Archive: Session 6
October 1-30, 2010
An off-shoot of Facets' long-running, popular film school program, Facets Night School
digs into cinema's wild side with special Saturday night midnight lectures
on cult favorites led by Facets' expert staff, followed by screenings of the films and post-screening discussions
. It's a schooling in Midnight Movies
that you won't find anywhere else!
Horror greats, sci-fi wonders, action and kung-fu whirlwinds, exploitation favorites, classic and contemporary oddities, black comedies, rock 'n' roll docs, crazy animation and much more all go under the microscope at the hands of Facets' movie obsessives!
Friday, October 1
To Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of 13 Ghosts
John Aranza Presents "William Castle: King of the Gimmick"
John Aranza introduces one of
Directed by William Castle, 1960
Castle's most popular movies:
"13 Ghosts feature monsters so cheap-looking, they achieve a thrift-store surrealism"
-Onion AV Club
Known as the King of the Gimmick, William Castle lured fans to his schlocky horror movies with promises of special processes like Emergo and Percepto and other wacky gimmicks. 13 Ghosts was originally presented in Illusion-O, a low-budget adaptation of the 3-D process, which viewers saw by using a "ghost viewer."
Lightning Bug's Lair
John Aranza will talk about Castle's ballyhoo approach to sell his movies and show a few examples of his gimmicky marketing. A modest reception kicks off Fright School on this evening, so come early for some snacks.
is owner and manager of Horrorbles
, located in Berwyn, Illinois (Svengoolie's favorite Chicago suburb). In this cozily creepy store, you'll find everything from rare and valuable collector's items to bargain-priced novelties. Posters, movie magazines, t-shirts, models, toys, and an eclectic selection of DVDs are just some of the myriad of items to peruse and purchase. Downstairs is the Galerie des Terrors, which hosts frequent genre-related exhibitions, special guests, and classes. Plus, the Galerie's charming little 16-seat theater presents DVD-projected screenings of classic and cult genre films.
Saturday, October 2
Hot Crossed Nuns:
A Short History of Nunsploitation
Facets Favorite Lew Ojeda presents:
Directed by Gilberto Martinez Solares, 1975
Though treated with reverence through most of cinema history, nuns became an easy target for exploitation, reflecting social turbulence in the 1970s. Violence, lesbian sex, nudity, underage perversity and yes, Satan himself, factor into this wild yet strangely sincere pious horror classic. Veteran cult film lecturer Lew Ojeda takes a look at the phenomenon of nunsploitation with his presentation of Satanico Pandemonium, directed by the incredibly prolific Mexican filmmaker Gilberto Martinez Solares.
Lew Ojeda is a Facets Personal Video Consultant and Catalog Writer. His film reviews have been published in Shock Cinema and The Empty Closet. Lew has also produced and directed local TV programs in Rochester, New York. Previous Facets Night School classes taught include "Regurgitating a Cult Classic: The Hidden Feasts of Eat the Rich," "Lady Terminator and the Golden Age of Indonesian Exploitation Films," and "Ha, Ha, Ha, Thud!: What's So Funny About the Violence in Riki Oh: The Story of Ricky."
Friday, October 8
Herk Harvey's Carnival of Souls:
We're Not in Kansas Anymore
Susan Doll introduces a unique example of independent horror:
Directed by Herk Harvey, 1975
Carnival of Souls
"Still has an intriguing power"
Industrial filmmaker Herk Harvey shot Carnival of Souls
, his one and only feature film, in Kansas and Utah, using the geography and structures of the region for the principle locales. In doing so, he turned the familiar into the unfamiliar and the normal into the paranormal, which makes the film eerie and disturbing. His film represents an effective example of regional filmmaking, long before the indie scene latched onto that concept.
