Cult Movies in Sixty Seconds: The Best Movies in the World in Less Than a Minute [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Soren McCarthy
eBook Category: Sports/Entertainment/General Nonfiction
eBook Description: The definitive collection of cult films from the past 50 years of filmmaking.
eBook Publisher: Vision Paperbacks/Vision Paperbacks
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2006
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To truly enjoy a cult film, you have to be inclined towards the
obscure. You are someone who has a favourite out-of-the-way
restaurant and a bargain jacket found in a charity shop. Or
favourite designer that no one has heard of. These movies are
not defined by box-office earnings, nor by critical acclaim.
Popularity rarely comes into the equation. This book seeks to
be true to the free spirit of cult films by examining, advocating,
chiding, but invariably appreciating films. A great film is not
defined by the size of the audience, so much as the nature of the
response it provokes.
I am a writer and actor based in New York. As someone
who has worked in both obscure and mass mediums, I know
what it is like to get critique, and applaud anyone who puts
themselves ?out there? artistically.
I came to love movies at a young age, at the period when
home video rentals were revolutionising the film industry.
Suddenly access was available to all, and even a kid like me
from Akron, Ohio could get a video copy of Stranger than Paradise
(1984), a film by Jim Jarmusch, another kid from Akron, Ohio
which would never actually play in an Akron, Ohio cinema.
Like many medium-sized cities my hometown also had a second
run arthouse cinema. The Akron Civic Theater was a gigantic
2,000 person auditorium from the vaudeville era. A theatre and a
cinema, it had an ornate domed ceiling with light fixtures meant
to resemble stars, upon which moving clouds were projected. It
avoided demolition and a foundation kept it a working theatre by
showing second run films. After home video killed much of the second run market, they switched to cult, art and special-event
films. Provided I volunteered as an usher, I was allowed to see all
the movies as often as I liked for free. I got to see the European art
films of Federico Fellini,Wim Wenders, Francoise Truffaut and
Werner Herzog, and all before I was 15 years old.
What I enjoyed as much as the films was the experience a live
audience could offer. I liked the shared experience of a film in an
auditorium setting, and watching the audiences as much as the
films. I loved the willingness of strangers to discuss a film with one
another. It was an opportunity to encounter like-minded people.
(This was before internet chat, when a ?discussion? required an
actual ?room?.) A film like Harold and Maude could be counted
on to draw a large audience for every showing. I recognised
regulars who never missed a revival of this cult classic. But there
was no easy way to categorise these fans as a demographic (in
terms of ages, races, orientations etc). They just liked it, and
could recognise a great film. In an age of concentrated marketing
and ?target audience segmentation?, I found this refreshing.
I developed this book based on an entirely imperfect consensus.
I spoke to lay people, film aficionados, independent theatre
owners and video store clerks. I was amazed and pleased at how
forthcoming people were in naming their own cult favourites.
At one point, while on a church retreat, someone asked my
mother about my cult film project, which lead to such an involved
group discussion that they scrapped all their ?getting to know
you? exercises and simply chatted about their personal favourite
cult films and why they considered them so. Three days later I
received a stack of notebook pages with the cult favourites of
50 middle-aged Christians from Ohio. To my surprise the bawdy
and shocking John Waters film Pink Flamingos showed up very
often. But then, it?s a liberal denomination.