Williams juxtaposes the three genres together, to reveal similarities and differences, and, in turn, their similar and different desire effects on the audiences. Specifically, she points out the physical reaction of characters in the films, and how the audience members mimic them. Firstly, in regards to the physical body, Williams discusses the similar uncontrollable “convulsion or spasm,” that comes with the different genres; a body on the screen is “’beside itself’ with sexual pleasure, fear and terror, or overpowering sadness.” (729) Next, she dissects the sound of these bodily reactions – the overpowering moan, scream, or sob that the chara...
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... imagination is sometimes more excessive than the action on the screen. After the application of Williams’ “theory” to David Creonenberg’s film Shivers, it is apparent that the spectator’s personal perception of the action (or inaction) is more the cause of the bodily reaction that Williams is referring to, rather than the objective excess on the screen. Ultimately, various characteristics of Williams’ arguments are true, but as a film theory in general, “Film Bodies: Gender, Genre and Excess” needs further research and flexibility in order to be both relative to all “body” genre films, and applicable to all unique spectators.
Williams, Linda. "Film Bodies: Genre, Gender and Excess." Braudy and Cohen (1991 / 2004): 727-41. Print.
"Shivers (1975) - IMDb." The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Web. 08 Feb. 2011.
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