The Grotesque and/in/through Film

PhD Thesis

Petten, Aaron 2012. The Grotesque and/in/through Film. PhD Thesis University of East London School of Arts and Digital Industries
AuthorsPetten, Aaron
TypePhD Thesis

This thesis explores the grotesque and realist aesthetics of contemporary independent American filmmakers, Larry Clark and Harmony Korine from a broadly formalist perspective. The thesis is situated amongst two conversations within Film Studies. The first conversation is with those who have critically and historically engaged with the films and filmmaking practices of Clark and Korine. The second conversation contributes with those critics and historians who explored the presence and status of the grotesque in cinema.
It addresses the grotesque vision and imagination of the filmmakers, and the realist motivations and imperative, according to their own public pronouncements. It then provides a close descriptive analysis of the manifestation of the grotesque and realist aesthetics of the films themselves. It shows the ways in which both filmmakers embrace the grotesque through their expressions of the margins and underbelly of the middle-American landscape. Their approaches to realism, principally deriving from non- fictional modes of audiovisual production, illustrate the extraordinariness of the banal and mundane realities of the everyday, albeit the darker recesses of the everyday. This thesis further demonstrates how the coupling of Clark’s and Korine’s realist approaches enhances and even constitutes their grotesque aesthetic.

Keywordsfilm; grotesque aesthetics; realist aesthetics
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintOct 2012
Publication process dates
Deposited02 Nov 2012
Publisher's version
Permalink -

Download files

  • 162
    total views
  • 2613
    total downloads
  • 1
    views this month
  • 13
    downloads this month

Export as