By A. McCosker
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Extra resources for Intensive Media: Aversive Affect and Visual Culture
What we see is an early comprehensive desire to generate mediated, image-based, immediate access to the combat zone and the ‘realities’ of war, a burgeoning cinema and literature offering increasingly intense point-of-view percepts and affects of combat, and over the past decade, a fervent desire and ability to produce media from the front line often with a focus on the ‘horrors’ of war in addition to the mundane, ordinary affects of life in the combat zone. Before tracing the development of vectorial technologies of visual access to the experiences of combat and the horrors of war, it is worth considering further recent conceptual approaches to the virtual, perceptual and affective technologies through which war is waged.
What disappears in this war’s heightened mediation for Taylor is the ‘body horror’ – the images of maimed and dead bodies themselves (Taylor, 1998, pp. 180–83). As with the intricate relations forged during World War II, the movement between the appearance and disappearance of the body and suffering in war take place during the 1990s not only through sanctioned news media and Hollywood, but across the totalising system of war. There is a particular significance, then, in the slower, more intensely considered sensory explorations of the experience of combat produced in 1990s films such as Saving Private Ryan, television series like Band of Brothers and other entertainment media that bring attention back to the body now erased from the sanctioned coverage of conflict.
45). By tying the aesthetics of Saving Private Ryan to Capa’s famous photographs of the D-Day landing, Spielberg seeks to create a perceptual link that allows past experiences to attain the feel of a present out of time, a past that is nonetheless urgent. The technical and logistic elements that went into producing the visible brutality of the 25-minute opening battle scene of Saving Private Ryan, which recreates the D-Day landing at Omaha beach, including the actual traumatic effects on those creating it, became a part of the marketing strategy as well as critical discussion surrounding the film.