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The Cult Film Reader By Ernest Mathijs

The Cult Film Reader
by Ernest Mathijs

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Cult movies are emerging as a distinct subject of film and media theory. This book brings together various works in the field on the structure, form, status, and reception of cult cinema traditions. It is divided into four areas of study - the conceptions of cult; cult case studies; national and international Cults; and cult consumption.
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The Cult Film Reader Summary

The Cult Film Reader by Ernest Mathijs

"An invaluable collection for anyone researching or teaching cult cinema ... The Cult Film Reader is an authoritative text that should be of value to any student or researcher interested in challenging and transgressive cinema that pushes the boundaries of conventional cinema and film studies."
Science Fiction Film and Television

"A really impressive and comprehensive collection of the key writings in the field. The editors have done a terrific job in drawing together the various traditions and providing a clear sense of this rich and rewarding scholarly terrain. This collection is as wild and diverse as the films that it covers. Fascinating."
Mark Jancovich, Professor of Film and Television Studies, University of East Anglia, UK

"It's about time the lunatic fans and loyal theorists of cult movies were treated to a book they can call their own. The effort and knowledge contained in The Cult Film Reader will satisfy even the most ravenous zombie's desire for detail and insight. This book will gnaw, scratch and infect you just like the cult films themselves."
Brett Sullivan, Director of Ginger Snaps Unleashed and The Chair

"The Cult Film Reader is a great film text book and a fun read."
John Landis, Director of The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London and Michael Jackson's Thriller

"Excellent overview of the subject, and a comprehensive collection of significant scholarship in the field of cult film. Very impressive and long overdue."
Steven Rawle, York St John University, UK

Whether defined by horror, kung-fu, sci-fi, sexploitation, kitsch musical or `weird world cinema', cult movies and their global followings are emerging as a distinct subject of film and media theory, dedicated to dissecting the world's unruliest images.

This book is the world's first reader on cult film. It brings together key works in the field on the structure, form, status, and reception of cult cinema traditions. Including work from key established scholars in the field such as Umberto Eco, Janet Staiger, Jeffrey Sconce, Henry Jenkins, and Barry Keith Grant, as well as new perspectives on the gradually developing canon of cult cinema, the book not only presents an overview of ways in which cult cinema can be approached, it also re-assesses the methods used to study the cult text and its audiences.

With editors' introductions to the volume and to each section, the book is divided into four clear thematic areas of study - The Conceptions of Cult; Cult Case Studies; National and International Cults; and Cult Consumption - to provide an accessible overview of the topic. It also contains an extensive bibliography for further related readings.

Written in a lively and accessible style, The Cult Film Reader dissects some of biggest trends, icons, auteurs and periods of global cult film production. Films discussed include Casablanca, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Eraserhead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Showgirls and Ginger Snaps.

Essays by: Jinsoo An; Jane Arthurs; Bruce Austin; Martin Barker; Walter Benjamin; Harry Benshoff; Pierre Bourdieu; Noel Carroll; Steve Chibnall; Umberto Eco; Nezih Erdogan; Welch Everman; John Fiske; Barry Keith Grant ; Joan Hawkins; Gary Hentzi; Matt Hills; Ramaswami Harindranath; J.Hoberman; Leon Hunt; I.Q. Hunter; Mark Jancovich; Henry Jenkins; Anne Jerslev; Siegfried Kracauer; Gina Marchetti; Tom Mes; Gary Needham; Sheila J. Nayar; Annalee Newitz; Lawrence O'Toole; Harry Allan Potamkin; Jonathan Rosenbaum; Andrew Ross; David Sanjek; Eric Schaefer; Steven Jay Schneider; Jeffrey Sconce; Janet Staiger; J.P. Telotte; Parker Tyler; Jean Vigo; Harmony Wu

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About Ernest Mathijs

Ernest Mathijs heads the Centre for Cinema Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Xavier Mendik is Director of the Cult Film Archive and Convenor of the MA in Cult Film and TV at Brunel University, UK.

