Horror Lecture2-1

Horror Lecture2-1 - History of the Horror Film-Developed in...

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Unformatted text preview: History of the Horror Film -Developed in France, England and Germany -16th Century Intellectual Movement which advocated reason as the primary basis of authority -Government leaders believed they could lead their states to progress after a long period of tradition, irrationality, superstition, and tyranny which they imputed to the Middle Ages -Existence and Experience could be understood through reason -Ended around the turn of the 19th Century The Enlightenment "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters" Francisco de Goya (1799) Romanticism -Inspired by the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution -A response to the Enlightment -Focus on the arts (literature, painting, etc.) -A re-evaluation of the importance of irrationality and emotion in the definition of human experience -Intuition, imagination and feeling -Emphasis on the dark side of emotion and experience Gothic Literature -Inspired by Gothic (Medieval) architecture -Abandoned, ruined castles -Themes: terror, the supernatural, ghosts, darkness, decay, death, doubles, madness, secrets, hereditary curses -Archetypal characters: tyrants, villains, bandits, maniacs, Byronic heroes, persecuted maidens, femmes fatales, madwomen, magicians, vampires, werewolves, monsters, demons, revenants, ghosts, perambulating skeletons, the Wandering Jew and the Devil himself. The Gothic Novel "The Castle of Otranto" Horace Walpole (1764) "The Mysteries of Udolpho" Ann Radcliffe (1794) "The Monk" Matthew Gregory Lewis (1796) The Gothic Novel Other Notable Authors Charles Maturin Nathaniel Hawthorne Emily Bronte Edgar Allan Poe Bram Stoker Gaston Leroux Henry James Oscar Wilde Robert Louis Stevenson Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Born: August 30, 1797 in London -Mother was a famous feminist writer and educator. She died 10 days after Mary's birth. -Father was an anarchic philosopher, novelist and journalist. -Wrote Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus at age 19 Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus -Initially published on Jan. 1, 1818 as Anonymous -1831 edition, the one most recognized, had Shelley's name attached -Influenced by concerns surrounding the Industrial Revolution (Man as God, Man vs. Technology) Film Genre -A "type" or "kind" -Literary Theory brought over to film -What makes up a genre? -Iconography/Motifs -Themes -Formal Elements -Narratives Horror Genre -Iconography/Motifs: -Location: Dark House, Castle, Graveyard, Laboratory, Crypt -Atmosphere: Night, Full Moon, Mist, Fog -Defense: Cross, Garlic, Holy Water, Sunlight, Fire, Silver Bullets Horror Genre -Themes: -The Unknown--knowledge of which is obtained with payment of fear -Science vs. Man--Man overstepping its bounds, punished for its curiosity -The Other--"otherness" can be foreigners, independent women, outcasts, religious or ideological dissenters, homosexuals -Existentialism--humans create meaning for their own lives, ruminations on life, death and the afterlife -Formal Elements -Lighting--high contrast "chiaroscuro," moonlight, candlelight, expressionistic -Production Design--Gothic architecture, abandoned castles, fireplaces, staircases -Camera Work--moving camera, dramatic close-ups -Editing--mostly continuity, some affective cuts--with exception of the creation scenes, monster introductions, horror set pieces which rely heavily upon editing to create suspense, horror, etc. -Make-up--highly-stylized design for monster/villain, success of emotional effect sometimes hinges on monster's image -Special Effects--dissolves, superimpositions, animation Horror Genre Horror Genre -Narratives--Complex Discovery Plot -Onset, Discovery, Confirmation, Confrontation -Onset: The Monster's first appearance -Discovery: Main characters discover Monster -Confirmation: Secondary/Authority characters, who previously doubted, now believe -Confrontation: The Monster is confronted Horror Genre -Narratives--Overreacher Plot -Centered on the Mad Scientist or Necromancer -Forbidden knowledge obtained through an experiment or an incantation of evil forces -Complex Discovery Plot reminds us that there is more beyond heaven and earth--Overreacher Plot convinces us that said knowledge is best left uknown -Formula: Preparation of Experiement, the Experiment, Evidence of Failed Experiment, Confrontation Horror Genre -Narratives--Overreacher Plot -Preparation: includes explanation and/or justification for experiment and establishes context--setting, close relations to Scientist, what's at stake -Experiment: visual centerpiece of film -Evidence of Failure: experiment goes wrong, harm comes to Scientist's close relations -Confrontation: realizing their mistakes, Scientists confronts and destroys creation The Monster -Basic Definition: Any creature that is threatening and impure -Function: An aberration that infiltrates normality and poses a threat. The defeat of the Monster reestablishes order and fortifies traditional values -Most are either "fusion" or "fission" Monsters -Fusion-two or more elements in combination within a distinct temporal-spatial body (Frankenstein's Monster, The Fly) -Fission-two or more identities separate from each other that occupy a body in different times (Wolf Man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, etc.) The Great Depression -An average of 60-80 million people went to the movies every week -Ticket prices were affordable -The horror film as escapist entertainment -Appeal of horror/fantasy--the further away from real life the better The Studio System -The Big Five 1. Paramount 2. MGM (Loews) 3. Fox 4. Warner Bros. 5. RKO -The Little Three 1. Universal 2. Columbia 