British Universities Film & Video Council

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CFP: Cine Excess VII – European Erotic Cinema: Identity, Desire and Disgust

Cine Excess VII
European Erotic Cinema: Identity, Desire and Disgust
Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham
15-17 November 2013

Over the last six years, the Cine-Excess International Film Conference and Festival has brought together leading scholars and critics with global cult filmmakers. Cine-Excess comprises of a three-day conference alongside plenary talks, filmmaker interviews and 5-7 UK theatrical premieres of up and coming cult releases. The event also features its own dedicated DVD label, with recent releases including the official UK Blu-ray release of Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977). More recently, Cine-Excess staff assisted with the new director’s cut of Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust (1979), in conjunction with UK distributor Shameless Films.

Previous guests of honour to the annual Cine-Excess event have included John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, The Blues Brothers, Trading Places), Roger Corman (The Masque of the Red Death, The Little Shop of Horrors, The Intruder, The Wild Angels, Bloody Mama), Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator, King of the Ants, Stuck), Brian Yuzna (Society, Beyond Re-Animator, The Dentist), Dario Argento (Deep Red, Suspiria, Inferno) Joe Dante (The Howling, Gremlins, The Hole), Franco Nero (Django, Keoma, Die Hard II), Vanessa Redgrave (Blow Up, The Devils, Julia), Ruggero Deodato (Last Cannibal World, Cannibal Holocaust, House on the Edge of the Park) Enzo G. Castellari (Keoma, The Inglorious Bast***s) and Sergio Martino (Torso, All the Colours of the Dark).

With the recent relocation of Cine-Excess to the University of Brighton, a number of new developments connected to the event have been announced. These include the 2013 launch of the peer-reviewed Cine-Excess E-Journal, which will publish a selection of papers from the event on a twice yearly basis, while a new Cine-Excess feature film arm is also in development in conjunction with a range of international partners.

For this year’s event Cine-Excess is proud to be working with the University of Birmingham’s newly formed B-Film: The Birmingham Centre for Film Studies as part of the Cine-Excess VII event. Cine-Excess VII considers Europe’s long and controversial relationship with the erotic image, considering the extent to which cult European traditions of desire reveal fascinating issues of nation and regional distinction.

From mainstream cinema’s first nude scene in Ekstase (1933) and the extreme arthouse imagery of Romance (1999) via the exploitation films of Joe D’Amato and Jess Franco, Europe has always been at the cutting edge of cinematic depictions of the erotic, pushing the boundaries of what it is legitimate to represent on screen. Employing varied genres and filmmaking modes – from the pseudo-educational sex films of Scandinavia and Germany to the surrealist exploits of Walerian Borowczyk or the arty bourgeois respectability of Emmanuelle (1974) – European cinema has shifted the paradigms through which the (eroticised) body can be represented and consumed, blurring and problematizing the boundaries between ‘art’ and ‘exploitation’. Often these celluloid sexual experimentations also traverse accepted boundaries of desire and disgust, with unsettling and controversial results. In so doing, these films prompt a profound re-mapping of the body, as well as of the concepts of art, commerce and even the very notion of ‘European’.

This conference will explore the history of European erotic cinema from a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives, while also considering a range of national traditions of carnality across a wide range of visual media that include film, television, literature, comics and digital media.
Several well-known filmmakers of European erotic cinema will also be in attendance to discuss their work and interact with academic speakers. Proposals are now invited for papers on any aspect of European cinema. However, we would particularly welcome contributions focusing on:

  • The National and the Naughty: eroticism and European identity;
  • Carnal and Cruel: Euro erotica and the horrific
  • New Territories, Old Taboos: Extreme desires in the new Europe;
  • Erotic Auteurs: Case-studies of the carnal cineaste;
  • Sin, Surgery and Sutures: The medicalization of European erotica;
  • Trans-generic desires: eroticism as celluloid hybrid;
  • Art or Arousal:  Problematic distinctions between pornography and the European erotic;
  • Deviant Distinctions: The erotic in ‘art’ and ‘exploitation’ cinema;
  • Carnal Cravings: Questions of consumption and reception;
  • Against God and State: Censorship and the erotic image;
  • From Desire to Disgust: Conflicted carnalities, confused cycles;
  • The Politics of the Erotic: Historical case-studies of arousal;
  • Basic Instincts: the cinema of Paul Verhoeven, Catherine Breillat and Just Jaeckin;
  • 50 States of Grey: European traditions of titillation abroad;
  • The Devil Within Her: Erotic Desires and the female body;
  • From Page to Porn: Adaptations of the literary erotic;
  • Institutions of Excess: Case-studies of European distribution;
  • Queer Europe: From the experimental frame to the exploitation image;
  • Small Screen Thrills: TV and erotic traditions;
  • Iconic Excess: Case-studies of erotic performance;
  • Brown Skins, White Marks: The transnational/transitional erotic body in film;
  • Sex and the Unsafe Space: Domestic fears and the erotics of home invasion

We welcome individual paper submissions, panels and roundtable proposals related to a range of European regions and traditions. Please send a 300-word abstract and a short (one page) C.V. by the 3rd September 2013 to:

Alex Marlow-Mann ( or Xavier Mendik (

A final listing of accepted presentations will be released on 17th September 2013.  A selection of conference papers from the event are scheduled to be published in the Cine-Excess E-Journal and as a separate anthology.

For further information and regular updates on the event (including information on guests, keynotes and screenings) please visit

Dr. Alex Marlow-Mann
Lecturer in European Film/ Acting Director of B-Film: Birmingham Centre for Film Studies
School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music
Ashley Building
The University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Tel: ++44 (0)121-4148597

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