cult classic movies meaning

These films are often viewed as marathons where fans can gorge themselves on their favorites. Tiny Furniture [13]:35–40 Jacinda Read's expansion states that cult films, despite their potential for empowerment of the marginalized, are more often used by politically incorrect males. [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. [48] Sylvia Kristel, after starring in Emmanuelle (1974), found herself highly associated with the film and the sexual liberation of the 1970s. Fans will occasionally express frustration with dismissive critics and conventional analysis, which they believe marginalizes and misinterprets paracinema. October 2012 [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. The French film Fantastic Planet (1973) explored ideas beyond the limits of traditional, live-action science fiction films. At the same time, other films have acquired massive, quick cult followings, owing to spreading virally through social media. These underground film festivals led to the creation of midnight movies, which attracted cult followings. Cult films are often known to be eccentric, often do not follow traditional standards of mainstream cinema … [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. 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. 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". November 2020 Genre [84] More accessible films have less subcultural capital;[18] among extremists, banned films will have the most. 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' cast share favorite episodes as show turns 25", "Cult Figure Wood May Get Statue in His Honor", "Vatican Declares the Blues Brothers a 'Catholic Classic, "Fans of Cult Film Campaign to Save Car Park", "Cult Film 'Blair Witch' Was Tourist Horror Show for Small Town", "Gagging on the Kool-Aid: Cult Films We Just Don't Get", "Pilgrim's Progress: Cult director Edgar Wright Guides Michael Cera in Genre-Bending Comic Romp", "Culture Wars: Some New Trends in Art Horror", "Quentin Tarantino: Champion of Trash Cinema", "Is Quentin Tarantino the World's Most Influential Director? A cult film or cult movie, also commonly referred to as a cult classic, is a film that has acquired a cult following. [39], Matt Hills' concept of the "cult blockbuster" involves cult followings inside larger, mainstream films. [46] Actors can become typecast as they become strongly associated with such iconic roles. [114] Cult film stars known for their camp can inject subtle parody or signal when films should not be taken seriously. Consumers [128] This flattening of culture follows the popularity of post-structuralism, which rejects a hierarchy of artistic merit and equates exploitation and art. 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. [97] Mainstream critics may ridicule commercially successful directors of cult blockbusters, such as James Cameron, Michael Bay, and Luc Besson, whose films have been called simplistic. 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. [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". June 2013 He dreams of a life where he can fly away from technology and overpowering bureaucracy, and spend eternity with the woman of his dreams. [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. A Cult Classic is usually a movie which picks up a very particular following of people. Theatrical Posters [88]:190–193 Also, instead of valuing textual rarity, fans of cult blockbusters will value repeat viewings. [61]:135 Matt Hills states that auteur theory can help to create cult films; fans that see a film as continuing a director's creative vision are likely to accept it as cult. May 2017 The hammy acting by Christopher Lloyd and quotable dialogue draw a cult following, as they mimic traditional cult films. Thus, fandom can keep the mainstream at bay while defining themselves in terms of the "Other", a philosophical construct divergent from social norms. March 2015 It follows the story of Sergeant Howie investigating a young girl named Rowan’s disappearance. Like cult films themselves, authenticity is an important aspect of their popularity. You can follow her on Twitter: RoseMooreWrites for tweets about comics, movies, and more. December 2014 [72] Consequently, the British Board of Film Classification banned many popular cult films due to issues of sex, violence, and incitement to crime. [175] The rise of social media has been a boon to cult films. [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". December 2018 September 2017 [47] Mary Woronov, known for her transgressive roles in cult films, eventually transitioned to mainstream films. It’s a great time to sit down and watch those cult classic films you always hear about but never have the time ... meaning we may receive compensation when you buy items after clicking a link on InsiderEnvy. [4] Some definitions exclude films that have been released by major studios or have big budgets,[5] that try specifically to become cult films,[6] or become accepted by mainstream audiences and critics. [67] Similarly, Jess Franco chafed under fascist censorship in Spain but became influential in Spain's horror boom of the 1960s. Marketing campaigns have also used such claims to raise interest among curious audiences. Cult classic ... Cult movie; Cult of Angels; Cult of Apollo; Cult of Apollo; Cult of Apollo; Cult of Cod; Cult of Deckard Cain; Cult of Hermes; Cult of Hermes; [60] The films that followed Jess Franco were unique in their rejection of mainstream art. Kathryn Bigelow [142] Anime, according to academic Brian Ruh, is not a cult genre, but the lack of individual fandoms inside anime fandom itself lends itself to a bleeding over of cult attention and can help spread works internationally. Mathijs also identifies specific cult film viewing habits, such as viewing horror films on Halloween, sentimental melodrama on Christmas, and romantic films on Valentine's Day. The difficulty in defin… The cult fans differentiate themselves from ordinary fans in several ways: longstanding devotion to the film, distinctive interpretations, and fan works. Mainstream films and big budget blockbusters have attracted cult followings similar to more underground and lesser known films; fans of these films often emphasize the films' niche appeal and reject the more popular aspects. [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. [23]:202–205 Much like later cult films, these early exploitation films encouraged audience participation, influenced by live theater and vaudeville. Filters A work ... With weekly viewings in movie theaters running continuously for over thirty years, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a major cult classic despite having since become known to the general public. Geoffrey Macnab of The Independent instead suggests that Hollywood look to capitalize on cult films, which have exploded in popularity on the internet. 