Questions of censorship and textual authenticity: A Serbian Film
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Cronin, T. (2014) Questions of censorship and textual authenticity: A Serbian Film. In: The fourth annual London film and media conference. Visions of identity: Global film & media, University of London, 26-28 June 2014.
This Paper analyses horror fans' online discussions of A Serbian Film (Spasojevic, Serbia, 2010), perhaps the most heavily censored film in the UK in the last decade and a half for its portrayal of an ageing porn star unwittingly drawn into the world of the snuff movie. While many industry reports on downloading or file-sharing discuss the practices of participants in terms of piracy, within the context of the horror fan community the meaning and function of downloading differs significantly from this economically motivated interpretation. Indeed, within the context of worldwide regulatory practices that have sought to both cut and ban A Serbian Film, these activities may be the only means to gain access to the 'definitive' or 'complete' version of the film. The search for copies of the uncut film online might therefore partly be seen as a search for the 'authentic text' on the one hand, but on the other hand, it can also be suggested that this shadow economy of film is a way for genre fans to perform their subcultural identity. That is, access to and knowledge of 'uncut' and 'screener copies' of such films might be seen as a key way of demonstrating one's social and subcultural capital.