Table of Contents

Section One: The Concepts of Cult
1.Harry Allan Potamkin (1932), `Film Cults.'
2. Walter Benjamin (1936). `The work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.'
3. Susan Sontag (1964). `Notes on Camp.'
4. Andrew Ross (1989). `The Uses of Camp.'
5. Umberto Eco (1986). `Cult Movies and Intertextual Collage.'
6. Barry Keith Grant (1991). `Science Fiction Double Feature; Ideology in the Cult Film.'
7. Anne Jerslev (1992). `Semiotics by Instinct: `Cult Film' as a Signifying Practice between Film and Audience.
8. Jeffrey Sconce (1995). `Trashing the Academy: Taste, Excess and an Emerging Politics of Cinematic Style.'
9. Joan Hawkins (2000). `Sleaze Mania, Euro-Trash and High Art: the Place of European Art Films in American Low Culture.'
10. Matt Hills (2002). `Media Fandom, Neo-Religiosity and Cult(ural) Studies.'
11. Mark Jancovich (2002). `Cult Fictions: Cult Movies, Subcultural Capital and the Production of Cultural Distinctions.'

Section Two: Cult Case Studies
12. Jean Vigo (1932). `Un chien andalou.'
13. Joan Hawkins (2000), `The Anxiety of Influence: Georges Franju and the Medical Horror Shows of Jess Franco.'
14. Eric Schaefer (1997). `The Obscene Seen: Spectacle and Transgression in Postwar Burlesque Film.
15. Parker Tyler (1963). `Orson Welles and the Big Experimental Film Cult.'
16. Gary Hentzi (1993). `Little Cinema of Horrors.'
17. Welch Everman (1993). `What is a Cult Horror Film?'
18. Harry Benshoff (2000). `Blaxploitation Horror Films: Generic Reappropriation or Reinscription.'
19. Chibnall, Steve (2003). `Get Carter in Context.'
20. Noel Carroll (1998). `The Future of Allusion: Hollywood in the Seventies (and beyond).'
21. Janet Staiger (2000). `Hitchcock in Texas: Intertextuality in the Face of Blood and Gore.'
22. Steven Jay Schneider (2004). `The Essential Evil in/of Eraserhead.'
23. Lawrence O'Toole (1979). `The Cult of Horror.'
24. J.P. Telotte (2001). `The Blair Witch Project Project: Film and the Internet.'

Section Three: National and International Cults

25. J. Hoberman and Jonathan Rosenbaum (1983) `El Topo: Through the Wasteland of Counterculture.'
26. Gary Needham (2003), `Playing with Genre: Defining the Italian giallo'
27. Leon Hunt (2000). `Han's Island Revisited: Enter the Dragon as a Transnational Cult Film.'
28. Annalee Newitz (1995). `Magical Girls and Atomic Bomb Sperm; Japanese Animation in America.'
29. Jinsoo An (2001). `The Killer: Cult Film and Transcultural (Mis)Reading.'
30. Harmony Wu (2003). `Trading in Horror, Cult, and Matricide: Peter Jackson's Phenomenal Bad Taste and New Zealand Fantasies of Inter/National Cinematic Success.'
31. Sheila J. Nayar (2004). `Invisible Representation; the Oral Contours of a National Popular Cinema.'
32. Nezih Erdogan (2002), `Mute Bodies, Disembodied Voices: Notes on Sound in Turkish Popular Cinema.'
33. Tom Mes (2003). `Ichi the Killer.'

Section Four: Cult Consumption
34. Siegfried Kracauer (1926), `The Cult of Distraction.'
35. Pierre Bourdieu (1979), `Distinction.'
36. Bruce Austin (1981). `Portrait of a Cult Film Audience: the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
37. Gina Marchetti (1986). "Subcultural Studies and the Film Audience: Rethinking the Film Viewing Context."
38. David Sanjek (1990), "Fans' notes: the Horror Film Fanzine."
39. Henry Jenkins (1992). `Get a Life: Fans, Poachers, Nomads.'
40. John Fiske (1992). `The Cultural economy of Fandom.'
41. Martin Barker, Jane Arthurs and Ramaswami Harindranath (2001), `The Crash Controversy: Reviewing the Press.'
42. I.Q. Hunter (2000) `Beaver Las Vegas; a Fan Boy's Defence of Showgirls.'
43. Martin Barker, Ernest Mathijs & Xavier Mendik (2006), `Menstrual Monsters: the Reception of the Ginger Snaps Cult Horror Franchise.'

Bibliography of Cult Film Resources


Additional information

The Cult Film Reader by Ernest Mathijs
Ernest Mathijs
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Open University Press
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