Mourning Films: A Critical Study of Loss and Grieving in Cinema

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In the former, films like Train to Busan have found massive success by addressing the weight of death in the setting of a high-octane zombie blockbuster, allowing the emotional twists and turns of the film to hit with paralyzing force. Likewise, the burgeoning Irish horror scene has drawn critical attention to films that find their monsters from the fall-out of loss, from Citadel to The Canal to Nina Forever all challenging the way horror can personify grief.

Meanwhile, the independent horrors in the U. Of course, the recent emphasis on grief and loss within horror could be traced back to the recent rise of horror on television, with shows like The Walking Dead , Bates Motel , and Penny Dreadful further exploring how one faces mortality. In the case of the former, The Walking Dead has almost turned the depiction of on-screen bereavement into an art form, with entire episodes dedicated to characters processing the emotional toll of losing the ones they love.

Meanwhile, the latter examples have better explored the concept of rejecting loss, twisting archetypal horror stories to find new dimensions and depictions of grief.

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But perhaps the movement towards more emotionally potent horror has less to do with the genres roots and the content itself as it does the changing environment of its audiences. With myriad streaming platforms, VOD services, podcasts, and film festivals, audiences have become inundated with options to which they could fill their time, which has put greater emphasis on the value of word-of-mouth suggestions. Though one might hope people would gravitate towards new, original stories, the chances are that series like Black Mirror and films like The Final Girls have struck a chord with audiences thanks to their more vulnerable and emotionally engrossing nature.


By being more than a jump-scare laden horror film or a slow-burn thriller that can be left on in the background, stories that make you give a shit about who lives and who dies have raised the bar in terms of audience expectations, and help establish cult classic status to films that may not necessarily pass as a mainstream success.

Make no mistake: for those who prefer their horror without dour reminders of their own mortality, the genre will always remain a haven for fun and frightening cinema.

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When it opened in Paris in July, the audience booed and hissed, even attempted to set fire to the cinema, and members of a right-wing faction threw ink on the screen. People who commit suicide do not care to do it in front of witnesses. In its wake, further cuts were made as the director attempted to get rid of incidents that seemed particularly to rile the spectators, only to find that hostility erupted elsewhere in what remained. The picture shrank from the minutes of its preview version to end up as a range of truncated prints of less than The work of suppression was extended and apparently completed in by an Allied air raid that demolished the laboratories housing the negative.

Its glorious postwar career began around when diligent cinephiles restored the outtakes. It would subsequently appear on poll after annual poll as the greatest film ever made.

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Facing stagnation and growing unrest following the onset of the Great Depression of , successive French governments through the s struggled to address the economic and social consequences of the slump while painfully aware of political fractures at home and the growing threat of fascist hegemony abroad. A General Strike and factory occupations swept France. The Popular Front also saw women in cabinet for the first time in French history.

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Strikes proliferated. In June the Matignon Accords saw an attempt at collective bargaining over wage levels which would further polarize Left and Right.

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Capital fled abroad, further weakening the economy and employers reneged on the Matignon arrangement. Further social tension ensued, and there was devaluation of the franc. Radicals gained control of the government, giving Prime Minister Edouard Daladier emergency powers to deal with strikes and to favor factory owners over workers. Meanwhile, growing activity amongst anarchists and fascists on the political fringes bore echoes of events elsewhere in Europe.