Sound Soundtrack from Irreversible scene in Rectum, song of the same name.

“Shock” is just another emotional response to movie spectatorship, or is it? In some cases film considered “shocking” can cause controversy and cause an audience to question a films artistic merit and intentions. In this presentation I will aim to draw some conclusions on whether a sample of European films considered “shock or controversial cinema” have real, underlying artistic merit. I want to explore whether the films I have looked into, ‘Salo/ 120 Days of Sodom’ (Italian) / ‘Irreversible’ (French) / ‘The Devils’ (English), are purely made by directors trying to provoke a reaction from audiences or whether their artistic flair is unjustly repressed by censorship restraints. I will firstly look into one of my supporting films ‘Salo’ which was made in times of more conservative audiences of 1975. Made by Pier Paolo Pasolini ‘Salo’ depicts the 120 days of physical, sexual and mental torture conducted by a group of depraved fascist libertines in 1940’s Italy. There has been much debate over whether the film has real artistic merit at all behind its explicit content. However I believe it to be a densely political and psychologically provocative film in a way Pasolini intended it to be. Many believe the “Sex is a metaphor” (15) and he justifies the depravities, specifically the sexual content, and is quoted in a BBFC documentary of saying, “there is a lot of sex in it but it shows what power does to the human being – that is to reduce the human body to a cerebral commodity.” (13) A particular film segment in which Pasolini’s ideas are prevalent is a sequence involving kidnapped youths being ‘screened’ before the four ‘masters,’ in particular

Visuals The screen is black and a presenter enters wearing all black, as the music abruptly stops the lines come up quickly accompanied by the title “Shock” on a presentation screen. Each box will coincide with one slide unless specified otherwise. New slide of presentation which comes up with the names of the films Salo, Irreversible and The Devils as the presenter reads them out.

Image of Salo’s DVD case comes up with intro followed by image of Pasolini when mentioned.

On the subject of “sex as a metaphor a new image from Salo appears depicting the naked, kidnapped teens.

Image of girl with blackened tooth which is then replaced with the relevant clip from the film.

a scene involving a young girl being rejected for having a blackened tooth.

15.20 mins – 16.20

Academic Thomas E. Peterson’s journal articulates my original thoughts on the scene by saying “it is the idea of her imperfections, her humanness that makes her unacceptable.” (4) – in my opinion I believe this either shows some conscience in the Master’s that they can’t inflict their extreme perversities on someone who reminds them of their humanity, or alternatively suggests a sense of divine cruelty that they can play God in the selection of perfection in their victims. This scene is scarcely edited and cuts between mainly mid shots and reaction shots, the simplicity could reflect the “fascist mentality” the masters personify and practise, and this is the key philosophy that I believe Pasolini demonstrates in this scene as their authoritarian ideologies give these men their justification to carry out their “120 Days of Sodom”.

Presenter walks over to desk centre stage and picks up journal at a marked page to read out quote.

Title – “fascist mentality” appears on screen with an image of the masters.

This seems to be the core principle that this film is criticising. It is this delicately woven message that leads me to believe that Salo has true importance and artistic merit in Italian cinema as some saw him as “a commentator of the times” (3). I will do a five shot analysis of a sequence from Salo in relation to how the camera work and mise en scene concoct a representation of vulgarized power complexes in the libertines. The first shot is a straight angled long shot showing all the characters with the power. It is a simple composition and is framed in an opulent location to juxtapose the impending depravities. The libertines, and all the other characters at this point, are dressed smartly and have friendly, sociable body language which connotes to the audience that people in power maintain a façade to keep in control of their status.

Everything from the previous slide fades so only the title remains. An image of Salo’s poster then appears and begins glowing.

There is a new slide about the analysis; it is blank until the presenter starts talking about the first shot as it then has a still of this shot.

