As a primary area of debate in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, questions regarding the conceptualization and representation of the body have been foundational not only to gender studies but also to broader, cultural, social, historical and anthropological work. Many of the films discussed in the following chapters address these very discourses, and with the controlled body being such an amorphous topic, it is imperative to examine work in allied fields to film studies to thereby afford socio-cultural rather than psycho-symbolic meanings for the texts. Key to doing so is detaching sadomasochism from the pathologized terms of sadism and masochism and reconstituting all three via lived experiences. Masochistic pleasures, which may or may not be experienced as pain, can then be interpreted as part of a conglomeration of control and acquiescence involving domination, restraint and pain play.
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- Situating the Controlled Body
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