From Down Terrace to High-Rise: The ‘Unreal Estate’ Cinema of Ben Wheatley

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    In this chapter, I should like to pick up and to expand upon Lowenstein’s analysis by suggesting that Wheatley’s films constitute a sub- versive ‘unreal estate’ cinema. That is, through the hallucinatory qualities of his work, Wheatley challenges the ‘reality’ of ‘real estate’, thereby undermining the way in which the term is used to legitimise certain ways of organising and owning space in the contemporary world. Furthermore, I shall argue that the violence that commonly erupts in Wheatley’s films functions as an expression of the violence inherent in the organisation of space that he identifies—including the organisation of space that is the nation. While Wheatley might be accused of glorifying violence, and thus implicitly of endorsing an organisation of space and real estate that is divi- sive and thus also violent, the disturbing nature of his films instead high- lights and thus opens space for critique of the violent organisation of (space in) the UK.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNationalism in Contemporary Western European Cinema
    EditorsJames Harvey
    Place of PublicationBasingstoke
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Print)978-3319736662
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • real estate
    • ben Wheatley
    • occult
    • folk cinema

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