"Play it again, Sam" is the motto of cult film enthusiasts, who will watch their favorite movie over and over, "beyond all reason." What is the appeal of cult movies? Why do fans turn up in droves at midnight movies or sit through the same three-hanky classics from Hollywood's golden era? These are some of the questions J. P. Telotte and twelve other noted film scholars consider in this groundbreaking study of the cult film. The book identifies two basic types of cult films—older Hollywood movies, such as Casablanca, that have developed a cult following and "midnight movies," most notably The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Telotte, Bruce Kawin, and Timothy Corrigan offer thought-provoking discussions about why these two types of movies become cult films, the sort of audience they attract, and the needs they fulfill for that audience. Subsequent essays employ a variety of cultural, feminist, ideological, and poststructural strategies for exploring these films. In a section on the classical cult film, the movie Casablanca receives extensive treatment. An essay by T. J. Ross considers Beat the Devil as a send-up of cult films, while another essay by Wade Jennings analyzes the cult star phenomenon as personified in Judy Garland. "Midnight movie madness" is explored in essays on The Rocky Horror Picture Show, movie satires of the 1950s, science fiction double features, and horror thrillers. Illustrated with scenes from favorite movies and written for both fans and scholars, The Cult Film Experience will appeal to a wider audience than the "usual suspects."
the film experience
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You see them on the video shelves, with titles such as Shadow Tracker, Psycho Girls, and The Blair Witch Project. Skeptically, perhaps, you rent one and slip it into the VCR. Hey, you think, this isn’t so bad—sometimes actually quite good. Suddenly, you discover that there is a whole range of movies from filmmakers operating outside the studio system that have their own attractions that the big budget fare can’t match. You have, of course, discovered the world of independent filmmaking. A fascinating group of independent film directors and producers, in interviews with the author, discuss their work and the state of the independent film industry at the end of the 20th century. Joe Bagnardi, Dennis Devine, Andrew Harrison, Jeff Leroy, Andrew Parkinson, Brett Piper, and 23 others cover such topics as the increased interest in independent films and how they are changing thanks to high-tech advances. These filmmakers vary widely in age, experience, formats and budgets—and choice of subject matter—but they all have a great passion for their work.
The light and sound of the motion picture, once perceived, are a gateway to a multisensory experience of the spectator. Moving beyond the oft-discussed perceptual elements of vision and hearing, The Multisensory Film Experience analyses temperature, pain, and balance in order to argue that it is the experience of film that’s inherently multisensory, not the medium. Luis Rocha Antunes here explores the work of well-loved film-makers Erik Jensen, Gus Van Sant and Ki-Duk Kim to offer new insights into how viewers experience films and understand their stories. This is an original contribution to an emerging field of research and will become essential reading for film scholars.
Ethics of Cinematic Experience: Screens of Alterity deals with the relationship between cinema and ethics from a philosophical perspective, finding an intrinsic connection between film spectatorship and the possibility of being open to different modes of alterity. The book’s main thesis is that openness to otherness is already found in the basic structures of cinematic experience. Through a close examination of the ethical relevance of the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Stanley Cavell, Emmanuel Levinas and Gilles Deleuze to cinema studies, Ethics of Cinematic Experience: Screens of Alterity pursues the question of how film can open the viewer to what is not her, and so bring her to encounter otherness in a way that is unique to cinematic experience. The book sees ethics as not just the subject, content or story of a film but part of its aesthetic structure. Accompanied by readings of films mainly from mainstream cinema, each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the encounter with alterity through cinema. The book gives particular attention to how theoretical discussion of the cinematic close-up can lead to ethical insights into the status of both the human and the non-human in film, and thus lead to an understanding of the relationships the viewer makes with them. The book is a helpful resource for students and scholars interested in the relationship between philosophy, film and ethics, and is appropriate for students of philosophy and media and cultural studies.
The Film Experience provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the formal elements of film, but unlike all other beginning film texts, it uses viewership as its starting place, anchoring the fundamentals of film analysis in film going experiences students can identify with.
Cinema is a sensuous object, but in our presence it becomes also a sensing, sensual, sense-making subject. Thus argues Vivian Sobchack as she challenges basic assumptions of current film theory that reduce film to an object of vision and the spectator to a victim of a deterministic cinematic apparatus. Maintaining that these premises ignore the material and cultural-historical situations of both the spectator and the film, the author makes the radical proposal that the cinematic experience depends on two "viewers" viewing: the spectator and the film, each existing as both subject and object of vision. Drawing on existential and semiotic phenomenology, and particularly on the work of Merleau-Ponty, Sobchack shows how the film experience provides empirical insight into the reversible, dialectical, and signifying nature of that embodied vision we each live daily as both "mine" and "another's." In this attempt to account for cinematic intelligibility and signification, the author explores the possibility of human choice and expressive freedom within the bounds of history and culture.
The essays in this volume represent some of the best new thinking about the crucial relations between visual representation in film and human subjectivity. No amount of empirical research into the sociology of actual audiences will displace the desire to speculate about the effects of visual culture, and especially moving images, on viewing subjects. These notions of spectatorship, however hypothetical, become extremely compelling metaphors for the workings of vision within the institution of cinema. Viewing Positions examines the tradition of a centered, unitary, distanced, and objectifying spectator's gaze; investigates the period when film spectatorship as an idea began; and analyses gender- and sexuality-based challenges to the homogeneous classical theory of spectatorship. It makes available critical understandings of spectatorship that have, until now, largely eluded cinema studies.
For the first time this volume makes Jean-Pierre Meunier's influential thoughts on the film experience available for an English-speaking readership. Introduced and commented by specialists in film studies and philosophy, Meunier's intricate phenomenological descriptions of the spectator's engagement with fiction films, documentaries and home movies can reach the wide audience they have deserved ever since their publication in French in 1969.