Toronto et. al: Oxford University Press, 1992).

 

3. Gaylyn Studlar, 'Masochism and the Perverse Pleasure of the Cinema'.

 

 

Copyright © _Film-Philosophy_ 2002

 

Joan Hawkins, 'Revisiting the Philosophy of Horror', _Film-Philosophy_, vol. 6 no. 6, April 2002 <http://www.film-philosophy.com/vol6-2002/n6hawkins>.

 

  

 

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