Extreme Cinema - FILM5870

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This course probes film cultural issues surrounding extreme cinema, i.e., 'arthouse' films which, because of violent, sexual, or other iconoclastic content, form or style, have created critical or popular controversy. Representative topics include the aesthetics of violence and the ethics of representing and viewing pain, boundaries between erotic art and exploitation, disgust and the ‘unwatchable’, authorial and critical discourses, marketing, audience and reception studies and censorship.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 60
Total study hours: 240
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

20%: group presentation.
30%: Essay 1 (1500 words).
50%: Essay 2 (3500 words).

Indicative reading

Frey, M. (2016) Extreme Cinema: The Transgressive Rhetoric of Today's Art Film Culture. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Hawkins, J. (2000) Cutting Edge: Art-Horror and the Horrific Avant-Garde. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Staiger, J. (2000) Perverse Spectators: The Practice of Film Reception. New York: New York University Press.
Williams, L. (1989) Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the "Frenzy of the Visible." Berkeley: University of California Press.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- demonstrate systematic knowledge of contemporary international extreme cinema and how extreme cinema has developed historically as well as coherently articulate their understanding of the relationships between these developments
- demonstrate understanding of how critical discourse analysis (CDA) of various sectors of film culture contributes to an understanding of the impact of extreme cinema on both moving image making and the ways in which an audiences appreciate such films
- devise a discussion of extreme cinema through a sustained engagement with key methods of enquiry based on a synthesis of historical, theoretical and aesthetic approaches
- understand the interplay between aesthetic choices, business decisions and taste cultures through their research into/of relevant scholarly literature.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.