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Title: Defining a cinematic movement and style : the American exploitation film
Author: Waddell, Calum
ISNI:       0000 0004 5350 0834
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis defines the term exploitation as it relates to the style of a number of key American film titles that emerged during the 1960s and 1970s, concurrent with the fall of cinema censorship. These productions presented spectacles of convincing corporeality and the adaptation of film techniques which may be labelled ‘realist'. The key films of this thesis will be argued to comprise a cinematic movement that can be labelled exploitation. The first part of this thesis will outline the time period of this study and the methodology used; based upon the historical and comparative writing on the classic Hollywood era of cinema initiated by David Bordwell. Drawing upon Bordwell and other scholars who have engaged with what the Academy recognises as the ‘new film history' (such as Eric Schaefer and his discussion of the classic exploitation film), I will introduce the work of André Bazin and argue that his writing on cinema realism can be attributed and understood as a style of filmmaking. This style is appropriated by exploitation insofar as similar, minimalist representations of modernity were brought to American cinema, albeit presented in generic narratives. The second part of this thesis will look at each of the key exploitation genres in detail: blaxploitation, exploitation-horror and sexploitation. I will engage with previous writing on what may be deemed ‘marginal' cinema and argue that each of the genres discussed in this thesis contain films that approach taboo subject matter with an oppositional approach to their Hollywood ‘other'. This point is especially relevant insofar as exploitation reveals images of physical horror and sexuality that the mainstream hides. In conclusion, this thesis hopes to bring a more contained and studied look at ‘marginal' cinema to the Academy and to give a definition of exploitation that will influence and inspire future studies of the form.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Exploitation films