Publication : Screening the Dark Side of Love: From Euro-Horror to American Cinema, Karen A. Ritzenhoff and Karen Randell

Karen A. Ritzenhoff and Karen Randell, Screening the Dark Side of Love: From Euro-Horror to American Cinema, Palgrave Macmillan.

Book presentation

This edited collection unpicks the ways in which love can be understood globally as a problematic and often violent transgression rather than the narrative of ‘happy endings’ that Classical Hollywood has offered. Its engagement with varying methodologies of history, textual analysis, psychoanalytic models and cultural critique ensures that the edition will be useful for courses taught across the globe on film, television and popular culture. The collection comprises of international scholars who engage with films that have been made from the margins to the mainstream of cinema to explore issues surrounding gender identity and spectatorship.


  • Re-Imagining Censorship as ‘Reel’ Mutilation: Why not a G-rated Version of David Cronenberg’s Crash; J.S.Robinson
  • The Whip and the Body: Sex, Violence, and Performative Spectatorship in Euro-Horror S&M Cinema; A.I.Olney
  • Lars von Trier’s Anti Christ and the Australian ‘lost child’ Complex: Love, Loss and Emotional Indulgence; T.Waddell
  • Black Bucks and Don Juans: Violent Romances of Race and Sex in Jane Campion’s In the CutT.Lundy
  • Mad Love: The Anxiety of Difference in the Films of Lon Chaney Snr.; K.Randell
  • Love and Crime in Agatha Christie Films; M.Aldridge
  • Monstrous Love: Oppression, Intimacy, and Transformation in Mary Reilly (1996); C.Miller
  • Self-mutilation and Dark Love in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan (2010) and Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher (2000);K.A.Ritzenhoff
  • Female Pleasure and Performance: Masochism in Belle de Jour and Story of OS.Deighan
  • What’s in the Basket?: Sexualized and Sexualizing Violence in Frank Henenlotter’s Basket CaseL.Cunningham
  • Blood and Bravado: Violence, Eroticism, and Spain in Pedro Almodovar’s MatadorM.Morris
  • The Comedic Punch Line: Unpacking Scenes of Domestic Violence-as-humor in Tyler Perry Films; J.Hudson
  • Obsessed and Fatally Attracted: The Gender and Racial Politics of Obsessed; S.Leonard
  • High-Tech Pleasure: Seriality and Pornographic Body; S.Schaschek


KAREN A. RITZENHOFF is a Professor of Communication at Central Connecticut State University, USA, and a member of the Program for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She teaches courses on women and film, mass media, film history, visual communication, American cinema and television production. She is co-editor of Sex and Sexuality in a Feminist World(2009) as well as co-editor of Leiden, Trauma, Folter: Bildkulturen des Irakkriegs,’ Augenblick: Marburger Hefte zur Medienwissenschaft (2011), a special issue of the Marburg Journal of Media Studies. Her article on Lisbeth Salander as the ‘Final Girl’ in the Swedish Girl Who films is included in Donna King and Carrie Lee Smith’s (eds.). Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Kick Their Ass: Feminist Perspectives on Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy (2012).
KAREN RANDELL is Principal Lecturer in Film Studies at Southampton Solent University, UK. Her research interests are in film, gender, trauma and war. She is co-editor of Screen Methods: Comparative Readings in Film Studies (2006), The War Body on Screen (2008) and Reframing 9/11: Film, Popular Culture and the ‘War on Terror’ (2010). Randell is also published in Screen(2003), Art in the Age of Terrorism (2005), The Journal of Cinema Studies (2011) and Generation Zombie (2011). She is currently writing a monograph on Lon Chaney Snr.

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