This shot is fairly quick cut to a high angle long shot of all the kidnapped teenagers naked and on leads, acting like animals. The ambient lighting and the fact they are undressed shows us they are innocent and this and their purity is being exploited. Their behaviour is animalistic and portrays their desperation and animalistic sexual objectification from the libertines. The high angle again shows status and thus a futility in trying to fight against a force of people more powerful. This then cuts to a drawn out tracking long shot. The framing of all of the characters fits them all in to the shot and seem far away which could be to detach the viewer from the visuals as not to erotise the situation in the same way that Irreversible does in the rape scene. There is a definite sense of voyeurism at feeling like outsiders with only diegetic sound to comprehend, rather than a score or soundtrack which could manipulate how we interpret the scene. Cuts to panning medium shot of all the victims on the floor begging for food in a canine fashion. The nudity is frank and explicit which would be likely to shock or offend conservative and sensitive audiences into understanding the real message of a film that presents depravity in order for an audience to condemn it. The meat they are being teased with is a prop which represents their basic need for food that is being exploited into something abhorrently sexual. The lighting gives a sense of realism and all the other elements of mise en scene such as the sound make the situation seem more plausible which helps construct a picture that what is happening is wrong. There is then a cut to a close up of one of the libertines teasing the victims with food. His facial expressions show pleasure in this and his body language is like a puppeteer enjoying depriving the innocent teenagers of their basic need of food. The fact he is still in power despite his mind set communicates Pasolini’s, supposed, condemnation of fascist ideologies, perversion and corruption. Although it is easy to dismiss this scene as nauseating and shocking it is composed in a way that makes me

Still of shot

Still of shot

Still of shot

Still of shot

Animation of Scorsese signing brief and stating the films artistic merit.

believe Pasolini was trying to shock an audience “into submission” of understanding his ideas and could also be the reason directors such as Scorsese signed a legal brief to argue the films artistic merit.

What strikes me as furnishing the argument of Salo’s artistic and moral value is it’s appreciating and defence by peers, other directors and acclaimed ones at that. A particularly enlightening quote I find by Irreversible director Gaspar Noe is how he claims Salo is “the most educational film about man’s domination by man” (18). The scene I have just analysed supports this as it strips depravity down to the core of man’s key faults concerning power and domination. This statement made me think of Salo as an exemplified microcosm of Pasolini’s criticisms of man by compacting all that is vulgar and erroneous into one film; using the medium of a film and adaptation of a book (by Marquis De Sade) to summarise the defects of humans possessed by power are capable of expressing seems to be Pasolini’s intentions. It is also interesting that similar themes seem to run through Irreversible, which I will come onto later, which makes it seem somewhat inspired by Salo as it also displays sickening human wickedness to other humans with what I believe to be a similar level of sophistication. Ken Russell’s 1971 feature film “The Devils” also raises issues of questionable artistic merit. The film’s th depiction of a 17 century mass possession of nuns at the supposed witch crafting hands of deviant priest Urbain Grandier.

Blank screen which then has an image of Gaspar Now fade in, his mouth is animated to say the quote.

Image of “120 Days of Sodom” appears which the film is based on.

Large title “The Devils” appears on screen alongside images of the films poster and Ken Russell.

It is a shockingly garish piece and it has been said in hindsight that “the world definitely wasn’t ready for The Devils” (5) with critics of the time calling it “a degenerate and despicable piece of art” (5). As the film displays heavily blasphemous content it raised massive issues of censorship; however Rob Capshaw argues "How else is one to approach a historical episode involving humpbacked, sexually frustrated nuns; crippled autocrats; hammer-wielding exorcists; doctors armed with holy water enemas?" (6) Focusing my study of “The Devils” more specifically

Two people enter from opposite sides of the stage with the presenter standing in the middle. The presenter reads out anything not in quotations as the other two act as critics arguing over the film and then exiting again.