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. May 2020 Ernest Mathijs focused on the accidental nature of cult followings, arguing that cult film fans consider themselves too savvy to be marketed to, while Jonathan Rosenbaum rejected the continued existence of cult films and called the term a marketing buzzword. These films acquired a legendary reputation as they were discussed and debated in alternative weeklies, such as The Village Voice. This has fallen out of favor in academia, creating a disconnect between cult film fans and critics. [7] Cult films are defined by audience reaction as much as by their content. 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 … [57]:200–211 Fans of cult films, as in media fandom, are frequently producers instead of mere consumers. November 2014 [15] Cult film fans consider themselves collectors, rather than consumers, as they associate consumers with mainstream, Hollywood audiences. Citing misuse of the term, Mikel J. Koven took a self-described hard-line stance that rejected definitions that use any other criteria. ", "The Internet and the Cult Film: On A Fan's Notes", "Waxing Lyrical: David Lynch on His New Passion - and Why He May Never Make Another Movie", "Cult Classics Take on the Blockbusters as Audiences Switch on to Internet Downloads", "Collecting the Trash: The Cult of the Ephemeral Clip from VHS to YouTube", "Schlockey Films Gain Instant Cult Status via Net", "Spoiler Alert: 'John Dies,' But The Rest? Cinemablography Newer fans may cite the film itself as their reason for attending a showing, but longtime fans often cite the community. Demographics shifted, and more hip and mainstream audiences were drawn to them. [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. Omar Sy Other film scholars like Mark Shiel have criticized the term for being a weak concept that is far too reliant on subjectivity. [188] Academic Joe Tompkins states that this auteurism is often highlighted when mainstream success occurs. [43] Mathijs states that cult films broadcast on Christmas have a nostalgic factor. Despite this, these films remain well-known and prized among collectors. Video Of The Day Cult films are known for their dedicated, passionate fanbase which forms an elaborate subculture, members of which engage in repeated viewings, dialogue-quoting, and audience participation. His persistent vision saw him received as an auteur worthy of academic study; director John Waters attributes this to Meyer's ability to create complicated, sexually charged films without resorting to explicit sex. [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. [139], Animation can provide wide open vistas for stories. [39], The transgressive nature of cult films can lead to their censorship. [101], Fans, in response to the popularity of these blockbusters, will claim elements for themselves while rejecting others. April 2017 [44] Halloween, on the other hand, allows flaunting society's taboos and testing one's fears. Comment. [32] Discussing his reputation for making cult films, Bollywood director Anurag Kashyap said, "I didn't set out to make cult films. [80] However, the sexploitation films of Doris Wishman took a feminist approach which avoids and subverts the male gaze and traditional goal-oriented methods. Lauded as the “the Citizen Kane of horror movies” by Cinefantastique , The Wicker Man often makes the lists for best horror movies. January 2020 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. Cult films frequently break cultural taboos, and many feature excessive displays of violence, gore, sexuality, profanity, or combinations thereof. Taking stances on these varied issues, critics assure their own relevance while helping to elevate the film to cult status. Inclusive definitions allow for major studio productions, especially box office bombs, while exclusive definitions focus more on obscure, transgressive films shunned by the mainstream. But it became a surprise cult hit in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, where audiences responded ecstatically to the film’s kitschy musical numbers, its winking tributes to B-movies … They are usually modeled after "sick films" and cover similar subject matter. Stoker's widow sued the production company and drove it to bankruptcy. [15] David Lynch himself has not ruled out another television series, as studios have become reluctant to take chances on non-mainstream ideas. Previous articles and controversies can also be alluded to without explanation. 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. Halloween is fast approaching. spoiler free cult movie news from the movie sleuth. Mood Indigo Cult audiences tend to gravitate toward the strange and different. Coming Attractions Fans who flaunt their knowledge receive negative reactions. Students Abroad [15] According to academic Greg Taylor, auteur theory also helped to popularize cult films when middlebrow audiences found an accessible way to approach avant-garde film criticism. Obsessive trivia can be used to bore mainstream audiences while building up subcultural capital. Irony or self-deprecating humor can also be used. November 2015 Virtual spaces, such as online forums and fan sites, replace the traditional fanzines and newsletters. In fact, it actually holds its place firmly in the 60s while defining the term cult classic. [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. Videos: The Hidden Meaning In Terry Gilliam's Cult Classic Brazil. This can draw fan acclaim and obsession more