By Asbjørn Grønstad on 25.04.2011 (09:00).
This term I'm a visiting professor in UC Berkeley's Department of Film & Media, and last week I was invited to give a lecture for the Berkeley Film Seminar on the topic of "Entropic Cinema: The Case of Antichrist/Irréversible." The talk examined Lars von Trier's and Gaspar Noé's films in light of the particular scopic psychology that underlies the notion of what I call "unwatchable cinema." My argument addressed problems of desire and (un)pleasure in relation to the kind of cinematic experience such films may offer. The unwatchable does not merely have a literal application, I suggest, but could also present us with a conceptual tool by which to rethink issues of spectatorship, film and ethics. My discussion was an excerpt from the article "On the Unwatchable," which is forthcoming in the anthology The New Extremism in Cinema, edited by Tanya Horeck and Tina Kendall and published by Edinburgh University Press later this summer.