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In The Name of Disgust

by Joshuah
What follows is perhaps a loose ended, highly insignificant and deeply flawed list I have been developing in my head for quite some time, which examines the nature of all things revolting, disturbing, uncomfortable and down right ugly in cinema that attempts to position itself along side all that is considered beautiful in film. To be blunt, disgusting things deemed artistic or fascinating, or at least attempting to be so. Now I can already feel certain Art and Film majors out their reading this, rolling their eyes and shaking their heads, saying, “What kind of list is this! it’s purely subjective and pointless to make such a collection.”… Read more

What follows is perhaps a loose ended, highly insignificant and deeply flawed list I have been developing in my head for quite some time, which examines the nature of all things revolting, disturbing, uncomfortable and down right ugly in cinema that attempts to position itself along side all that is considered beautiful in film. To be blunt, disgusting things deemed artistic or fascinating, or at least attempting to be so. Now I can already feel certain Art and Film majors out their reading this, rolling their eyes and shaking their heads, saying, “What kind of list is this! it’s purely subjective and pointless to make such a collection.” While that may be, I seem to retain this deep fascination with all things ugly that in the right mind set can be perceived as beautiful, nonsense that can be heard as interesting, noise that can be seen as music. I think you get the fucking picture. Beside, this is just my list! if you don’t like it, you can pretend it doesn’t exist. No need to argue with me, while I may have a degree, it was a foreign language degree that entailed I pass my study abroad course as long as I don’t show up to every class drunk. So please, don’t take me, or this list as some sore of intellectual feast. It’s not.

Anyway…

Recommendations are welcome! If you’d like to know why I added a certain film to this list, I can explain. Please not this is not a list for all things shocking, banned, pornographic or what have you. It may include many of those things, but this is trying to capture something a little more dimensional Most Controversial Videos of All Time!. Films like Red Desert are included because of the different attitude toward landscapes, using industrial factories instead of mountains. And I feel like I have to admit that just because a film is on this list, does not mean it’s good at all. I personally cannot recommend Trash Humpers and The Night Porter, but both films fit the requirements in their attempt to be inherently different from what is casually perceived as beauty and artistic all at once. I may include some horror films on this list, but most will not be included since they use shocking and disturbing material in order to plainly be shocking and disturbing. Zulawski’s Possession will be included, Scream will not.

I hope this helps get my point across

some notable autuers that have a consistency to disgust
Haneke, Michael
Korine, Harmony
Makavejev, Dusan
Trier, Lars Von
Waters, John

It’s too simplistic to say—as many people have done—that I am condemning the inhuman industrial world which oppresses the individuals and leads them to neurosis. My intention … was to translate the poetry of the world, in which even factories can be beautiful. The line and curves of factories and their chimneys can be more beautiful than the outline of trees, which we are already too accustomed to seeing. It is a rich world, alive and serviceable … The neurosis I sought to describe in Red Desert is above all a matter of adjusting. There are people who do adapt, and others who can’t manage, perhaps because they are too tied to ways of life that are by now out-of-date.
- Michelangelo Antonioni on Red Desert

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