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“The suffering black male body and the threatened white female body": ambiguous bodies in Candyman

Donaldson, L. F. (2011) “The suffering black male body and the threatened white female body": ambiguous bodies in Candyman. Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies (9). ISSN 2009-0374

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This article explores the roles of monster and victim as experienced through the body, and considers how the relationship between violence and the body affects the presentation of these roles through close analysis of performance in Candyman (Bernard Rose, 1992). I aim to demonstrate that commitment to such a detailed approach, offers a more intricate and rewarding critical interaction, reflecting the complexity of narrative film. Consideration of the particulars of performance is crucial, in its affect on our engagement with the performer and their physical presence. Through this attention I intend to demonstrate how the seemingly fixed role of monster is in fact more fluid than first apparent, that monster and victim can co-exist in the same body. Candyman’s physicality and the way it is presented foregrounds the oscillations between violence and suffering, the relationship between the body and the violence inflicted on and by it, ambiguities which are also found in the heroine’s development, thus enhancing the film’s striking preoccupation with the shifting parallels between monster and victim.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:36210
Uncontrolled Keywords:Candyman, horror film, American cinema, race in film, whiteness, the body, film performance
Publisher:Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies


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