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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Ultraviolence is a term used in the novel A Clockwork Orange, referring to acts of extreme violence — random and unjustified (e.g. attacking a defenseless old man for sport).

In the novel by Anthony Burgess, the protagonist, Alex, robs, rapes, and ultimately murders without conscience. Ultraviolence is similar to the phenomenon of thrill killing, although, unlike thrill killing, taking life is not required — and if it happens, it is incidental to the brutality. Ultraviolence is treated as extreme sport, i.e. violence for the sake of violence.

This sense of aesthetic violence has led to the term's usage in media criticism, i.e. the representation of violence as enjoyable spectacle. The term "ultraviolence" has been applied to film and television series such as Elfen Lied, Kill Bill, GANTZ, A Kite, the Death Wish series, Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects and Sin City. An underground culture has seen the release of popular Japanese films and TV series such as Audition, in which ultraviolence is a subgenre.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ultraviolence" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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