cult classic movies meaning

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Cult films themselves subvert traditional views of time – time travel, non-linear narratives, and ambiguous establishments of time are all popular. Popular among fans of European horror for their subversiveness and obscurity, these later Spanish films allowed political dissidents to criticize the fascist regime within the cloak of exploitation and horror. Other media that reference cult films can easily identify which demographics they desire to attract and offer savvy fans an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge. Cult films previously banned are sometimes released with much fanfare and the fans assumed to be already familiar with the controversy. "[149] The sponsored film Mr. B Natural became a cult hit when it was broadcast on the satirical television show Mystery Science Theater 3000;[150] cast member Trace Beaulieu cited these educational shorts as his favorite to mock on the show. The Night of the Hunter (1955) was a cult film for years, quoted often and championed by fans, before it was reassessed as an important and influential classic. [136] Romantic fairy tale The Princess Bride (1987) failed to attract audiences in its original release, as the studio did not know how to market it. They may also watch films idiosyncratically: sped up, slowed down, frequently paused, or at odd hours. Thus, even comparatively mainstream films can satisfy the traditional demands of a cult film, perceived by fans as transgressive, niche, and uncommercial. [107] Sometimes, fans will impose their own interpretation of films which have attracted derision, such as reinterpreting an earnest melodrama as a comedy. The Place Beyond The Pines Taking stances on these varied issues, critics assure their own relevance while helping to elevate the film to cult status. Fans will often watch films obsessively, an activity that is viewed by the mainstream as wasting time yet can be seen as resisting the commodification of leisure time. March 2014 Well, the simplest definition is that a cult classic film is one that has a devout and active communal following. Students Abroad A cult film or cult movie, also commonly referred to as a cult classic, is a film that has acquired a cult following. [15] Cult film fans consider themselves collectors, rather than consumers, as they associate consumers with mainstream, Hollywood audiences. Cult films frequently break cultural taboos, and many feature excessive displays of violence, gore, sexuality, profanity, or combinations thereof. [60] By referencing cult films, media can identify desired demographics, strengthen bonds with specific subcultures, and stand out among those who understand the intertextuality. Even within subcultures, fans who break subcultural scripts, such as denying the affectivity of a disturbing film, will be ridiculed for their lack of authenticity. [15] Writing for NPR, Scott Tobias states that Don Coscarelli, whose previous films effortlessly attracted cult followings, has drifted into this realm. Auteur theory provided an alternative culture for cult film fans while carrying the weight of scholarship. Virtual spaces, such as online forums and fan sites, replace the traditional fanzines and newsletters. If they are the majority, they may alter or ignore long-standing traditions, such as audience participation rituals; rituals which lack perceived authenticity may be criticized, but accepted rituals bring subcultural capital to veteran fans who introduce them to the newer members. Cultural topics make the film relevant and can lead to controversy, such as a moral panic, which provides opposition. [54] Cult films can also transgress national stereotypes and genre conventions, such as Battle Royale (2000), which broke many rules of teenage slasher films. April 2017 [148] Like "so bad it's good" cult films, old propaganda and government hygiene films may be enjoyed ironically by more modern audiences for the camp value of the outdated themes and outlandish claims made about perceived social threats, such as drug use. [85] Popular films from previous eras may be reclaimed by genre fans long after they have been forgotten by the original audiences. [22] During this time, American exploitation films and imported European art films were marketed similarly. A cult classic about pagan Celts on a Scottish island. Citing misuse of the term, Mikel J. Koven took a self-described hard-line stance that rejected definitions that use any other criteria. Create your own unique website with customizable templates. Director Jean Rollin worked within cinéma fantastique, an unpopular genre in modern France. These