film 108 lecture notes 1

film 108 lecture notes 1 - American Horror Films 5/21 5...

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Unformatted text preview: American Horror Films: 5/21 5 Lenses • Geographical • Historical • Formal • Theoretical • Sociocultural/Political Weekly Overview • Monsters and Mad Scientists • Horror meets sci-fi • Slasher Cinema • Horror meets film noir • Possession and Familial Horror • Contemporary Horror Classic Era (1930s) + Modern (Psychotics, Familial) • What are some origins before 1930s cinema horror? o Literature o German Expressionism o Surrealism Influences Literature • Gothic Romance o Castle of Otraito (Horace Walpole 1764) o Frankenstein (Mary Shelly) • Weaking romance stories in castle-like settings • Supernatural/ghosts/vampires/monsters o Other examples: Poe, Robert Lewis Stanton • Romanticism o Gothic romance as a precursor Resistance to Rationalism • “Other” scenes • Irrational and Imperceptible • Turn to secularism/industrialization o Break down at Church o Modern nation state o People Rule • Capitalism o Means-Ends Thinking- Most efficient Streamline means Ends justify means • Obsession with Reason o Horror interested with irrational o Reaction to “Age of reason” o Interested in the invisible/what we can’t see German Expressionism • End of WWI • Draws upon Expressionistic paintings • Ends during the 30s • Like Gothic Romance, it is a reaction to rationalism/age of reason; WWI= The dangers of reason gone too far • WWI – Conceiving how to kill in the most efficient ways (means-ends thinking) • Expressionists- trying to take “objective” experiences o Objective expression of subjective experiences and emotional states o Wanted to show feelings, emotions, states of being through their art o Ambiguous categories i.e. Edward Mucnh’s The Scream (1893) • Is he screaming because of the setting around him? Why is it so oblique? • Or is the oblique setting due to the characters state of being? Surrealism • Dali’s Film o Not interested in continuity, in classical mode o Loves discontinuity o Meaning multiples- breaks the rules, thinks about things we never think about o Interested in other links (razor across the nail, razor across the moon) o Graphic match- across two shots, put two things that are similar to each other (nail and moon)- we get the sense of what is going to happen o Linking shots together through a different sort of logic o Surrealism is interested in alternative logics o The filmmaker is drawing attention to our spectatorship- we have a choice Reflexivity : reflects on its own production and spectatorship We are aware what is going to happen, and what we are going to see- and we have a choice The director is laughing at us, drawing attention for our desire for violence and sexuality Says we like to see that Sadism and Masochism- we want to see aggression/hurt/pain, etc....
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film 108 lecture notes 1 - American Horror Films 5/21 5...

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