Games of love and lust: Performance, masquerade and trauma in Lust, Caution and The Handmaiden | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1059-440X
  • E-ISSN: 2049-6710

Abstract

This article analyses Ang Lee’s (2007) and Park Chan-Wook’s (2016) as melodramas which foreground trauma as a deadlock of identity. In both films, trauma exposes cultural and social consequences of national betrayal and colonial hierarchies, drawing our attention to politically charged predicament of suspended agency. At the same time, in both and , trauma as the ‘affective bearing’ also becomes significant with regard to how the spectator understands the expressed, cinematic world. This affective bearing is not a quality ‘attached’ to the film externally, but it is immanent to its aesthetic-expressive specificity which evokes direct emotional engagement in the spectator. The trauma examined in this article in both and bears less resemblance to attempts of representing national traumas than to matters of affective intensities experienced and understood organically from within the cinematic experience. This focus on trauma makes both films universally accessible insofar as it demonstrates not only what cinema can represent, but also what cinema can do: by means of its affective bearing a film can directly engage the spectators’ emotion in a way that alters their cinematic experience.

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2023-07-05
2024-02-21
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