The title “Censorship” appears

on censorship issues has revealed a lot about audiences and censorship in the 70’s. In letters between chief censor John Trevelyan and Russell it is apparent how frustrating it was for film makers to have free artistic expression in those times as in a later letter Russell writes “I’ve cleared up the shit on the altar” (14). This refers to the infamous ‘Rape of Christ’ scene which graphically depicts naked manic nun’s debasing an effigy of Christ in all ways unimaginable. However despite the harsh cuts made to this scene it is edited with a parallel scene of Grandier praying for mercy and film journalist Mark Kermode elaborates that the “juxtaposition of Grandier’s growing purity of faith and the abhorrent depravity of their charade” (7) is a technique that gives it artistic flair. Even the religious advisor to the BBFC at the time of censoring Father Gene Phillips said in the same documentary that “the scene portrays blasphemy; it is not a blasphemous scene.” (7) From this research it seems censorship rules could be seen to repress a film maker’s true artistic intentions and flair. In a more recent example Gaspar Noe was quoted in a dissertation piece of saying he would “rather have it banned” (10) than make cuts to his 2002 film ‘Irreversible’. I will come to discuss how some films can be seen to just be made for ‘shock value’ – for a reaction and publicity for a director but firstly I will concentrate on my main film ‘Irreversible’ as this is another controversial feature that has divided audiences and critics. The basic plot consists of thirteen scenes in reverse chronological order which initially show two men emerging from a BDSM gay bar crassly labelled the “Rectum”. We see one on a stretcher and the other being casually labelled as having ten years in jail ahead, easy. As one scene dizzily pirouettes into another we see the brutal attack that lead to the men’s revenge and further the doomed, clichéd, ironic start of any middle class couples (Alex and Marcus’) “happy” life together. What makes ‘Irreversible’ still so difficult is the appallingly frank depiction of violence and its infamous nine minute rape scene of the female protagonist. Whilst it is understandable that the film could cause

on screen accompanied by a photo shopped image of Trevelyan and Russell in a boxing ring against each other. After presenter has read out sound the “Rape of Christ” sequence is played out in full.

Last shot from previous scene remains on slide as presenter reads out the defences of it.

Images of Gaspar Noe and stills from Irreversible.

Presenter picks up a copy of Irreversible.

some serious disturbance to the viewer based on the visuals, the underlying content and values of the film are not in favour of the sex and violence it portrays. The structure of the films narrative is highly unusual and critic Roger Ebert wrote that “The reverse chronology makes Irreversible a film that structurally argues against rape and violence” (9). Alternatively, the scenes in “Rectum” that show gay sexual activities, have been cause for upset and distracted audience’s from the true artistic values of the film. Many believe it to be an attack on homosexuals and in an interview with my film lecturer she revealed there had been a complaint on her university course by a student after the film was screened because the student “found the scenes of gay relations offensive to watch” (17). I found this hard to comprehend when a woman is mercilessly raped and a man’s face is bloodily pulverized, an act which continues after he is dead. The acts in question take place in an isolated club, depraved men indeed but Marcus’ actions and Alex’s attackers actions were far worse and in my opinion, more testing to view. This research made me question where the real homophobia lay. Further to this I found an interview with IndieWire where Noe responded to the subject by saying “The gay audience liked the movie much more than the straight male audience” (8). I believe this demonstrates how controversy stems from audiences worrying about what is seen to be acceptable rather than their own opinion, people and censors jumping to conclusions based on a perceived ‘political correctness’ that overshadows films such as this and corresponds with a quote I found in my Devils research that censorship is enforced “to please the powers that be.” (7) A scene in Irreversible key to the interpretation of its structure and messages is the opening scene. The scene fades into to a dirty white wall; the camera then travels in a distorted pan to introduce us to an unidentified man on the bed. He is initially framed as protruding from the right side at a forty five degree(ish) angle. This is an incredibly odd way to introduce a character who would initially be assumed of high significance to the rest of the film and whilst his ideas are he isn’t. Presenter continues to walk around the stage with the DVD in hand. After presenter reads out script footage from the interview with the lecturer is played.

Image on screen

The opening of Irreversible is played out in full, then repeated and paused on the shots the presenter is analysing.

