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Filmic Bodies as Terministic (Silver) Screens: Embodied Social Anxieties in Videodrome

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abstract
The horror film genre utilizes spectacles of the human body while alluding to our worst fears beyond the silver screen. "Body horror" is a unique sub-genre that distorts the very nature of human flesh for horrific effect. David Cronenberg's Videodrome (1983) is an exemplary body horror text that incorporates themes of disease, metamorphosis, and gendering bodies to allude to a litany of social problems facing the larger body politic. I explore how such fears are rooted in the loss of human control surrounding mortality, identity, exploitative media, technology, corporate influence, and gendered power dynamics. I argue for the extension of Kenneth Burke's terministic screen theory into the realm of filmic visual rhetoric, identifying ways that cinematic bodies in Videodrome shape particular messages regarding broader social problems. In doing so, I argue that rhetorical critics should focus not only on what horror films communicate, but how they do so.
subject
bodies
body horror
Burke
terministic screen
Videodrome
visual rhetoric
contributor
Bagwell, Daniel Steven (author)
Von Burg, Ron (committee chair)
Dalton, Mary (committee member)
Atchison, Jarrod (committee member)
date
2014-07-10T08:35:37Z (accessioned)
2014-07-10T08:35:37Z (available)
2014 (issued)
degree
Communication (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/39301 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Filmic Bodies as Terministic (Silver) Screens: Embodied Social Anxieties in Videodrome
type
Thesis

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