Funny Games: Spielräume des Sadomasochismus in Film und Medien

Author(s): Pühler, Simon


"FUNNY GAMES. Spielräume des Sadomasochismus in Film und Medien" aims to reconstruct a history of pleasure and gratification through pain in the media since the end of the eighteenth century. In addition to classical sado-masochistic literature, the thesis focuses on movies in which modern forms of experiencing and desiring pain such as VIDEODROME (1983), I AM GUILTY (2005), THE HURT LOCKER (2008) and SHORTBUS (2006) manifest themselves. Central to the study are concepts of techno-imaginary wish machines and infernal devices, dynamised ego-apparatuses, that are experienced and expressed through the media of their time by writers, philosophers, psychoanalysts and film directors such as Donatien-Alphonse-François de Sade, Leopold and Wanda von Sacher-Masoch, Ernst Kapp, Sigmund Freud, Daniel Paul Schreber, Jacques Lacan, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, David Cronenberg, Michael Haneke and Kathryn Bigelow. The present study, an attempt to secure the medial evidence and try it out at the same time, is meant most of all as an invitation to participate: to experience positive desire and lust while obsessively progressing through virtual worlds of dreams and nightmares and the real world of the human body, to open oneself to new experiences in order to gain both new knowledge and new desires. Anti-Oedipus as a textual videogame. The analytical tools employed in this study include findings from (structural) psychoanalysis, media sciences, (movie) philosophy, gender theory, the theory of violence, fetish theory and game theory as applied in cultural studies. They have proven to be very helpful in illuminating at least some aspects of the mystery that is the sado-masochist desire for pain.
Preferred Citation
Pühler, Simon: Funny Games: Spielräume des Sadomasochismus in Film und Medien. Berlin: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin 2013. DOI:
 author = {Pühler, Simon},
 title = {Funny Games: Spielräume des Sadomasochismus in Film und Medien},
 year = 2013,
 doi = "\url{}",
 address = {Berlin},
 publisher = {Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin},
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