The camera then, without cutting, travels over his body to reveal him as mostly naked. The shot is dimly lit and the setting is sparse, also the fact his lack of clothing isn’t sexualized just makes him look stripped of dignity and a defeated man – perhaps being ambiguous in contradicting some of Noe’s pessimistic ideas as he has suffered for what he has done. The camera work continues to travel before the dialogue in a way that feels handheld. There is an extremely voyeuristic quality to it which is unsettling in the peculiar context as it makes the viewer feel more involved and closer to the character’s that I don’t believe we are supposed to properly empathise with. The first bit of dialogue by the first man is “You know what?” to the other man we see through the eyes of the constantly migrating camera. This question sets up the answer of “Time destroys all things” which is a motif and pivotal message throughout the film. This is a deeply foreboding statement and in stark contrast and momentous irony with the final scene where Alex and Marcus are happy together. The second character in the scene is also male. There is a general absence of females in the film which really pushes me to think the film is not attacking women in any way and is really just attacking the whole idea that an entity or relationship can be perfect and eternal, which is of course an extremely negative concept. The other man is shown to be positioned sat at the end of the bed with relaxed body language and facial expressions which make him seem unaffected by the warped subject matter. We are then drifted back to the initial man without cutting. The complete absence of editing rejects “accepted” conventions for conversational scenes and also corresponds with the first man’s dismissal of social normalities such as wearing clothes and not openly discussing incestuous relations. After he then says he slept with his daughter the camera pulls away and we see the two of them composed in a two shot. This admission also lends an answer to Noe’s previous feature “I Stand Alone” as the naked man is the protagonist of that film where the nature of his relationship with his daughter was under dark speculation for the audience. Bringing forward a character from a previous, very controversial, film is also very experimental and The clip is paused on a still of the second man.

Again the clip is paused at the relevant points.

auteur, a nod to Stanley Kubrick as Noe stated he liked how he brang elements of films into completely different films and on an unrelated note a Kubrick 2001: Space Odyssey film poster can also be found in the final scene. This repetition of character in a detached film suggests a strong idea running through more than one of Noe’s films and a basis for really intricate film making that holds what I believe to be valuable artistic and moral merits. This scene eventually spins into oblivion as most of the scenes do before they cut and it gives a feeling of calm before the storm. The opening scene is incredibly important for building foundations and concepts for the rest of the film; I found there to be a definite sense of dread leading from this opening, with all the camera work and other basic mise en scene carefully manipulated into constructing a basis for Noe to build Alex and Marcus’ story on. In light of this I conducted a screening and focus group with my film studies class (aged 17 – 19) based on the coprophagia scene in ‘Salo’ and the fire extinguisher scene in ‘Irreversible.’ The video spins off screen with the clip ready for the next slide.

Images from Salo and Irreversible scenes.

Also as a general idea about audience de sensitivity to extreme film content on a wider scale, on the subject of Asian extreme cinema, I came across the statement “it became apparent that the appetite for such outrageous fare was massive”(1). This suggested to me the more bizarre and unheard of content would be worse so I assumed the viewing of the consumption of faeces in ‘Salo’ would cause more uproar in my group. However ‘Irreversible’s’ scene was voted as worse with a student commenting that “the music was worse than the visuals, all the elements made for an attack of the senses.” (1)

The images are replaced with the title “audience de sensitivity”.

Clip from Irreversible is shown.

Although the ‘Salo’ clip made people feel “sick and repulsed” (1) the clip was said to have “artistic merit through the juxtaposition of location and action”. I believe my findings show that to shock a modern audience directors must make something to truly shock an audience which could compromise their films artistic merit. Through this research I believe there are different types of shock involved in audience spectatorship. I found my three primary studies shocking in different ways and for different reasons. Salo was uncomfortable to watch and cringe inducing due to its perverse themes and graphic depictions of acts such as scalping and coprophagia. These ideas are not common in films and there for not something I was desensitised to hence the shock of seeing a scene so depraved and disgusting to the senses. Irreversible on the other hand was shocking because of the brutality of the on screen action. It builds tension through its pulsating soundtrack and then attacks the audience with frank and violent presentations of rape and violence. As a young woman I also found the rape scene particularly disturbing as unlike Salo there is a sense of realism in Irreversible that makes it seem plausible in a way Salo isn’t. The Devils was the film I found the most shocking, although it wasn’t “shocking” in the typical sense of gore or brutality, I couldn’t believe that someone could make a film so blasphemous. The Rape of Christ scene is a scene unlike any other I’d seen before; it is garish, ridiculous and so explicitly controversial it’s hard to see past the visuals to Ken Russell’s intended messages. American films such as “The Human Centipede 2” are examples of artistic integrity of directors being compromised to make way for publicity and pure shock value. Despite director Tom Six’s intention to make a film that made the “The Human Centipede look like My Little Pony” (16), Empire reviewer Kim Newman said that the film is ultimately a “relatively conventional horror movie.”(12)

Clip from Salo is shown followed by a montage of footage from the focus group. Large title of “SHOCK” appears on screen.

