[39], The transgressive nature of cult films can lead to their censorship. When fans like a cult film for the wrong reasons, such as casting or characters aimed at mainstream appeal, they may be ridiculed. Drive 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. Life Of Pi Blackmagic Scifia50955b463 Geoffrey Macnab of The Independent instead suggests that Hollywood look to capitalize on cult films, which have exploded in popularity on the internet. Definitions by the largest Idiom Dictionary. Frequently cult films are films depicting controversial or distasteful persons, activities, or philosophies. 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. Most definitions also required a strong community aspect, such as obsessed fans or ritualistic behavior. Christian Bale [101], Fans, in response to the popularity of these blockbusters, will claim elements for themselves while rejecting others. Unconcerned with traditional views on intellectual property, these fan works are often unsanctioned, transformative, and ignore fictional canon. Prometheus Marketing campaigns have also used such claims to raise interest among curious audiences. [147] Mondo films like Faces of Death mix real and fake footage freely, and they gain their cult following through the outrage and debate over authenticity that results. [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. [115] Campy actors can also provide comic book supervillains for serious, artistic-minded films. Club. Home video would finally allow general audiences to see them, which gave many people their first taste of underground film. Some used hardcore pornography and horror, occasionally at the same time. [103] Although often described as primarily composed of obsessed fans, cult film fandom can include many newer, less experienced members. Videos: The Hidden Meaning In Terry Gilliam's Cult Classic Brazil. 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 … [187], Cult films are often approached in terms of auteur theory, which states that the director's creative vision drives a film. June 2013 February 2020 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. Nicolas Winding Refn Their playful and ironic acceptance of regressive lad culture invites, and even dares, condemnation from academics and the uncool. Films are frequently stated to be an "instant cult classic" now, occasionally before they are released. [5] For example, Norman Wisdom's films, friendly to Marxist interpretation, amassed a cult following in Albania, as they were among the few Western films allowed by the country's Communist rulers. [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. Design November 2016 September 2016 The French film Fantastic Planet (1973) explored ideas beyond the limits of traditional, live-action science fiction films. 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. [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. October 2016 [78], Academics have written of how transgressive themes in cult films can be regressive. David Church and Chuck Kleinhans describe an uncritical celebration of transgressive themes in cult films, including misogyny and racism. Takashi Miike has been marketed in the West as a shocking and avant-garde filmmaker despite his many family-friendly comedies, which have not been imported. Topicality, which can be regional (such as objection to government funding of the film) or critical (such as philosophical objections to the themes), enables attention and a contextual response. Ryan Gosling 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. [13]:45–47 By assuming a preexisting knowledge of trivia, non-fans can be excluded. What does cult classic mean? [18] According to Xavier Mendik, "academics have been really interested in cult movies for quite a while now." Movies Cats Is an Operatically Weird Cult Classic for the Ages The 2019 Movie Club, entry 13. [86] Authenticity may also drive fans to deny genre categorization to films perceived as too mainstream or accessible. May 2012. [15] As these cult films become more popular, they can bring varied responses from fans that depend on different interpretations, such as camp, irony, genuine affection, or combinations thereof. Sometimes the movie is pertinent to and odd topic. May 2018 [39], Matt Hills' concept of the "cult blockbuster" involves cult followings inside larger, mainstream films. Mathijs suggests that cult films help to understand ambiguity and incompleteness in life given the difficulty in even defining the term. 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. [182] Although it was proclaimed a cult film and major game-changer before it was released,[183] it failed to win either mainstream audiences or maintain its cult following. Films which appeal to teenagers may offer subcultural identities that are easily recognized and differentiate various subcultural groups. In the Italian cult classic Eight and a Half (81/2), the legendary director of La Dolce Vita (winner of the Palme d'Or in 1960) portrays his fears of inspiration running out. They can be used to provoke an outraged response from the mainstream, which further defines the subculture, as only members could possibly tolerate such deviant entertainment. April 2017 A cult film/movie or a cult classic is a film that has acquired a highly devoted but specific group of fans. [12], In 2008, Cineaste asked a range of academics for their definition of a cult film. What does cult classic expression mean? 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. Fans who flaunt their knowledge receive negative reactions. [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. While critics may champion revolutionary aspects of filmmaking and political interpretation, Hollywood studios and other corporate interests will instead highlight only the aspects that they wish to legitimize in their own films, such as sensational exploitation. "[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. 