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April 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Michael Kaplan <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 19 Apr 1994 14:25:05 -0400
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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I, too, enjoyed this film. Besides the rhetoric of cinematic violence that
encapsulates this text, I found the nature of the signifying systems to be
truly compelling. A so-called "documentary" template built around a series of
social brutalities that cannot possibly be condoned suddenly transforms into a
new set of "social codes." (Along with Pierre Guiraud's aesthetic and logical
code systems) We learn a new language and yield to a new set of circumstances
when ballasting and disposing of bodies becomes a necessary part of existance.
In a way, the documentary that the crew is making reinscribes the social
deviance of the serial killer as socially accepted behavior. His friends
support him, his guests remain seated after he kills a man when trying out
his new holster, etc. Through convention, the signifiers shift, and we, as
observers struggle to shift also.
Michael Kaplan