films provide mild criticism of consumerism while encouraging family values. [24] The term cult film itself was an outgrowth of this movement and was first used in the 1970s,[25] though cult had been in use for decades in film analysis with both positive and negative connotations. May 2019 Instead of the complex gender deconstructions of her Andy Warhol films, she became typecast as a lesbian or domineering woman. Thus, fandom can keep the mainstream at bay while defining themselves in terms of the "Other", a philosophical construct divergent from social norms. Her use of common cult film motifs – female nudity and ambiguous gender – were repurposed to comment on feminist topics. Donald Liebenson of the Los Angeles Times cites the violence and sexual imagery as alienating critics, who did not know what to make of the film. For cinephiles, this abuse of the term typically leads them to conclude that the category has become meaningless and “elastic, (or) a catchall for anything slightly maverick or strange” (Bentley-Baker). Influenced by American films and early French fantasists, he drifted between art, exploitation, and pornography. [39], Matt Hills' concept of the "cult blockbuster" involves cult followings inside larger, mainstream films. 9 Cult Classic Halloween Movies You Need To Watch. "[15] Citing the mainstream availability of Cannibal Holocaust, Jeffrey Sconce rejects definitions of cult films based on controversy and excess, as they've now become meaningless. Short Films David-o-russell [59] Films which do not attract enough controversy may be ridiculed and rejected when suggested as cult films. [15] Church has also criticized gendered descriptions of transgressive content that celebrate masculinity. When fans like a cult film for the wrong reasons, such as casting or characters aimed at mainstream appeal, they may be ridiculed. Joanne Hollows states that they were seen as turning cult films mainstream – in effect, feminizing them by opening them to distracted, passive audiences. [34], In a global context, popularity can vary widely by territory, especially with regard to limited releases. [12], In 2008, Cineaste asked a range of academics for their definition of a cult film. During the 1970s and early 1980s, a wave of explicit, graphic exploitation films caused controversy. Since the late 1970s, cult films have become increasingly popular. "[130] The sexploitation films of Russ Meyer were among the first to abandon all hypocritical pretenses of morality and were technically proficient enough to gain a cult following. Despite her immense popularity and cult following, she would rate only a footnote in most histories of European cinema if she was even mentioned. Part Two", "BFI to Screen Uncut Versions of Cult Films as British Censor Turns 100", "How 'Battle Royale' Became a Cult Hit and Capitalized on 'The Hunger Games, "Russell's Skills Prove a Hit with Cinema Fans", "The Other Side of Indonesia: New Order's Indonesian Exploitation Cinema as Cult Films", "Sexploitation Cinema and the Rise and Fall of Russ Meyer", "Fandom and Subculture: Cultural Capital and Subcultures", "The Question of Genre in Cult Film and Fandom", "The Amateur Historian and the Electronic Archive: Identity, Power and the Function of Lists, Facts and Memories on "Video Nasty"-Themed Websites", "Still Abiding After 15 Years: The Laid-Back World of 'Big Lebowski' Worship", "Norman Wisdom Mobbed by Albanian Fans on 1995 Trip", "Demogogues in Death and Notes from Way Underground", "Hemp: Could the US Rekindle Its Love Affair? #56 Cult Classic Movie The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) R. Thomas Jerome Newton is a humanoid alien who comes to Earth to get water for his dying planet. Even when discussing unrelated projects, interviewers frequently bring up the role, which causes him to tire of discussing it. [153] Cult films have influenced such diverse industries as cosmetics,[154] music videos,[85] and fashion. [175] The rise of social media has been a boon to cult films. Hunter identifies a prefabricated cult film style which includes "deliberately, insulting bad films", "slick exercises in dysfunction and alienation", and mainstream films "that sell themselves as worth obsessing over". This film holds some of the most quoted lines in movie history. [97] Films which appeal to stereotypical male activities, such as sports, can easily gain strong male cult followings. [109] In francophone culture, "so bad it's good" films, known as nanars [Fr], have given rise to a subculture with dedicated websites such as Nanarland, film festivals and viewings in theaters, as well as various books analyzing the phenomenon. [153] Addressing