3. United Artists Universal Studios -Founded June 8, 1912 by Carl Laemmle -1915-Opened Universal City Studios in Hollywood -Was the biggest studio in Hollywood until 1925 when Irving Thalberg left to join MGM -Remained a second-tier studio for years Born: April 8, 1908 in Chicago -1928-Given control of Universal by Laemmle Sr. for his 21st birthday -Responsible for updating the studio (sound film production, acquisition of theatres for exhibition) -Reputation for overspending on productions, which lead to financial trouble ending in 1936 when both Laemmle Sr. and Jr. were bought out of the company Carl Laemmle Jr. Universal Horror Silent Era -1923 The Hunchback of Notre Dame -1925 The Phantom of the Opera -1927 The Cat and the Canary Golden Era -1931 Dracula -1931 Frankenstein -1932 The Mummy -1932 Murders in the Rue Morgue -1932 The Old Dark House -1933 The Invisible Man -1935 Bride of Frankenstein Lon Chaney Born: April 1, 1883 in Colorado Springs, Colorado -Real name: Leonidas Frank Chaney -Born to deaf parents and learned to communicate through pantomime, a skill that would serve him well in the pictures -Often regarded as the first star of the horror film -Designed his own make-up LonofChaney The Man a Thousand Faces The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) The Phantom of the Opera (1925) London After Midnight(1927) Born: July 12, 1880 in Louisville, Kentucky -At 16, he ran away and joined the circus and worked as a "talker" ("barker"), a performer and a clown -Also later performed in vaudeville as a magician, actor and dancer -While working in New York directing at a variety theatre, Browning met D.W. Griffith and began acting in Griffith's films (an extra in Intolerance) Tod Browning Tod Browning -Worked with Lon Chaney in a number of silent films, including the now lost film London After Midnight (1927) -Universal hired him to direct Dracula (1931) -Browning's other crowning achievement, Freaks (1932) upset audiences and the studio to such an extent, his career was practically ruined -Freaks blurred the lines between Monster and human Dracula (1931) -Screenplay by Hamilton Deane and John Balderston; based on their acclaimed stage version of Stoker's novel -Browning wanted Lon Chaney to play the count but Chaney had been ill for a couple years and died before filming could begin -Relative unknown Bela Lugosi was given the part Born: October 20, 1882 in Lugos, Hungary -Began as a stage actor in Hungary doing Shakespeare -Worked in Germany for a couple years before emigrating to the U.S. in 1921 -Played Dracula in the Deane/Balderston stage production -After success of Dracula, Lugosi was offered the part of Frankenstein's Monster but turned it down--he didn't want to play a silent, unrecognizable character Bela Lugosi Karl Freund (Czech Republic) Born: January 16, 1890 in Koniginhof, Bohemia -Assistant film projectionist at age 15 -Cinematographer on over 100 films -A major player in German Expressionism -Worked with Murnau, Lang and Wegener -For Universal, Dracula, Murders in the Rue Morgue, and directed Karloff in The Mummy -Also, the first to develop the 3 camera system for "I Love Lucy," shooting on 35mm James Whale Born: July 22, 1889 in Dudley, England -Fought for the Army in WWI -Taken as POW in 1917-- spent his time staging theatrical productions -After the war, started a successful career in the West End as a director James Whale -Whale traveled with the production of Journey's End from London to Broadway and directed the motion picture version soon after (1930) -Directed another drama Waterloo Bridge (1931) -The success of these two films led to his duties on Frankenstein -Directed 20 features in 11 years Boris Karloff Born: Nov. 23, 1887 in Camberwell, London, England -Real Name: William Henry Pratt -First emigrated to Canada, starring on stage -Role as Frankenstein's Monster made him a star, the defining role also kept him somewhat typecast -He would play Frankenstein's Monster 3 times in his career as well as a number of appearances on TV Frankenstein (1931) -Given a greenlight after major success of Dracula -Similar stylistic influences found in both this film and Dracula -Karloff follows in the footsteps of Chaney with sympathetic portrayal of the Monster -Make-up artist Jack Pierce works in combination is Karloff's characterization RKO -Radio Corporation of America (RCA) led by David Sarnoff wanted to expand from radio into Hollywood with the arrival of sound film -RCA Photophone-one of the four major competing sound film technologies -1928-Acquired the production/distribution company Film Bookings of America (FBO) owned by Joseph P. Kennedy -1928-Acquired the Keith-Albee-Orpheum theatre chain becoming vertically integrated RKO Horror Cat People (1942) I Walked with a Zombie (1943) The Leopard Man (1943) The Seventh Victim (1943) The Ghost Ship (1943) The Curse of the Cat People (1944) The Body Snatcher (1945) Isle of the Dead (1945) Bedlam (1946) Val Lewton Born: May 7, 1904 in Yalta, Ukraine Real Name: Vladimir Ivan Leventon -Originally worked for MGM, was an uncredited writer on Gone with the Wind (1939) -Producer for RKO, head of Horror Unit -Due to financial constraints, took the genre in a more suggestive, expressive direction -Each film had to come in under $150k and 75 minutes in length -Always contributed to the final draft of the screenplays uncredited Cat People (1942) -Directed by Jacques Tourneur -An example of "horror by suggestion" -Low budget requires creativity -"Otherness" defined by female sexuality and foreign culture -Made for $134k, ended up grossing $4 million The End ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course BUS 215 taught by Professor Mcquiddy during the Spring '08 term at Chapman University .

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