readily than subtle, method-inspired acting. [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. [4] Home video and television broadcasts of cult films were initially greeted with hostility. Despite featuring an abundance of fake blood, vomit, and diarrhea, Kaufman's films have attracted positive attention from critics and academics. After failing in the cinema, some cult films have become regular fixtures on cable television or profitable sellers on home video. Influenced by American films and early French fantasists, he drifted between art, exploitation, and pornography. February 2015 [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. [61]:127 As these groups intermix, they can influence each other, though this may be resisted by older fans, unfamiliar with these new references. Film Review 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. #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. Fickle fans on the Internet have latched on to unreleased films only to abandon them later on release. [40]:157–160 Filmmakers and films ignored in their own country can become the objects of cult adoration in another, producing perplexed reactions in their native country. [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. July 2013 Ryan Gosling [112], Chuck Kleinhans states that the difference between a guilty pleasure and a cult film can be as simple as the number of fans; David Church raises the question of how many people it takes to form a cult following, especially now that home video makes fans difficult to count. Both subject matter and its depiction are portrayed in extreme ways that break taboos of good taste and aesthetic norms. Leonard Kastle, who directed The Honeymoon Killers (1969), never directed another film again. Sab Personal responsibility is often highlighted, and a strong anti-censorship message may be present. Music Videos [15] Film critic Joe Bob Briggs began reviewing drive-in theater and cult films, though he faced much criticism as an early advocate of exploitation and cult films. [169] Tarantino's clout led Phil Hoad of The Guardian to call Tarantino the world's most influential director. 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. [81] Similarly, the films of Russ Meyer were a complicated combination of transgressive, mainstream, progressive, and regressive elements. [129] Teodor Reljic of Malta Today states that cult B films are a realistic goal for Malta's burgeoning film industry. [23]:202–203 Mathijs and Sexton state that although cult films are not synonymous with exploitation, as is occasionally assumed, this is a key component; they write that exploitation, which exists on the fringes of the mainstream and deals with taboo subjects, is well-suited for cult followings. February 2014 [147] Though they can be interpreted as racist, Mathijs and Mendik state that they also "exhibit a liberal attitude towards the breaking of cultural taboos". quote academic Jeffrey Sconce, who defines cult films in terms of paracinema, marginal films that exist outside critical and cultural acceptance: everything from exploitation to beach party musicals to softcore pornography. I wanted to make box-office hits. Audition Mathijs suggests that cult films help to understand ambiguity and incompleteness in life given the difficulty in even defining the term. [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. [57]:190–191 Familiar with the film's reputation and having watched clips on YouTube, these fans may take the next step and enter the film's fandom. 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. However, they reject cult films as having a single unifying feature; instead, they state that cult films are united in their "subcultural ideology" and opposition to mainstream tastes, itself a vague and undefinable term. Mainstream cinemas, eager to disassociate themselves from negative associations and increase profits, have begun abandoning midnight screenings. Cult films themselves subvert traditional views of time – time travel, non-linear narratives, and ambiguous establishments of time are all popular. Popular in midnight showings, they were mainly limited to large urban areas, which led academic Joan Hawkins to label them as "downtown culture". That cult films can have opposing qualities – such as good and bad, failure and success, innovative and retro – helps to illustrate that art is subjective and never self-evident. Inclusive definitions allow for major studio productions, especially box office bombs, while exclusive definitions focus more on obscure, transgressive films shunned by the mainstream. [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. [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. While referencing previous arguments, critics may attack its choice of genre or its very right to exist. This film holds some of the most quoted lines in movie history. If one were to live in a world filled with nothing but education, the education would mean nothing in the end. ‘It was a cult classic movie that came out in the mid-1980 s when I was in college.’ ‘Notorious at the time for its high level of gore, the film was also distinguished by a keen sense of social satire and political commentary which quickly assured its status of a cult classic.’ Koven also identifies television shows, such as Twin Peaks, as retaining more traditional cult activities inside popular culture. Jackie Robinson [17] Academic Barry K. Grant states that Frank Capra's Why We Fight World War II propaganda films are explicitly not cult, because they are "slickly made and have proven their ability to persuade an audience. [106] Similarly, Paul Verhoeven's Showgirls (1995) bombed in theaters but developed a cult following on video. [145] Heavy Metal (1981) faced similar denunciations from critics. [20] Nosferatu (1922) was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula. ... watching horror movie. For example, in the Star Wars film series, mainstream criticism of Jar Jar Binks focused on racial stereotyping; although cult film fans will use that to bolster their arguments, he is rejected because he represents mainstream appeal and marketing.

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