Woman walks on from one side of the stage to act as the “young woman” and read out my opinion before exiting again.

Presenter regains spot on stage and this image of The Human Centipede 2 poster is shown.

On the other hand there have been recent European films such as “A Serbian Film” where the director has tried to make a statement about social family politics in Serbia but instead ended up with, what Kermode blasts

This poster replaced with poster from A Serbian Film.

as being “exploitation trash” and worse than torture porn as it is “pretentious torture porn.” (11).

If we go back and look at ‘Irreversible’ on a technical, aesthetic and visual level the camera work devices within the fire extinguisher attack scene in particular was said to “effectively disorient the spectator preventing any real connection to the images or events on-screen until the moment of graphic violence itself,” (10). This suggests the film isn’t glorifying the violence which is also evident in the rape scene which I will analyse on a deeper level based on personally developed theories. I cannot do a step by step analysis of the crucial scene in question as the camera stops, for eight agonizing minutes as we see Alex attacked with sexual and physically savagely in a medium/ long shot. The camera work is hand held which makes us as the audience feel as if we are there with her and it is as if we are being punished for watching it. A tiny silhouette enters at one and quickly leaves again in the background at the start of the attack which increases the sense of voyeurism, futility and complete nihilism. However Alex fights every thrust of animalistic contempt - everything she does in this scene defies a weak victim despite the nature of the inexorable event. There is no encouragement of violence towards women here at all, the emotional response is outrage and disgust that anyone could have the capacity to inflict such an act which is where the credit to Noe lies that it is not an attack on women, it’s an attack on the viewer and a powerful piece of film making. Theresa Ann Cronin also stated that “the decision to show such an extreme act of violence is justified on the basis of its relation to real acts of violence that occur every day.”(10) The only person empowered in the scene is the attacker, La Tenia (The Tapeworm), himself but his characterization of hideousness evokes no connection with the audience at all. Despite the punishing nature of the film it still can be seen to have some artistic merit with Ebert continuing to say in his

Title of “Irreversible Analysis” on a new slide. When the fire extinguisher scene is mentioned a still appears.

New slide with this image.

Image of characters Alex and La Tenia

The image from the last box continues to appear on screen.

review that “the movie has a serious purpose that is to its credit but makes it no less bare able.” In a final conclusion it appears to make a film explicit and shocking, it needs to be justified with artistic merit to be accepted or receive “acclaim”. However appreciation is subjective to the viewer and some of my studies seem more concerned with their messages and values rather than audience and critic approval. With censorship issues many film makers have been held back as I have discussed, but with an audience which seems to be de sensitizing and demanding increasingly explicit material it seems artistic merit is being compromised in a way my primary European films evaded. The presenter walks into a spotlight centre stage to deliver the conclusion, the stage and screen then fade to black.


1. Art of branding: Tartan "Asia Extreme" films, Chi-Yun Shin, Jump Cut, No. 50, (spring
2008 issue) Article from a magazine I found online about “Asian Extreme” which I used in my preliminary research – from this I saw extreme and shock cinema is popular in Asian regions and the article discusses shows once you expose an audience to something shocking they just want more. However from the information it concentrates more on the violence than the artistic merit and isn’t about the films I’m studying but it still gave some interesting quotes and ideas about shock cinema on a wider scale.

