Provocauteurs and Provocations
Screening Sex in 21st Century Media
Published by: Indiana University Press
Is the sex on our screens simply sensationalism or is it a political strategy to help us reimagine ways of thinking about sexuality?
Twenty-first century media has increasingly turned to provocative sexual content to court controversy, even scandal, in a bid to generate buzz and stand out within a glut of programming. While such an approach may at times be no more than a profitable tactic, the most probing and powerful instances of sexual provocation serve to illuminate, question, and transform our understanding of sex and sexuality. In Provocauteurs and Provocations, award-winning author Maria San Filippo looks at the provocative in films, television series, web series and videos, entertainment industry publicity materials, and social media discourses and explores its potential to create alternative, even radical ways of screening sex. New production technologies enable and amplify the distribution of "provocauteurs," who challenge sexual conventions and representational norms.
Throughout this edgy volume, San Filippo examines a myriad of controversial strategies—including "real sex" scenes, scandalous marketing campaigns, full-frontal nudity, troubling texts, and divisive figures—to reveal the critical role that sexual provocation plays as a promotional strategy and authorial signature within the contemporary media landscape.
Prologue: Tangled Up in Blue
Part I: Provocations
1. Selling Sex: Scandalous Marketing Campaigns and the Millennial Watercooler Movie
2. Full-Frontal Provocation: Male Nudity as Non-Phallic Masculinity
Part II: Provocauteurs
3. Art Porn Provocauteurs: Feminist Critique through Corporeality in the Work of Catherine Breillat and Lena Dunham
4. Inbetweener (In)Appropriations: "Bad Queer" Provocauteurs Lisa Cholodenko and Desiree Akhavan
Epilogue: Still Taboo? Provocative Acts, Vulnerable Viewing
"Provocauteurs and Provocations delivers incredibly nuanced and deeply contextualized readings of a wide range of sexually provocative media texts. Reflecting the best work being done at the intersection of film/media studies and feminist/LGBTQ scholarship, it will be invaluable for helping us think through the ethical implications of screen media's current engagement with the pleasures and politics of sex."~Ron Becker, author of Gay TV and Straight America
"One of the book's most notable contributions to the field is its emphasis on the portrayal of sexuality in films by women artists, many of whom have been discussed in this arena but not in this kind of depth and with this level of insight."~Michele Schreiber, author of Indie Reframed and American Postfeminist Cinema
"This is one of the best and the most engrossing book I've read in my field in quite some time."~Carol Siegel, author of Sex Radical Cinema, Goth's Dark Empire, and New Millennial Sexstyles