chapter  2
18 Pages

A Taste for Leeches!: DVDs, Audience Confi gurations, and Generic Hybridity

WithGLYN DAVIS

Lakecrest College: four male students dive into a swimming pool. Jeered on by a coach, they race down their segregated lanes. Alongside shots of aquatic action unfolding at a regular tempo, others are marginally slowed down to emphasize athleticism and its specular pleasures, and to match the pace of the grinding nu-metal guitars that accompany the scene. Reaching the far end, the boys (Stevo, Tony, Jason and Fish) climb out of the water, toned and muscular, all wearing goggles and the briefest of swimming trunks. They position themselves next to each other, affording the camera a clear view of their exposed, tanned and hairless bodies. The music fades into the background. The coach offers advice and praise, and leaves. Fish exits the frame. An exchange occurs between Stevo and Tony, without any cuts to close-up:

The guitar surges to the foreground of the aural track again. Jason and Stevo walk back towards the other end of the pool, the shot in slow motion. As they move, they are watched by another youth (with an unreadable gaze-envious? suspicious? lustful?) preparing for his turn to dive. Cut to a different location: a communal shower room. The music turns sour, switching to eerie minor key synthesizer. Tony enters and notices several (seemingly dead) leeches on the tiled fl oor. He kicks these down a drain.