concerns that DVDs have revoked the cult status of films like Rocky Horror, academic Mikel J. Koven states that small scale screenings with friends and family can replace midnight showings. ", "Subcultural Studies and the Film Audience", "Fandom and Subculture: Fan Studies: Early Approaches", "Rewind: Major-Studio Flicks That Belong In The Grind House", "Good Bad Taste: 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' and the So Bad It's Good Fallacy", "Miami Connection Destroys the Myth of 'So Bad They're Good' Movies", "Cult film Is Good Business at Coolidge Corner Theatre", "How 'The Room' Turned Me Into a Cult Movie 'Star, "Vincent Price and Cult Performance: the Case of Witchfinder General", "FILM: 'Pink Flamingos': Cult of Bad Taste", "It's the Site of the Living Dead, as Cult Films Hit Web", "John Hughes Versus the Vampires: The Dilemma of the Midnight Movie", "The History and Meaning of The Dude's Abiding", "Midnight Movies and the Phenomenon of the Cult Film", "Doris Wishman; Exploitation Film Director, Cult Favorite", "Are 'cult' films a possibility for Malta? Nicolas Winding Refn Menu. Despite featuring an abundance of fake blood, vomit, and diarrhea, Kaufman's films have attracted positive attention from critics and academics. They are usually modeled after "sick films" and cover similar subject matter. Organized fandoms may spread and become popular as a way of introducing new people to the film, as well as theatrical screenings being privileged by the media and fandom itself. [58] Perceived racist and reductive remarks by critics can rally fans and raise the profile of cult films, an example of which would be Rex Reed's comments about Korean culture in his review of Oldboy (2003). [76] Home video has allowed cult film fans to import rare or banned films, finally giving them a chance to complete their collection with imports and bootlegs. [57]:200–211 Fans of cult films, as in media fandom, are frequently producers instead of mere consumers. [18], Academic Bob Batchelor, writing in Cult Pop Culture, states that the internet has democratized cult culture and destroyed the line between cult and mainstream. In fact, it actually holds its place firmly in the 60s while defining the term cult classic. She was expected to recreate the transgressive elements of her cult films within the confines of mainstream cinema. [4] Over time, the definition has become more vague and inclusive as it drifts away from earlier, stricter views. [137] The freedom and excitement associated with cars can be an important part of drawing cult film fans to genre films, and they can signify action and danger with more ambiguity than a gun. [18], Modern cult films grew from 1960s counterculture and underground films, popular among those who rejected mainstream Hollywood films. Eventually, his work would be reassessed and cult followings, which include Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, developed around several of his films. [179] In response, critics have described the use of viral marketing as astroturfing and an attempt to manufacture cult films. [103] Although often described as primarily composed of obsessed fans, cult film fandom can include many newer, less experienced members. Leonard Kastle, who directed The Honeymoon Killers (1969), never directed another film again. Other cult films have since become well-respected or reassessed as classics; there is debate as to whether these popular and accepted films are still cult films. Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford The Rocky Horror Picture Show might be one of the best known cult classics out there, but it's not the only great one. A movie that has a significant following. By requiring repeated viewings and extensive knowledge of details, auteur theory naturally appealed to cult film fans. [121] Mathijs and Sexton describe Grease (1978) as a film nostalgic about an imagined past that has acquired a nostalgic cult following. This has fallen out of favor in academia, creating a disconnect between cult film fans and critics. April 2019 [176] After a clip from one of his films went viral, director-producer Roger Corman made a distribution deal with YouTube. [17] This contradiction exists in many subcultures, especially those dependent on defining themselves in terms of opposition to the mainstream. Newer fans may cite the film itself as their reason for attending a showing, but longtime fans often cite the community. Release Calendar DVD & Blu-ray Releases Top Rated Movies Most Popular Movies Browse Movies by Genre Top Box Office Showtimes & Tickets Showtimes & Tickets In Theaters Coming Soon Coming Soon Movie News India Movie Spotlight. ", "The