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Hellraiser : om Clive Barkers film

Arnman, Anna LU (2005)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Jag kommer i denna avhandling att resonera kring frågor om skräckfilm som genre och studera hur Hellraiser förhåller sig till dess teman och problem. Hellraiser är en skräckfilm och således, på gott och ont, bunden till en kontroversiell genre. Jag anser det omöjligt att frångå detta i min analys där jag bland annat studerar ondska, sexualitet och genus. Efter en presentation av själva produktionen av filmen följer ett kapitel om Clive Barker där jag sammanfattar hans bakgrund samt hans författarskap, filmskapande och bildkonstnärliga verksamhet. Därefter studerar jag just genreproblematiken och de olika sätt på vilken man definierar denna genre. Jag ser här till såväl narrativa egenskaper som... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Jag kommer i denna avhandling att resonera kring frågor om skräckfilm som genre och studera hur Hellraiser förhåller sig till dess teman och problem. Hellraiser är en skräckfilm och således, på gott och ont, bunden till en kontroversiell genre. Jag anser det omöjligt att frångå detta i min analys där jag bland annat studerar ondska, sexualitet och genus. Efter en presentation av själva produktionen av filmen följer ett kapitel om Clive Barker där jag sammanfattar hans bakgrund samt hans författarskap, filmskapande och bildkonstnärliga verksamhet. Därefter studerar jag just genreproblematiken och de olika sätt på vilken man definierar denna genre. Jag ser här till såväl narrativa egenskaper som hur en film exempelvis lanseras och tas emot av såväl kritiker som publik. Jag redogör även för det mottagande filmen fått av så väl recensenter som fans och hur den uppfattas i den akademiska litteraturen. Därefter följer avhandlingens huvudparti: en omfattande närläsning av filmen där jag gör 21 nedslag i den för att beskriva och tolka scener. Jag utför här läsningar baserade på filmens innehåll och utseende där små detaljer och stora skeenden ställs samman. De teman jag fokuserar berör i synnerhet filmens förhållande till kropp, genus, sexualitet, familj, hus och religion. Jag för in resonemang om genre, så som exempelvis brittisk kontra amerikansk skräckfilm, produktionsmässiga förhållanden, genrens status, censur samt tankar om excessens betydelse för filmen. Jag har haft Hellraiser i sig, dess berättarstruktur och intrig, som utgångspunkt för avhandlingen och i största möjliga mån låtit filmen styra mitt val av teman. Den metod jag valt bygger på att segmenteringen görs utifrån den mer vardagsspråkliga förståelsen av att berättelser består av delmoment. Utifrån dessa sekvensanalyser tillåter jag mig att göra utvikningar och nedslag i större tematiska fält som samlas upp i min sammanfattande diskussion. I avhandlingens tredje del studerar jag ingående hur cenobiterna koncipierades, formades, ser ut och agerar. Vidare sätter jag dem i förhållande till arketypiska monster, som Frankensteins monster och Dracula, för att se hur Barker spelar med dessa monstruösa karaktärer. Jag diskuterar även cenobiternas säregna attraktionskraft, men poängterar samtidigt att det inte är alldeles självklart att tolka cenobiterna som filmen monster. Det kanske är Frank och Julia som egentligen är filmens monster? I den avslutande delen av avhandlingen studerar jag filmens förhållningssätt till kropp, smärta och lidande där gränserna stundom suddas ut och lidandet blir till njutning. Jag använder mig här i synnerhet av Linda Badleys studier av hur Clive Barker förhåller sig till kroppen i sin fiktion. Här refererar jag bland annat till delar av 1980-talets skräckfilm som stod nära punkrörelsens vilja att uttrycka avsky mot ett förtryckande system och normer man tog avstånd från. Cenobiternas utseende har likheter med punkrörelsens estetiska uttryck. Fysiskt våld mot kropp, i form av piercing och tatueringar, symboliserar ett motstånd mot den goda smaken. Detta utanförskap kan även ses som karakteristiskt för skräckfilmen som genre. Cenobiterna är sinnligt avtrubbade individer, som samtidigt strävar efter att nå njutning. Det verkar först vara när de öppnar upp sina kroppar och går under huden som de når den tillfredsställelse de eftersträvar. (Less)
Abstract
In this dissertation I will discuss horror film as a genre and study how Hellraiser relates to its themes and problems. First I describe the production of the film and after that I present Clive Barker - his background, authorship, film-making and artwork. Next I study the problems of the genre and the different ways in which this genre is defined. I look at narrative characteristics as well as, for instance, how a film belonging to the genre is launched and how it is received by critics and the audience. Furthermore, I describe the response this film has had from reviewers and fans and how it is perceived in academic texts. The principal part of the dissertation follows: a comprehensive close reading of the film in which I delve into the... (More)
In this dissertation I will discuss horror film as a genre and study how Hellraiser relates to its themes and problems. First I describe the production of the film and after that I present Clive Barker - his background, authorship, film-making and artwork. Next I study the problems of the genre and the different ways in which this genre is defined. I look at narrative characteristics as well as, for instance, how a film belonging to the genre is launched and how it is received by critics and the audience. Furthermore, I describe the response this film has had from reviewers and fans and how it is perceived in academic texts. The principal part of the dissertation follows: a comprehensive close reading of the film in which I delve into the film 21 times to describe and interpret scenes. I conduct readings based on the film's substance and form and juxtapose minor details with major developments. The themes I focus on in particular concern the film's relation to the body, gender, sexuality, family, the house, and religion. I introduce a discussion about the genre, e.g. about