[60] By referencing cult films, media can identify desired demographics, strengthen bonds with specific subcultures, and stand out among those who understand the intertextuality. http://www.theaudiopedia.com What is CULT FILM? [92][93] The Wizard of Oz (1939) and its star, Judy Garland, hold special significance to American and British gay culture, although it is a widely viewed and historically important film in greater American culture. Hunter states that "it's much easier to be a cultist now, but it is also rather more inconsequential. Definition of cult classic in the Idioms Dictionary. In some cases, reclaimed or rediscovered films have acquired cult followings decades after their original release, occasionally for their camp value. [70][71] Transgressive elements that limit a director's appeal in one country can be celebrated or highlighted in another. 42 April 2019 Heavenly Creatures (1994) acquired its own cult following, became a part of New Zealand's national identity, and paved the way for big-budget, Hollywood-style epics, such as Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. 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. April 2014 Despite her immense popularity and cult following, she would rate only a footnote in most histories of European cinema if she was even mentioned. [138] Ad Week writes that cult B films, when released on home video, market themselves and need only enough advertising to raise curiosity or nostalgia. Of all the genres that are commonly observed in film, there is perhaps none as subjective and intangible as the “cult classic.” Whereas most film genres contain predictable traits and conventions that are revealed through specific iconographic cues, the cult film typically has no such indictors. [65] Excess can also exist as camp, such as films that highlight the excesses of 1980s fashion and commercialism. March 2015 [11] Academic Mark Shiel has criticized the term itself as being a weak concept, reliant on subjectivity; different groups can interpret films in their own terms. They sell out their shows regularly and have acquired a cult following of their own. 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". Warren Ellis [152], Mark Shiel explains the rising popularity of cult films as an attempt by cinephiles and scholars to escape the oppressive conformity and mainstream appeal of even independent film, as well as a lack of condescension in both critics and the films;[12] Academic Donna de Ville says it is a chance to subvert the dominance of academics and cinephiles. [127], Although seemingly at odds with each other, art and exploitation films are frequently treated as equal and interchangeable in cult fandom, listed alongside each other and described in similar terms: their ability to provoke a response. These films acquired a legendary reputation as they were discussed and debated in alternative weeklies, such as The Village Voice. December 2018 Demographics shifted, and more hip and mainstream audiences were drawn to them. [166] The rise of home video would have a mainstreaming effect on cult films and cultish behavior, though some collectors would be unlikely to self-identify as cult film fans. They are usually modeled after "sick films" and cover similar subject matter. Joanne Hollows states that they were seen as turning cult films mainstream – in effect, feminizing them by opening them to distracted, passive audiences. [64] Lloyd Kaufman sees his films' political statements as more populist and authentic than the hypocrisy of mainstream films and celebrities. Cult films frequently break cultural taboos, and many feature excessive displays of violence, gore, sexuality, profanity, or combinations thereof. Frequently cult films are films depicting controversial or distasteful persons, activities, or philosophies. [73] Released during the cannibal boom, Cannibal Holocaust (1980) was banned in dozens of countries and caused the director to be briefly jailed over fears that it was a real snuff film. "[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. Cult films are defined as much by audience reaction as they are by content. [12] These inherent dichotomies can lead audiences to be split between ironic and earnest fans. [129] Academic David Andrews writes that cult softcore films are "the most masculinized, youth-oriented, populist, and openly pornographic softcore area. [45], Despite their oppositional nature, cult films can produce celebrities. The term cult film itself was first used in the 1970s to describe the culture that surrounded underground films and midnight movies, though cult was in common use in film analysis for decades prior to that. [23]:202–205 Much like later cult films, these early exploitation films encouraged audience participation, influenced by live theater and vaudeville. Who Can Tell? 