A.I.P. Films that once would have been limited to obscure cult followings are now capable of breaking into the mainstream, and showings of cult films have proved to be a profitable business venture. [10] Remarking on the popular trend of remaking cult films, Claude Brodesser-Akner of New York magazine states that Hollywood studios have been superstitiously hoping to recreate past successes rather than trading on nostalgia. [125]:27–30 Hawkins states that these films took a rather bleak point of view due to the living conditions of the artists and the economic prospects of the 1970s. Life Of Pi Stoker's widow sued the production company and drove it to bankruptcy. Instead, the cult film is typically defined by its ability to develop an enduring, loyal fan base, despite the likelihood of a poor box office debut. October 2017 Soundtrack November 2015 [13]:46 This collecting can take the place of fetishization of a single film. Consumers Like cult films themselves, authenticity is an important aspect of their popularity. Despite his cult following, which included François Truffaut, he was unable to find financing for any of his other screenplays. Pusher [18] Besides creating new communities, cult films can link formerly disparate groups, such as fans and critics. “Good Will Hunting” is by far my favorite movie because of the ways it has influenced my life, as well as how it relates to it. October 2015 [7] Cult films are defined by audience reaction as much as by their content. Wishman's subject matter, though exploitative and transgressive, was always framed in terms of female empowerment and the feminine spectator. These films are often viewed as marathons where fans can gorge themselves on their favorites. September 2016 Although classic midnight movies have dropped off in popularity, they still bring reliable crowds. Part of the attraction with movies designated with cult status is that they are so very different and much more provocative than mainstream populist fare. What is a cult film? [108] Alamo Drafthouse programmer Zack Carlson has further said that any film which succeeds in entertaining an audience is good, regardless of irony. Cult audiences tend to gravitate toward the strange and different. [32] Discussing his reputation for making cult films, Bollywood director Anurag Kashyap said, "I didn't set out to make cult films. They attracted both acclaim and denouncement from critics and progressives. Film Review September 2017 Cult films trace their origin back to controversial and suppressed films kept alive by dedicated fans. [80] However, the sexploitation films of Doris Wishman took a feminist approach which avoids and subverts the male gaze and traditional goal-oriented methods. [145] Heavy Metal (1981) faced similar denunciations from critics. Child Actors [143] Ralph Bakshi's career has been marked with controversy: Fritz the Cat (1972), the first animated film to be rated "X" by the MPAA, provoked outrage for its racial caricatures and graphic depictions of sex, and Coonskin (1975) was decried as racist. Zooey Deschanel, December 2020 cult hit", "The auto motive: Why cars drive cult movies", "Streamy Romance: Americans' Love Affair With B Movies Goes Digital", "Akira: the Future-Tokyo Story that Brought Anime West", "Producing Transnational Cult Media- Neon Genesis Evangelion and Ghost in the Shell in Circulation", "Animation's Bad Boy Returns, Unrepentant", "Animation Legend Ralph Bakshi Looks Back at His Cult Classic "Wizards, "Cult Favorite 'Heavy Metal' Once Again Making Noise", "Science Fiction Double Feature: Ideology in the Cult Film", "Buzz Podewell, 69, longtime director and acting teacher, dies", "Robot roll call! January 2014 Mathijs criticizes the over-cultified, commercialized nature of Halloween and horror films, which feed into each other so much that Halloween has turned into an image or product with no real community. Smith states that the early films of John Waters are amateurish and less influential than claimed, but Waters' outrageous vision cements his place in cult cinema. Italy Video "[131] "Sick films", the most disturbing and graphically transgressive films, have their own distinct cult following; these films transcend their roots in exploitation, horror, and art films. Home video would finally allow general audiences to see them, which gave many people their first taste of underground film. September 2012 [68] These transgressive films that straddle the line between art and horror may have overlapping cult followings, each with their own interpretation and reasons for appreciating it. November 2017 The History of Cult Films . 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