Cult Cinema

What is cult cinema? How and when does a movie become a "cult classic"? Are certain genres predisposed to producing "cult" hits? Cult films attract devoted and defiant fan activity; challenge established norms of taste and aesthetics; often have or acquire distinctive exhibition practices (singalong Sound of Music, Halloween screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show); and engage with issues in provocative ways. The emergence of BitTorrent and YouTube mashups raises new questions regarding the relation between technology and cultural value. Course work will be a combination of film analysis and research into the contexts around particular films and how they acquired cult status. Readings include a textbook and a course pack. We will consider a  wide range of US and international films: Toxic Avenger,  Night of the Living Dead, Suspiria, Desperate Living, Hausu and more.