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November 1995, Week 2


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Scott Furtwengler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 13 Nov 1995 08:20:20 -0500
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You may want to have a look at Goeffrey Harpham's On the Grotesque:
 Strategies of Contradiction in Art and Literature (1982),
 Philip Thomson's The Grotesque (1972), and Mikhail Bakhtin's work,
 such as Rabelais and His World (1968).  I think you'll find the term grotesque
 encompasses more of the stylistic characteristics and nuances
(merging of humor and horror) than other terms.  It's a truly difficult thing
 to categorize and define, but prevalent in many directors and writers
(Kubrick, Fellini, Scorsese, Tarantino, Raimi, etc.).  The grotesque shares
 many aspects of black humor, but also to the absurd.  Lynch, et al,
scenes that at once both compel and repulse the viewer, many times with comedic
 effect.  The interesting thing about this is that, like most humor (being
very subjective),
 it relies somewhat on social climate and attitudes.  Dennis Hopper's Frank
might be seen as a grotesque.  The viewer is repulsed by him, but we are
intrigued, too.
At 06:15 PM 11/9/95 -0600, you wrote:
>I was recently discussing with my students about David Lynch's style. I
>normally dissagree with classifications because they can be just too
>excluding. But anyway, they wanted me to name Lynch's style: black comedy,
>black humor, just black something or not black at all. I was thinking of
>linking Lynch to Alejandro Jodorovsky, but I am not quite sure if this could
>be possible or if it would be just stretching the argument far beyond
>reality. Has someone comments on this issue? I would really appreciate them.
>Thanks, Gabriela
>Gabriela Warkentin
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Scott R. Furtwengler
Morris Library, SIUC
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