Dallas Buyers Club (2013) offers a stereotypical representation of trans themes and images that do not fit contemporary gender-diverse communities, creating negative images and damaging connotations that could last for years. This article explores the stereotypical characterization and clichéd narrative devices deployed to create the fictitious character of Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club and examines the ongoing problematic of trans representation within mainstream cinematic texts by comparing Dallas Buyers Club with The Crying Game (1992), Boys Don’t Cry (1999), and Transamerica (2005). To contextualize the ongoing issues raised by the film and its screenplay, this article reads Rayon as one example in a long line of socially proscribed Hollywood “fallen women,” here, with the narrative displaced onto the transgender body.
The National Autistic Society defines autism as affecting “how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people and how they make sense of the world around them.” People with autism often seek regulation of experience in order to manage the difficulty in inferring and understanding the provisional knowledge and subjectivities of others. Much like the neurotypical “other people” described by those with autism, the on-screen assemblage of normative cinema appears to know what to reveal, what to conceal, where and how to be. However, such a cinema is also required to be regulated, so as to be socialized to the reception and response of “others” (the audience) through normative techniques. But when and how might the much-debated screen-mind relationship produce a frustration of otherness or tamper with an audience’s ability to ascribe provisional knowledge to others? And what can the cinema learn from the autistic experience? This article proposes a form of cinema—cinemautism—to challenge a neurotypical cinematic form.
The End FGM Guardian Global Media Campaign
The increasing digitization of print media has resulted in the expansion of female genital mutilation (FGM) eradication efforts from print articles, editorials and novels, to online newspapers. The Guardian recently launched an online “End FGM Guardian Global Media Campaign,” incorporating video, film, and multimedia. This report reviews the digitization of FGM eradication efforts by comparing End FGM to past anti-female circumcision screen texts. Focusing on a film featured in the campaign, Shara Amin and Nabaz Ahmed’s 2007 documentary, A Handful of Ash, this report applies a post-colonial feminist critique of gender, sexuality and colonialism to examine how the digitization of pain and suffering is mobilized and consumed. Comparing the film to anti-circumcision screen texts, Ousmane Sembène’s Moolaadé and Sherry Hormann’s Desert Flower, this report historicizes the global media campaign and highlights its’ repackaging of past imperialist discourses on the body in new digitized ways.
Douglas Gordon’s “Pretty much every film and video work from about 1992 until now”
The Human Body as Raw Material
This article investigates the varied reactions of audiences to cinematic depictions of the human body as objectified raw material. The investigation proceeds, first, by explicating an ontological distinction between being-in-itself and being-for-itself, which in turn allows for a clarification of the processes involved in the objectification of one human being by another. The article then argues that in films where depictions of bodily objectification are pushed to an extreme—such as The Human Centipede, Nymphomaniac, and Videodrome—a potentially positive, empathic potential is unlocked in audiences. Rather than simply resulting in the humilation of human characters, such films encourage audiences to experience a kind of sympathy for the characters that is related to, but not distinct from, other horrific, humorous, and erotic feelings. The article concludes that the objectification of human bodies in film is both unavoidable and a potentially positive moral exercise.
Emma Celeste Bedor
Revenge pornography emerged in a flurry moral panic in 2010 when Hunter Moore created the website Is Anyone Up? (isanyoneup.com), where anonymous Internet users submitted nude photos for thousands of unknown purveyors to view. Moore’s endeavor appeared ingenious: What better way could angry exes enact revenge and humiliation on former partners than by displaying their naked photos, against their will and without consent, on a notorious website? The site’s “spirit of retaliation,” apparent from an anthem whose lyrics consisted of “Cheated on me and broke my heart / Gonna show the world your private parts” lives on due to the emergence of other revenge pornography sites, despite the fact that isanyoneup.com was disbanded and Moore recently arrested. Using a critical theoretical framework, this article illustrates that victims of revenge pornography are emblematic of post-feminist and neoliberal hostilities. As such, this article contends that revenge pornography is about revenge and humiliation, not sex.
Black Trans and Queer Women’s Digital Media Production
This article explores Black trans and queer women’s use of digital media platforms to create alternate representations of themselves through a process that addresses health and healing beyond the purview of the biomedical industrial complex. These activities include trans women of color using Twitter to build networks of support and masculine of center people creating their own digital health zine, two projects that value the propagation of crowd-sourced knowledge and the creation of images that subvert dominant representations of their communities. I argue that this process of redefining representation interrupts the normative standards of bodily representation and health presented in popular and medical culture. My research connects the messages within the seemingly objective realm of biomedicine to the social contexts in which they emerge and are shared. By highlighting two examples where I see these connections being made, I shift attention to the images deployed to redefine representations within these liminal communities.