2. Class screening and focus group, conducted by myself, October 2013
I decided to conduct a focus group using my film studies class (17 – 19 year olds) where I showed them a clip from Salo (coprophagia scene) and Irreversible (fire extinguisher scene). Afterwards I asked the class to name which one was worse, in a sense of being more uncomfortable or shocking to watch, and why. Below is a tally chart of which clips my class found worse. The results were surprising to me as the majority found Irreversible worse which showed audiences were more disturbed by extreme violence than sick depravities. Irreversible Salo Not Sure 6 3 2

3. Pier Paolo Pasolini and Italian Cinema in the 1960s, curated by Olaf Möller, 2009
Academic journal from a film museum website archive which begins to explore Italian cinema in the 60’s and Pier Paolo Passolini role. Seeing as this article is about the 60’s it makes me think the controversy and extreme violent and sexual content in Salo was PPP trying to push boundaries and make a statement through shock value. I have found this useful in showing the directors lives that make these “shocking” films

and maybe give an insight into why they want to make them and their political reasoning’s.

4. Journal – “Italia Vol. 73 No.2 – The Allegory of Repression from Teorema to Salo,
Thomas E Peterson, 1996 Long yet interesting article by a university professor on how Pasolini created symbols and representations of fascism and other political and philosophical ideas in Salo along with another film Teorema that I will not be discussing. I have made lengthy notes on the journal and it has helped me develop integral ideas linked to my project.

5. Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of the Devils, Richard Grouse, 2012 Book
which documents pre to post production and beyond of The Devils. It’s heavily in Russell’s favour and includes interviews with the cast and crew which form a character study of Ken Russell himself as well as raising some interesting points about the film and the corruption in censorship at the time which points to changing audience behaviours.

6. The Energy of an Era - Revisiting Ken Russell's The Devils, Rob Capshaw, Issue 69
August 2010 This journal is very short in length but has some key ideas about why it was necessary for the film to be so extreme and controversial. It states that even forty years on the film is considered to be in “bad taste”. This article seems greatly in favour of Ken Russell’s creation and sees the extremities in the film as necessary and unavoidable.

7. Hell on Earth - The Desecration & Resurrection of "The Devils", directed by Paul
Joyce, 2002 This documentary is presented by Mark Kermode, a credible film academic, and features cast and crew interviews. Everyone involved believes the film to be ground-breaking and have true artistic merit and I have noted quotes by those involved. I realized through this doc that the film really displays corruption without being corrupt itself.

8. Gaspar One Interview with “Indie Wire” magazine , interview Erin Torreo, 2003
This interview has some interesting points that elaborate on how carefully thought out the infamous rape scene was and how it wasn’t meant to be homophobic. H e comments a lot on audience reactions to the films as well as insights into the actual film.

9. ‘Irreversible’ review, Chicago Sun Times, Roger Ebert, March 2003
Review from a legendary critic. This is a good source detailing the importance and understanding of the reverse chronology in the film and also supports the films decision to show explicit violence and rape where others walked out of screenings. Ebert does not seem to see the film as offensive and can see the artistic merit in it.

10. Disciplining the Spectator: Subjectivity, the Body and Contemporary Spectatorship,

Dissertation by Theresa Anne Cronin, 2011 This dissertation from a Goldsmiths student discusses, specifically in the section of contemporary spectatorship, how Irreversible is constructed to be shocking and ethically against the violence it shows. The author employs many quotes to argue its value as a piece of cinema that is not shocking but not sadistic.

11. ‘A Serbian Film’ radio review, BBC 5 Live, Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo,
December 2011 Radio review of A Serbian Film where the film is heavily criticised. It’s stated within that from Kermode’s own research, the director supposedly int ended for the film to have political and artistic merit, but it is so extreme and repulsive to be considered in the same way as the primary films I’m studying. There are also useful and thought provoking comparisons to Salo.

12. The Human Centipede 2 Review, Kim Newman, Empire Online, 2011
This published review seems in favour of this American film in a way which a lot of other general research wasn’t. The reviewer seems to see redeemable qualities in the film but realises that ultimately it is a “relatively conventional horror movie.” This source will help create an interesting sub section on films without any real artistic merit to oppose the main films.

13. Dear Censor - Video Nasties, directed by Matt Pelly, BBC Four documentary, 2011
Very helpful in aiding my understanding of the progression of censorship through the years with particular emphasis and help with my “The Devils” research. It was particularly interesting how top lecturers in the documentary still see the film to be shocking with Mark Kermode going onto say “After watching The Devils you should feel like you’ve been hit by a bus, if not you haven’t watched it properly.” Lots of key points here to be carried forward.