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. [53]:223 These films are resistant to simple categorization and are defined by the fanaticism and ritualistic behaviors of their audiences. Top 100 Best Cult Classic Movies List. Cultural topics make the film relevant and can lead to controversy, such as a moral panic, which provides opposition. [87]:445 Star Wars, with its large cult following in geek subculture, has been cited as both a cult blockbuster[100] and a cult film. These underground film festivals led to the creation of midnight movies, which attracted cult followings. Catching on, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer capitalized on the film's ironic appeal and marketed it as a cult film. [57]:212 Jacob deNobel of the Carroll County Times states that films can be perceived as nonsensical or inept when audiences misunderstand avant-garde filmmaking or misinterpret parody. [121] Mathijs and Sexton describe Grease (1978) as a film nostalgic about an imagined past that has acquired a nostalgic cult following. Markets that did not support the sale of these materials saw less cult activity. Overbroad usage of the term has resulted in controversy, as purists state it has become a meaningless descriptor applied to any film that is the slightest bit weird or unconventional; others accuse Hollywood studios of trying to artificially create cult films or use the term as a marketing tactic. By Rose Moore May 25, 2016. Over its decades-long release, Rocky Horror became the seventh highest grossing R-rated film when adjusted for inflation;[162] journalist Matt Singer has questioned whether Rocky Horror's popularity invalidates its cult status. Romance films, like any genre, have their own following. [120] Academic I. Q. [107] Sometimes, fans will impose their own interpretation of films which have attracted derision, such as reinterpreting an earnest melodrama as a comedy. Young Filmmakers Film Review A cult film, also commonly referred to as a cult classic, is a film with a cult following, obscure or unpopular with mainstream audiences, and often revolutionary or ironically enjoyed. Film Art March 2018 [99] Blockbuster science fiction films that include philosophical subtexts, such as The Matrix, allow cult film fans to enjoy them on a higher level than the mainstream. A cult film/movie or a cult classic is a film that has acquired a highly devoted but specific group of fans. May 2017 [167] Beginning in the 1990s, director Quentin Tarantino would have the greatest success in turning cult films mainstream. "[85] When Veoh added many cult films to their site, they cited nostalgia as a factor for their popularity. ", "Why Do Studios Think There's So Much Value in Old Titles? [170], As major Hollywood studios and audiences both become savvy to cult films, productions once limited to cult appeal have instead become popular hits, and cult directors have become hot properties known for more mainstream and accessible 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. Many members of its nostalgic cult following are too young to have been alive during those periods, which Emma Pett interprets as fondness for retro aesthetics, nostalgia for when they saw the film rather than when it was released, and looking to the past to find a better time period. spoiler free cult movie news from the movie sleuth. Inclusive definitions allow for major studio productions, especially box office bombs, while exclusive definitions focus more on obscure, transgressive films shunned by the mainstream. Since the late 1970s, cult films have become increasingly popular. May 2019 Fans will occasionally express frustration with dismissive critics and conventional analysis, which they believe marginalizes and misinterprets paracinema. Their fame grows every year and more and more people go crazy about such films. April 2013 [163] Founded in 1974, Troma Entertainment, an independent studio, would become known for both its cult following and cult films. ", "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? Hunter describes cult films as "New Hollywood in extremis" and a form of nostalgia for that period. Like the surrealists and dadaists, they not only satirically attacked society but also the very structure of film – a counter-cinema that deconstructs narrative and traditional processes. October 2017 October 2020 Film critic Harry Allan Potamkin traces them back to 1910s France and the reception of Pearl White, William S. Hart, and Charlie Chaplin, which he described as "a dissent from the popular ritual". November 2017 Several people defined cult films primarily in terms of their opposition to mainstream films and conformism, explicitly requiring a transgressive element, though others disputed the transgressive potential, given the demographic appeal to conventional moviegoers and mainstreaming of cult films. Cult followings themselves can range from adoration to contempt, and they have little in common except for their celebration of nonconformity – even the bad films ridiculed by fans are artistically nonconformist, albeit unintentionally. I wanted to make box-office hits. ", "The Princess Bride cast, director talk inconceivable(!) Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. It follows the story of Sergeant Howie investigating a young girl named Rowan’s disappearance. [132] Science fiction, fantasy, and horror are known for their large and dedicated cult followings; as science fiction films become more popular, fans emphasize non-mainstream and less commercial aspects of it. [80] However, the sexploitation films of Doris Wishman took a feminist approach which avoids and subverts the male gaze and traditional goal-oriented methods. [61]:131–134 In marketing these films, young men are predominantly targeted. November 2018 December 2019 Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford Henry Thomas October 2012 Called "video nasties" within the UK, they ignited calls for censorship and stricter laws on home video releases, which were largely unregulated. By requiring repeated viewings and extensive knowledge of details, auteur theory naturally appealed to cult film fans. Previous articles and controversies can also be alluded to without explanation. This results in an anti-academic bias despite the use of formal methodologies, such as defamiliarization. Virtual spaces, such as online forums and fan sites, replace the traditional fanzines and newsletters. Some used hardcore pornography and horror, occasionally at the same time. These concerns can vary from culture to culture, and they need not be at all similar. [171] Their popularity would bring some critics to proclaim the death of cult films now that they have finally become successful and mainstream,[168] are too slick to attract a proper cult following,[28] lack context,[153] or are too easily found online. In retrospect, critic Spencer Kornhaber would call it a serendipitous novelty and a footnote to a "more naive era of the Internet". [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. [50] Cult films can also trap directors. July 2013 0. Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock instead called them mainstream films with transgressive elements. [99] Similarly, films directed by John Hughes have taken hold in midnight movie venues, trading off of nostalgia for the 1980s and an ironic appreciation for their optimism. [15] David Lynch himself has not ruled out another television series, as studios have become reluctant to take chances on non-mainstream ideas. Zooey Deschanel, December 2020 [21] Academic Chuck Kleinhans identifies the Marx Brothers as making other early cult films. Although studios expressed skepticism, large audiences were drawn to box office flops, such as Donnie Darko (2001), The Warriors (1979) and Office Space (1999). In the same way, critics may ridicule fans of cult blockbusters as immature or shallow. [83], Cult films can be used to help define or create groups as a form of subcultural capital; knowledge of cult films proves that one is "authentic" or "non-mainstream". Other film scholars like Mark Shiel have criticized the term for being a weak concept that is far too reliant on subjectivity. [145] Heavy Metal (1981) faced similar denunciations from critics. The Ghost in the Shell films, for example, provided Japanese fans with enough bonus material and spinoffs that it encouraged cult tendencies. What is a cult film? cult classic phrase. Although critics Pauline Kael and Arthur Knight argued against arbitrary divisions into high and low culture, American films settled into rigid genres; European art films continued to push the boundaries of simple definitions, and these exploitative art films and artistic exploitation films would go on to influence American cult films. Beach Movies - Cult Films Depicting Subcultural Activities", "Realising the Cult Blockbuster: The Lord of the Rings Fandom and Residual/Emergent Cult Status in 'The Mainstream, "Chapter 5: From Behind the Masks to Inside: Acting, Authenticity, and the, "Fandom and Subculture: Mainstream Cult Fans? Wiktionary (0.00 / 0 votes)Rate this definition: cult classic (Noun) A work of fiction that is extremely popular with a select audience but may or may not be successful at the … Commercial aspects of fandom (such as magazines or books) can also be defined in terms of "otherness" and thus valid to consume: consumers purchasing independent or niche publications are discerning consumers, but the mainstream is denigrated. [19] I. Q. March 2017 Girls September 2020 Italy Video 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. 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. [181] Influenced by the successful online hype of The Blair Witch Project (1999), other films have attempted to draw online cult fandom with the use of prefabricated cult appeal. Scific61d272476 American Independent Filmmaking and the Counterculture in the 1960s", "Dirty Movies, or: Why Film Scholars Should Stop Worrying About Citizen Kane and Learn to Love Bad Films", "Cult Film: A Critical Symposium (Web Edition)", "Cult horror House finally finds home in Toronto", "Cultivating the Cult Experience at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema", "Room 237, The Shining and Our Obsession with Cult Films", "Becoming Cult: The Big Lebowski, Replay Culture and Male Fans", "FILM; A Road Warrior Is Still on a Roll", "Hollywood Takes a Chance on J-Horror Films", "Art of Branding: Tartan "Asia Extreme" Films", "Threat or Treat: Film, Television, and the Ritual of Halloween", "Animated Roles Help Actor Skip Stereotype", "Cult Film Staple Mary Woronov on Andy Warhol, Roger Corman, and Being Typecast", "Chapter 11: Forever Emmanuelle: Sylvia Kristel and Soft-Core Cult Stardom", "Prisoner of Cool: Chloë Sevigny, Alternative Stardom and Image Management", "Leonard Kastle, Composer and Filmmaker, Dies at 82", "Lennon, Manson and Me: the Psychedelic Cinema of Alejandro Jodorowsky", "Darkness rules for Batman fans in Vancouver", "Battle Royale – Challenging