British versus American horror films, the conditions in which a film production takes place, the status of the genre, censorship and some thoughts about the significance of excess to the film. I have used the narrative structure and plot of Hellraiser as a starting point for the dissertation and I have let the film guide my choice of themes as much as possible. The method of my choice is founded on making the segmentation on the basis of the colloquial understanding that narratives are constituted of momentary parts. With these sequential analyses as my starting point I allow myself to deviate and delve into larger thematic areas that are collected in my summarising discussion of the dissertation. In the third part of the dissertation I thoroughly study how the Cenobites were conceived and designed and how they look and act. Furthermore, I study how they relate to archetypal monsters, such as Frankenstein's Monster and Dracula, in order to look at how Barker is playing with these monstrous characters. I also discuss the Cenobites? peculiar power of attraction at the same time as I stress that it is not necessarily self-evident to regard the Cenobites as the monsters of the film. In the final part of the dissertation I look at the film's approach to body, pain and suffering and how the boundaries occasionally are erased and pain becomes pleasure. I refer to, among other things, to how the Cenobites? appearances have similarities with the aesthetic expressions of the punk movement. Physical violence against the body, in the form of body piercings and tattoos, symbolises resistance against good taste. This form of alienation can also be seen as a characteristic of horror film as a genre and it seems as if the Cenobites only reach the satisfaction they crave through opening bodies and delve underneath the skin. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Dr. Florin, Bo, Stockholm University
organization
alternative title
Hellraiser - On Clive Barkers film
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Monstrous, Aesthetics, Cenobites, Sexuality, Family, House, Religion, 80´s horror films, Humanities, Humaniora, Konstvetenskap, Art History, Allmän och jämförande litteraturvetenskap, Genre, General and comparative literature, Horror, Body
pages
256 pages
publisher
Ellerströms förlag
defense location
Edens hörsal, Paradisgatan 5, Lund
defense date
2005-04-23 10:15
ISBN
91-7247-105-0
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
6ac86076-9bf5-4e93-bc97-8d3288dacc00 (old id 24951)
date added to LUP
2007-06-04 08:36:56
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:12
@phdthesis{6ac86076-9bf5-4e93-bc97-8d3288dacc00,
  abstract     = {In this dissertation I will discuss horror film as a genre and study how Hellraiser relates to its themes and problems. First I describe the production of the film and after that I present Clive Barker - his background, authorship, film-making and artwork. Next I study the problems of the genre and the different ways in which this genre is defined. I look at narrative characteristics as well as, for instance, how a film belonging to the genre is launched and how it is received by critics and the audience. Furthermore, I describe the response this film has had from reviewers and fans and how it is perceived in academic texts. The principal part of the dissertation follows: a comprehensive close reading of the film in which I delve into the film 21 times to describe and interpret scenes. I conduct readings based on the film's substance and form and juxtapose minor details with major developments. The themes I focus on in particular concern the film's relation to the body, gender, sexuality, family, the house, and religion. I introduce a discussion about the genre, e.g. about British versus American horror films, the conditions in which a film production takes place, the status of the genre, censorship and some thoughts about the significance of excess to the film. I have used the narrative structure and plot of Hellraiser as a starting point for the dissertation and I have let the film guide my choice of themes as much as possible. The method of my choice is founded on making the segmentation on the basis of the colloquial understanding that narratives are constituted of momentary parts. With these sequential analyses as my starting point I allow myself to deviate and delve into larger thematic areas that are collected in my summarising discussion of the dissertation. In the third part of the dissertation I thoroughly study how the Cenobites were conceived and designed and how they look and act. Furthermore, I study how they relate to archetypal monsters, such as Frankenstein's Monster and Dracula, in order to look at how Barker is playing with these monstrous characters. I also discuss the Cenobites? peculiar power of attraction at the same time as I stress that it is not necessarily self-evident to regard the Cenobites as the monsters of the film. In the final part of the dissertation I look at the film's approach to body, pain and suffering and how the boundaries occasionally are erased and pain becomes pleasure. I refer to, among other things, to how the Cenobites? appearances have similarities with the aesthetic expressions of the punk movement. Physical violence against the body, in the form of body piercings and tattoos, symbolises resistance against good taste. This form of alienation can also be seen as a characteristic of horror film as a genre and it seems as if the Cenobites only reach the satisfaction they crave through opening bodies and delve underneath the skin.},
  author       = {Arnman, Anna},
  isbn         = {91-7247-105-0},
  keyword      = {Monstrous,Aesthetics,Cenobites,Sexuality,Family,House,Religion,80´s horror films,Humanities,Humaniora,Konstvetenskap,Art History,Allmän och jämförande litteraturvetenskap,Genre,General and comparative literature,Horror,Body},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {256},
  publisher    = {Ellerströms förlag},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Hellraiser : om Clive Barkers film},
  year         = {2005},
}