14. Letters between Ken Russell and John Trevelyan, found online, 1971 (original
correspondence) I found these fascinating letters online, they show Russell’s frustration at the censoring of his film which is particularly evident where he says “I’ve cleared up the shit on the altar”. He is obviously furious and feels his film has been misunderstood as he was in fact a Christian and felt his film was meant to be blasphemous. The letters contain first hand perspectives from the chief censor and Russell which has provided helpful first hand opinions from those involved.

15. Pier Paolo Pasolini My Cinema, by Angelo Pennoni (Author), Angelo Novi (Author),
Dante Ferretti (Foreword), August 2013 This book was a difficult inter library loan which was worth the struggle as it has brilliant interviews with Pasolini where he makes statements which directly link with my ideas and project. The information provided is vast and beyond the realms of a short summary.

16. Human Centipede II director angered by BBFC's 'stiff upper lip', Brandon O’Neill,, June 2011 Interview by a respected newspaper with Human Centipede director Tom Six – it contains a specific quote I knew of and was looking for the source for which contradicts what the interview says about some intended boundary pushing in an

acceptable and artistic way as he says he want the sequel to make the original look like “My Little Pony” which I think shows he is trying to shock for the sake of controversy which greatly opposes the strong morals and merit of the films I’m primarily studying.

17. Recorded interview with my film lecturer Laura Woods, conducted by myself, October
2013 When discussing my film choices my lecturer told me about an incident on her university course where she defended her lecturer’s choice to screen ‘Irreversible’ following complaints. I found this really enlightening to audience reactions as it was the homosexual club scenes rather than the awful rape and violence that caused the complaint which I found shocking as it shows the warped psychology of a viewer who finds it justifiable to complain about depictions of gay acts rather than a brutal sexual attack on a woman. I will use quotes from a sound recording I made of the interview. 18. Gaspar Noe’s votes for Best Films Poll, Gaspar Noe, Sight & Sound, 2012 I was doing general reading of Sight & Sound film magazine when I found Gaspar Noe’s votes for the best films of 2012 poll. It’s a very academic magazine and a trustworthy source so when I read that Noe voted for Salo with one of the messages he took from it being about “the reptilian nature of human relationships”. His comments are deeply interesting and suggest a strong link between Salo and Irreversible.


1. Who Killed Pasolini? Marco Tullio Giordana, 1996
Feature film that explores the events of Pasolini’s mysterious death and whether it was linked to his work on Salo. The film doesn’t really explore too much about his work on Salo but gave some interesting information of some of the theories and controversy surrounding the director. It was also enlightening to see how people blamed his sexuality for the murders and jumped to conclusions based on this; despite the personal interest in the subject matter it isn’t really that relevant to my project but gave some context to audience behaviours.

2. Silencing Cinema: Film Censorship around the World, Daniel Biltereyst, March 27th 2013 I
Inter library loaned this book in the hope of some insight into the censorship around Salo and my other films. Unfortunately Salo was only briefly mentioned and there was nothing specifically relevant to my question.

3. Pier Paolo Pasolini – A Film Maker’s Life, Carlo Hayman-Chaffey, 1971
This was made before the release of Salo and isn’t put together particularly well. As it is in Italian it had been dubbed instead of subtitled which made it hard to understand what was being said especially in the interviews with the director himself. Also because it was released before Salo and Pasolini’s death it doesn’t give the rounded view of him and his film’s which is valuable in writing my piece.

4. Wikipedia
Although Wikipedia did give me a good start on some of my topics and some general information about all of my films, I can’t look upon it credible as anyone can edit the website which makes a lot of its information unreliable.

5. IMDb
This online data base was very helpful in helping me find dates, directors and films but was more of a basis for research rather than providing the in depth research I was able to carry out based on it and other sources.

6. Cinematic Emotion in Horror Films and Thrillers: The Aesthetic Paradox of
Pleasurable Fear, Julian Hanich, 28 Feb 2010 I hoped embarking on this read would reveal to me more about the different types of shock and why they appeal to an audience. It was interesting but mostly irrelevant to my project as it was contained very in depth psychology and case studies of films I am not studying so it has not been much help to me.

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