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July 2006, Week 5


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"Pizzato, Mark" <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 30 Jul 2006 13:34:52 -0400
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Theatres of Human Sacrifice
From Ancient Ritual to Screen Violence
 book cover image<>  	 
Mark Pizzato - Author

SUNY series in Psychoanalysis and Culture <> 

$81.50 Hardcover - 265 pages
Release Date: November 2004
ISBN: 0-7914-6259-5

$27.95 Paperback - 265 pages
Release Date: November 2004
ISBN: 0-7914-6260-9 	
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Summary	  	 <> 	

Provides insight into the ritual lures and effects of mass media spectatorship, especially regarding the pleasures, risks, and purposes of violent display.

Contemporary debates about mass media violence tend to ignore the long history of staged violence in the theatres and rituals of many cultures. In Theatres of Human Sacrifice, Mark Pizzato relates the appeal and possible effects of screen violence today--in sports, movies, and television news--to specific sacrificial rites and performance conventions in ancient Greek, Aztec, and Roman culture. Using the psychoanalytic theories of Lacan, Kristeva, and Zizek, as well as the theatrical theories of Artaud and Brecht, the book offers insights into the ritual lures and effects of current mass media spectatorship, especially regarding the pleasures, purposes, and risks of violent display. Updating Aristotle's notion of catharsis, Pizzato identifies a sacrificial imperative within the human mind, structured by various patriarchal cultures and manifested in distinctive rites and dramas, with both positive and negative potential effects on their audiences.

"In addressing the problematic effects of dramatic violence, the author treats the subject not only historically as violence has unfolded in external performances--in ritual sacrifice, gladiatorial sports, as well as theatre--but also as it unfolds within the mind." - Joseph Natoli, author of Memory's Orbit: Film and Culture 1999-2000

"This is a pathbreaking and definitive investigation of the cultural work that spectacles of violent sacrifice have performed in a multitude of historical contexts. Through this investigation, Mark Pizzato provides a new framework for understanding the spectacle of violent sacrifice as the location where cultural and political debate plays itself out." - Todd McGowan, author of The End of Dissatisfaction? Jacques Lacan and the Emerging Society of Enjoyment

Mark Pizzato is Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the author of Edges of Loss: From Modern Drama to Postmodern Theory.
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Table Of Contents



	Tragedy in Melodrama
	Theatre's Material Ghosts and Gods
	Ethical Edges
	A Sacrificial Imperative


1. Blood Sacrifice in Ancient Greece and Aztec America

	Theatre within Ritual
	Transcendental Savagery
	Altar-Egos and Body Parts
	From Solar to Proscenium Mirrors
	The Bottom of the Frame
	Animistic Psychology, Puppetry, and Dancing Hearts
	Cathartic Encounters with the Real

2. Roman, Aztec, and NFL "Gladiators" 

	Sacrificial Shades
	The Metaphysics of Script and Score
	Im-mortal Dances, Costumes, and Props
	Star Powers
	Audience Participation and Alienation
	Melodramatic or Tragic Catharsis


3. Choral Edges in Frankenstein and Natural Born Killers

	A Monstrous Gaze 
	Slices of Space and Time 
	Edges of Communion in Frankenstein
	Violence in the House
	Cruel Affect and A-Effect as Cathartic Cures
	Choral Born Killers
	Male and Female Monsters

4. Brechtian and Aztec Violence in Zoot Suit

	Patriarchal Sacrifices
	Brechtian Ixiptla Onscreen
	Audience Effects of the Perverse Superego

5. Martyrs and Scapegoats in the Films of Scorsese and Coppola 

	Body and Blood Offerings
	Between Animal and Divine
	Lucifer Within
	Sacrifices That Cannot Be Refused
	The Sympathetic Inheritance of Evil
	Postmodern Flower War





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