Susan Doll is the writer/researcher for the Facets Video label. She holds a PhD in film studies from Northwestern University and is the author of Elvis for Dummies, Florida on Film, The Films of Elvis Presley, Best of Elvis, Elvis Album, Elvis: Forever in the Groove, and more. Susan also writes for Turner Classic Movie's blog, MovieMorlocks.com. Previous Facets Night School classes taught include "Night of the Hunter: A Fractured Fairy Tale" and "Elvis 101: How to Appreciate an Elvis Movie, a look at Viva Las Vegas".
Saturday, October 9
"Almost as Weird as House..."
Katherine Rife presents
Directed by H. Tjut Djalil, 1981
Mystics in Bali
"From the information we have it seems that this thing was a flying head."
-Dialogue from Mystics in Bali
Banned at home in Indonesia, H. Tjut Djalil's gruesome, surreal horror flick became a true rarity abroad. Its bizarre imagery, including a woman's fanged head flying about with her entrails still attached, secured its fame among horror fans.
The story follows an American, Cathy (Ilona Agathe Bastian), on her trip to Asia in search of evidence of ancient magic. When she encounters an old woman from the Leyak cult, she agrees to partake in their strange and savage rites. Little does Cathy know, she is not merely their guest. Katherine Rife offers intriguing insights into this rare film that thrives on its dreamlike imagery.
Katherine Rife is a video producer/editor and sometime writer who resides in Chicago. Though Midwestern born and bred, she always insists on subtitles (dubbing is for the weak). She is a member of the found footage video collective Everything Is Terrible! and spends her free time overthinking trash culture and hunting the elusive VHS.
Friday, October 15
Lucio Fulci: Beyond the Gore
Michelle Zaladonis presents Part 2
Directed by Lucio Fulci, 1981
of our Killer Kitties Programming:
The Black Cat
Italian horror director Lucio Fulci directs his version of Edgar Allan Poe's fable, but he doesn't follow Poe's original any more than any other adaptation. Set in a quiet English village, the story involves one angry kitty cat who wreaks havoc on the locals. Kitty is owned by a reclusive professor, played by Patrick Magee, who claims to record the thoughts of the dead from the nearby cemetery. Michelle Zaladonis explores the style and aesthetics of Fulci, who offers a cat-cam-style cinematography, adept editing of the cat attacks, and other unique flourishes.
Michele Zaladonis is a writer and teacher who also works at Facets. She has a fondness for Italian genre film and previously presented The Good, the Bad, and the Django at Night School.
Senses of Cinema: Fulci
Film Freak Central
Saturday, October 16
Dinner with the Family: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
and Its Long Wait For Approval
Dominick Mayer presents a modern horror classic that no remake can touch:
Directed by Tobe Hooper, 1974
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
"I can't imagine why anyone would want to make a movie like this, and yet it's well-made, well-acted, and all too effective"
"Tobe Hooper's pic is well-made for an exploiter of its type"
Upon its initial release in 1974, Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre found a devoted cult following but was widely reviled by critics for its gritty, nihilistic depictions of unspeakable violence. Decades later, the film is considered a touchstone of horror cinema and influenced generations of filmmakers. Dominick Mayer will look at this progression and examine what about the film has turned it into a phenomenon.
Dominick Mayer's taste for horror comes with a serious pedigree. He studies cinema at DePaul University and also volunteers at Facets.
Friday, October 22
Fright Night: Horror Hosts, Suburban Paranoia,
and the Vampire Next Door
Cary Elza presents a favorite from the 1980s:
Directed by Tom Holland, 1985
"Director Tom Holland keeps the picture wonderfully simple and entirely believable"
"A farrago of cartoonish exaggeration... knowing humour and '80s camp, it shouldn't even begin to work, and yet, strangely, it does"
Combining the retro appeal of late-night TV horror hosts (here, Roddy McDowell hamming it up) with the mid-eighties trope of danger lurking behind the perfect exteriors of the 'burbs, Fright Night gave audiences a good dose of nostalgia alongside the more typical gross-outs of teen horror-comedy hybrids. Cary Elza discusses the film's place in the 1980s horror-comedy cycle, its innovative makeup and effects, and its affectionate references to horror history, all of which helped encourage a new generation to look beyond the slasher genre and find value in the horror movie masterpieces of the past.