Global Stereotypes Within the Constructs of a Contemporary Japanese Slasher Film", "Of Manias, Shit, and Blood: The Reception of Salò as a 'Sick Film, "Terrible Acting, Flimsy Sets, Wanton Misogyny ... Tommy Wiseau's The Room Becomes a Cult Hit", "A Really Bad Movie Becomes a Cult Classic", "Exploitation: An Interview with Frank Henenlotter", "Almodovar: What Makes Pedro Run? Political [115] Campy actors can also provide comic book supervillains for serious, artistic-minded films. [75] Frequently banned films may introduce questions of authenticity as fans question whether they have seen a truly uncensored cut. Briggs highlights the mainstreaming of cult films by pointing out the respectful obituaries that cult directors have received from formerly hostile publications and acceptance of politically incorrect films at mainstream film festivals. Someone like George Romero, whose films are both transgressive and subversive, will have the transgressive aspects highlighted while the subversive aspects are ignored. Film "[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. [177] Found footage which had originally been distributed as cult VHS collections eventually went viral on YouTube, which opened them to new generations of fans. [61]:130–132 Previously lost scenes cut by studios can be re-added and restore a director's original vision, which draws similar fanfare and acclaim from fans. [74] Although opposed to censorship, director Ruggero Deodato would later agree with cuts made by the BBFC which removed unsimulated animal killings, which limited the film's distribution. Sab It usually is an odd movie or obscure film it's self. [12] According to feminist scholar Joanne Hollows, this subjectivity causes films with large female cult followings to be perceived as too mainstream and not transgressive enough to qualify as a cult film. His films were reviled by critics, but he retained a cult following drawn by the nudity and eroticism. Life Of Pi December 2014 April 2017 October 2016 October 2014 [47] Mary Woronov, known for her transgressive roles in cult films, eventually transitioned to mainstream films. [12], In 2008, Cineaste asked a range of academics for their definition of a cult film. Students Abroad [103] Although often described as primarily composed of obsessed fans, cult film fandom can include many newer, less experienced members. ... watching horror movie. The meaning of life is to give life a meaning, after all. Camera Profile [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. [140][141] Phil Hoad of The Guardian identifies Akira (1988) as introducing violent, adult Japanese animation (known as anime) to the West and paving the way for later works. [172] In response, David Church says that cult film fans have retreated to more obscure and difficult to find films, often using illegal distribution methods, which preserves the outlaw status of cult films. The Hunger Games Ernest Mathijs instead states that cult films use nostalgia as a form of resistance against progress and capitalistic ideas of a time-based economy. [60] Audiences can also ironically latch on to offensive themes, such as misogyny,[62] using these films as catharsis for the things that they hate most in life. Design If one were to live in a world filled with nothing but education, the education would mean nothing in the end. [173] Despite this, the Alamo Drafthouse has capitalized on cult films and the surrounding culture through inspiration drawn from Rocky Horror and retro promotional gimmickry. [9] Increasing use of the term by mainstream publications has resulted in controversy, as cinephiles argue that the term has become meaningless[10] or "elastic, a catchall for anything slightly maverick or strange". They attracted both acclaim and denouncement from critics and progressives. February 2015 They may also watch films idiosyncratically: sped up, slowed down, frequently paused, or at odd hours. "[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. What does cult classic mean? Jackie Robinson Of all the genres that are commonly observed in film, there is perhaps none as subjective and intangible as the “cult classic.” Whereas most film genres contain predictable traits and conventions that are revealed through specific iconographic cues, the cult film typically has no such indictors. October 2015 Sci Fi Auteur theory provided an alternative culture for cult film fans while carrying the weight of scholarship. Briggs would later contribute a commentary track to the DVD release in which he describes it as a feminist film. [53]:224–230 Ernest Mathijs says that cult films often disrupt viewer expectations, such as giving characters transgressive motivations or focusing attention on elements outside the film. February 2016 "[33] Writing in Cult Cinema, academics Ernest Mathijs and Jamie Sexton state that this acceptance of mainstream culture and commercialism is not out of character, as cult audiences have a more complex relationship to these concepts: they are more opposed to mainstream values and excessive commercialism than they are anything else. Despite featuring an abundance of fake blood, vomit, and diarrhea, Kaufman's films have attracted positive attention from critics and academics. 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