I now have a cover image for my new book, The Cinema of Discomfort, which is due out in either October or November (only in expensive hardback initially, unfortunately).
This is the updated cover blub:
How do we understand types of cinema that offer experiences of discomfort, awkwardness or disquieting uncertainty? This book examines a number of examples of such work at the heart of contemporary art and indie film. While the commercial mainstream tends to offer comforting viewing experiences – or moments of discomfort that exist largely to be overcome – The Cinema of Discomfort analyses films in which discomfort is offered in a sustained manner. Cinema of this kind confronts us with material such as distinctly uncomfortable sexual encounters. It invites us into uncertain relationships with awkward and sometimes unlikable characters. It presents us with challenging behaviour or what are presented as uncomfortable realities. It often refuses information on which to base judgments. More discomfortingly, cinema of this kind tends to provoke uncertainty at the level of what emotional responses we are encouraged to have towards difficult, sometimes controversial, characters or events.
The Cinema of Discomfort examines a number of case-studies, including Palindromes by Todd Solondz (US) and Dogtooth from Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece), along with other examples from Austria, Sweden, the UK, the US and Germany. Offering close textual analysis of the manner in which discomfort is generated, it also asks how we should understand the appeal of such work to certain viewers and how the existence of films of this kind can be explained, as products of both their socio-cultural context and the more particular institutional realms of art and indie film.
I’d also like to thank Thomas Schatz for his kind endorsement:
The Cinema of Discomfort adds another dimension – and marks another important advance – in Geoff King’s masterful study of independent film and international art cinema, digging into the oddly pleasurable and darkly comic ‘assaults’ mounted by resolutely marginal filmmakers ranging from Todd Sonodz to Yorgos Lanthimos to Joanna Hogg.