Live for Films
Cary Elza is a Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University, and is currently writing her dissertation on female figures and boundary crossing between real and imagined worlds, from Alice in Wonderland to Coraline. She has published articles on Pokemon, Smallville, and The X-Files. Previous Facets Night School classes taught include David Bowie's Codpiece, or: How Girls of the 1980s Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Backlash: A Look at Jim Henson's Labyrinth.
Saturday, October 23
Bang Your Head on the Open Wound:
Bad Horror Films and Why We Love Them
Dominick Mayer presents a strange horror flick from Sweden:
Directed by Anders Jacobsson, 1995
Will horror fans watch anything? Does it have to be traditionally "good?" Jason Frederick will tackle this topic by discussing the tasteless, splatter-gore flick from Sweden, Evil Ed, and why he feels this bad film is so good, especially when it comes to horror. The title character is a movie editor who is working on an Ingmar Bergman-style art film, when his boss forces him to cut a low-brow, low-budget horror-film series. The change in "tastes" causes Ed to become unhinged. Come join us and weigh in on the value of "bad movies!"
Dominick Mayer's taste for horror comes with a serious pedigree. He studies cinema at DePaul University and also volunteers at Facets. If you liked his presentation of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, you'll love Evil Ed.
The History of Swedish horror films
Friday, October 29
Necrophilia Will Tear Us Apart
Chris Damen presents a love story from Hell:
Directed by Jörg Buttgereit,1987
In this startling horror feature from Germany, a street sweeper who cleans up after grisly accidents brings home a corpse for his amusement, but he resents that his wife prefers the corpse to him. While acknowledging the cult appeal of Nekromantik, Chris Damen offers some insight into the aesthetics of the film within the context of German gore films of the era.
Chris Damen is a Facets' Personal Video Consultant. When not traveling to far-off locales, he can be found behind the desk at the Videotheque. Chris previously presented The Comedy of Terror: Team America: World Police for Night School.
Saturday, October 30
Bruce Neal and Adam Warlock Present
"Singing Saws and Zombie Rock"
Facets' Favorite Cursed Bird perform a live score to:
Directed by Jean Epstein, 1928
The Fall of the House of Usher
"[The} cinematic equivalent of Debussy. An absolute mastery of editing and rhythm in which slow motion, superimpositions... and the mobile camera combine to play a totally ungratuitous role"
"I barely stirred during the film's 66-minute running time. A tone, an atmosphere, was created that actually worked"
"While [interpretive licenses] may detract from the purity of Poe's vision, the film more than compensates with bravura camerawork, lighting, and a convincing air of mystery and strangeness"
-Bright Lights Film Journal
Night School favorites Cursed Bird Ensemble wrap up Fright School with a live score to the silent French version of Edgar Allen Poe'sThe Fall of the House of Usher by legendary French director Jean Epstein. Luis Buñuel helped adapt the original source material, and his adaptation was heavily influenced by surrealism and Expressionism -- two of the biggest artistic movements of 1920s Paris. As an extra added attraction, Cursed Bird will also present the wacky short Monsters Crash the Pajama Party with live effects.
Bright Lights Film Journal
For this unique event, the Cursed Bird Ensemble are:
Bruce Neal (guitars & banjo)
Adam Warlock (drums)
Ben Gates (guitar)
Eric Tanis (bass)
Chris Hefner (musical saw & guitar)
Angela Yonke (viola & musical saw)
Catie Olson (musical saw & vocals)
EC Brown (acoustic guitar & percussion)
The talented Cursed Bird Ensemble offer rock-inspired live scores to unusual silent films, updating the silent-film experience for modern audiences. Previous events include Haxan at last year's Fright School, and the recent presentation of A Page of Madness.
For all inquiries about Facets Night School, email email@example.com.