Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Search results for: eroticism

4 Dying and Sexuality − Controversial Motive in Contemporary Cinema

Authors: Małgorzata Jakubowska, Monika Michałowska

Abstract:

Since the beginning of the cinematographic industry, there has been a visible interest in two leading themes: death and sexuality. One of the reasons of the unfading popularity of these motives was the fact that death or sex employed as leitmotivs attracted great attention of the viewers, and this guaranteed a financial success. What seems interesting is the fact that the themes of death and sexuality/eroticism seem to be mutually exclusive in the mainstream movies to such extent that they almost never appear together on the screen. As leitmotivs they describe opposite experiences of human life, one refers to affirmation of life, the other points to atrophy and decay. This film paradigm is rarely challenged. Thus, a relatively less attention has been devoted so far to entwining dying and sexuality/eroticism in one movie. In our paper, we wish to have a closer look at the visualizations of dying with focus on the aspect of sexuality/eroticism. Our analysis will concentrate on the contemporary European and American cinema, and especially the recent productions that contribute to the cultural phenomenon of entwining the two realms of human life. We will investigate the main clichés, plot and visual schemes, motives and narrative techniques on the examples of Sweet November (2001), A Little Bit of Heaven (2011) and Now is good (2012). We will also shed some light on the recent film productions that seem to provide a shift in portraying the realms of dying and sexuality concentrating on The Garden of Earthly Delights (2003) as the most paradigmatic example.

Keywords: contemporary cinema, dying and sexuality, narrative techniques, plot and visual schemes

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3 Erotica in Ghana: Gendered Negotiations of Erotic Sexual Pleasure in Ghana

Authors: Daniel Y. Fiaveh, Michael P.K. Okyerefo, Clara K. Fayorsey

Abstract:

Although sexual pleasure is an important aspect of human sexuality, there is little knowledge on how women and men negotiate pleasure in Ghana. The paper explores women and men’s agency in negotiating sexual pleasure in an urban community in Ghana based on the narratives of 20 women and 16 men. Specifically, we explore meanings of sexual pleasure, the erotic factors that stimulate sexual pleasure, and how women and men negotiate for these factors. Women are active negotiators of stimulants of sexual pleasure based on symbolic meanings.

Keywords: eroticism, sexual pleasure, sexual negotiation, Ghana

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2 Gynocentrism and Self-Orientalization: A Visual Trend in Chinese Fashion Photography

Authors: Zhen Sun

Abstract:

The study adopts the method of visual social semiotics to analyze a sample of fashion photos that were recently published in Chinese fashion magazines that target towards both male and female readers. It identifies a new visual trend in fashion photography, which is characterized by two features. First, the photos represent young, confident, and stylish female models with lower-class sloppy old men. The visual inharmony between the sexually desirable women and the aged men has suggested an impossibly accomplished sexuality and eroticism. Though the women are still under the male gaze, they are depicted as unreachable objects of voyeurism other than sexual objects subordinated to men. Second, the represented people are usually put in the backdrop of tasteless or vulgar Chinese town life, which is congruent with the images of men but makes the modern city girls out of place. The photographers intentionally contrast the images of women with that of men and with the background, which implies an imaginary binary division of modern Orientalism and the photographers’ self-orientalization strategy. Under the theoretical umbrella of neoliberal postfeminism, this study defines a new kind of gynocentric stereotype in Chinese fashion photography, which challenges the previous observations on gender portrayals in fashion magazines.

Keywords: fashion photography, gynocentrism, neoliberal postfeminism, self-orientalization

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1 The Prostitute’s Body in Diasporic Space: Sexualized China and Chineseness in Yu Dafu’s Sinking and Yan Geling’s The Lost Daughter of Happiness

Authors: Haizhi Wu

Abstract:

Sexualization brings together the interdependent experiences of prostitution and diaspora, establishing a masculine structure where a female’s body mediates the hegemony and sexuality of men from different races. Between eroticism and homesickness, writers of the Chinese diaspora develop sensual approaches to reflect on the diasporic experience and sexual frustration. Noticeably, Yu Dafu in Sinking and Yan Geling in The Lost Daughter of Happiness both take an interest in sexual encounters between an immature teen client and an erotically powerful prostitute in Japan or America, both countries considered colonizers in Chinese history. Both are utilizing the metaphor of body-space interplay to hint at the out-of-text transnational interactions, two writers, however, present distinct understandings of their bond with history and memory of the semi-colonial, semi-feudal China. Examining prostitutes’ bodies in multi-layer diasporic spaces, the central analysis of this essay works on the sexual, colonial, and historical representations of this bodily symbol and the prostitution’s engagement in negotiating with diaspora and “Chineseness”.

Keywords: Chineseness, diasporic spaces, prostitutes’ bodies, sexualization

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