Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

Cult Movie Rant 2: the Superflous and Badly Spelt Sequel

The debate continues. The current approach in the fight to prove Star Wars is not a cult film is a Venn diagram. For the uninformed, forgetful or just plain dim, a Venn diagram contains three overlapping circles, each with a bit of criteria. So films in the middle will agree with all three. You'll get the hang of it, my description is lame.

Here are the three circles:

Twelve Monkeys factor - odd, dark, mind bending, confusing, disturbing or plain bad taste. If it feels like a cult film. Also known as the films my mum didn't like.

Blade Runner factor - died at the box office, resurrected through video or midnight showings. Also applies to taccyness, floppyness, so bad-it's-good-ness, cheapness, ever-so-slightly-rubbishness,badly over budget-ness, smallness or indieness. Also known as no-blockbusters.

Star Trek factor - If it's quotable, causes dressing up or drinking games, inspires devotion and leads people to claim "Jedi" as a religion on public census records.

Yup, you spotted it. Star Wars does fit into one of the catagories. Whatever. The point of the venn diagram is this - everyone's definition of cult is different (it's just mine happens to be right...) but on the diagram all factors are equalled out, and thus the more culty the film, the more circles it'll be in. Savvy? For example, Once Upon a Time in the West died at the cinema and was resurrected on video, but nobody's claiming that as cult (see below)

So the question you are doubtless all asking - What DOES fit into the circles. Well, let's have a look....

Little red spots indicate films I haven't actually seen, so may be wrong about. RHPS stands for the Rocky Horror Picture Show, BR is Blade Runner, R+G is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, DD's Donnie Darko and W+I is Withnail & I. It's all objective anyway. Or subjective. One or the other - I know what I mean. If I gave this challenge to somebody else, they could get completely different results.

(You'll notice SoaP is not a cult movie. Because it's not. Hype does not equal cult, it's a virtual nemesis. Web hype created the Arctic Monkeys, and they're hardly an underground phenomenon. Yeh, it's called SoaP and guess what it's about! Ha ha! How clever! How funny! They're making a self-consciously awful movie! How post-ironic! It's not even very good at being bad, it's not half awful enough - just tediously subpar. See my review, which is a tad less harsh.)

While on that note, let me introduce you to my new best friend - The A-Z of Cult films and filmmakers, a far better book than the rough guide to cult films I reviewed last month, for several reasons. Lets start with the fact it only contained cult movies. No Godfather. No Pirates of the Carribbean. No Zulu. No Star Wars. Take that!!!!!!! Although there are one or one I disagree with - Once Upon a Time in the West...a nice touch though is it justifies its controversial decisions, such as The Matrix and Alien, which are defended pretty well.

The book is larger, but with far less entries so the films get a lot more space. Each has an entire page with a box of basic details and an extra colomn for MEMORABLE DIALOGE!!!!!!!!! Yes, an area celebrating cult quotability. OK, many of the quotes will mean very little unless you've seen the film ( I've seen Brazil several times recently, and I don't recognise all of them...), but it shows willing. Plus it adds yet more varaity to the ever-growing list of things I know about films I haven't seen.

The rest of the page is text- part synopsis, part discussion, and it's interesting even to those who haven't seen the film and mostly blissfully spoiler free! OK, not entirely. Quadrophenia, Brazil, the RHPS and a few more I've forgotten - but crucially it didn't give anything away about anything I wanted to see.

It also contains minibiographies of culty directors. I knew this to be accurate because I'd only heard of five of them. But the bit on Terry Gilliam was interesting, if erronious (the Good Omens project vanished). There's the occasional photo too, mostly black and white copies of the film poster.

And plus, another five-or-so films have piled onto my must-see list. So all in all, a good read - a book filled with films I'd never heard of, surely the final indicator that these films are truly culty.

This week has been the dolly zoom week. For those of you uninformed, thats a fun camera effect caused by walking backwards while zooming in or vice versa. It's famously used in Vertigo, and you'll also spot it in the "get off the road" scene in Fellowship of the Ring. I always keep a look out for them, cos they're cool - this week, an all time record of four. Two in Twelve Monkeys, one on Robert Redford's head in Spy Game and one during a cut scene for the Lara Croft computer game...

Finally, we need to congratulate the bright spark showing The Descent on a large screen underground. It could start a spate of location-inspired cinema. Titanic on a boat. Jaws on a beach (they actually did this last year; I didn't go). The Blair Witch Project in a dark forest. Airplane! on an, er, airplane...ok, a practical question now which possibly skirts tastelessness - do you think they'll show United 93, cos you know Hollywood never misses a trick...


Copyright 2009 Cinecism. All rights reserved.
Free WordPress Themes Presented by EZwpthemes.
Bloggerized by Miss Dothy