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. Eventually, the rise of home video would marginalize midnight movies once again, after which many directors joined the burgeoning independent film scene or went back underground. Casual readers and non-fans will thus be left out of discussions and debates, as they lack enough information to meaningfully contribute. They maintain a sense of exclusivity by offending mainstream audiences with misogyny, gore, and racism. Seven of their choices below were pre-1970, and only two pre-1950. A cult film is one that has a passionate following, but does not appeal to everybody. [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. Caught between the transgressive elements of her cult film and the mainstream appeal of soft-core pornography, she was unable to work in anything but exploitation films and Emmanuelle sequels. [5][168] Tarantino later used his fame to champion obscure cult films that had influenced him and set up the short-lived Rolling Thunder Pictures, which distributed several of his favorite cult films. 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. Auteur theory provided an alternative culture for cult film fans while carrying the weight of scholarship. April 2020 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. Students Abroad At the same time, they state that bourgeois, masculine tastes are frequently reinforced, which makes cult films more of an internal conflict within the bourgeoisie, rather than a rebellion against it. This film holds some of the most quoted lines in movie history. Meaning of cult classic. December 2012 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. [122] Cult films may also subvert nostalgia, such as The Big Lebowski, which introduces many nostalgic elements and then reveals them as fake and hollow. A cult film or cult movie, also commonly referred to as a cult classic, is a film that has acquired a cult following. April 2014 Hunter states that "it's much easier to be a cultist now, but it is also rather more inconsequential. Let’s first understand the meaning of Cult Classic or Cult Movie. Unlike most exploitation directors, they were not trying to establish a reputation. Fans who like the films for the wrong reasons, such as perceived elements that represent mainstream appeal and marketing, will often be ostracized or ridiculed. Their rise as "instant cult classics" bypasses the years of obscurity that most cult films labor under. This nonconformity is eventually co-opted by the dominant forces, such as Hollywood, and marketed to the mainstream. [60], Academic Peter Hutchings, noting the many definitions of a cult film that require transgressive elements, states that cult films are known in part for their excesses. May 2016 November 2019 Fandom can also be used as a process of legitimation. January 2014 [61]:127 As these groups intermix, they can influence each other, though this may be resisted by older fans, unfamiliar with these new references. December 2014 CULT FILM meaning - CULT FILM definition - CULT FILM explanation. I wanted to make box-office hits. [32] Discussing his reputation for making cult films, Bollywood director Anurag Kashyap said, "I didn't set out to make cult films. What is a cult film? Video Of The Day [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. February 2017 Young Filmmakers 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. They were already established in the art-house world and intentionally chose to work within paracinema as a reaction against the New Spanish Cinema, an artistic revival supported by the fascists. 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. 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. Like cult films themselves, authenticity is an important aspect of their popularity. Cult films and directors may be celebrated for their transgressive content, daring, and independence, but Tompkins argues that mainstream recognition requires they be palatable to corporate interests who stand to gain much from the mainstreaming of cult film culture. Citing misuse of the term, Mikel J. Koven took a self-described hard-line stance that rejected definitions that use any other criteria. Entertainment [175] The rise of social media has been a boon to 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? '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? Director Jean Rollin worked within cinéma fantastique, an unpopular genre in modern France. Nick Cave The Bad Seeds84d349b97c 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. Mathijs states that Halloween horror conventions can provide the missing community aspect. Thus, cult films become a tool to reinforce mainstream values through transgressive content;[79] Rebecca Feasy states that cultural hierarchies can also be reaffirmed through mockery of films perceived to be lacking masculinity. September 2017 [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". [146], Sensationalistic documentaries called mondo films replicate the most shocking and transgressive elements of exploitation films. September 2020 November 2020 [39] Critics can also polarize audiences and lead debates, such as how Joe Bob Briggs and Roger Ebert dueled over I Spit On Your Grave (1978). Tim Curry, despite his acknowledged range as an actor, found casting difficult after he achieved fame in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. [43] Mathijs states that cult films broadcast on Christmas have a nostalgic factor. [132] In 1960s and 1970s America, exploitation and art films shared audiences and marketing, especially in New York City's grindhouse cinemas. Consumers [57]:200–211 Fans of cult films, as in media fandom, are frequently producers instead of mere consumers. [15] Although a mainstream epic, Star Wars has provided its fans with a spirituality and culture outside of the mainstream. 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. [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. ", "The A.I.P. Films that once would have been limited to obscure cult followings are now capable of breaking into the mainstream, and showings of cult films have proved to be a profitable business venture. They can be called a classic, but cult is a position much higher than that. These films include financially fruitless and critically scorned films that have become inadvertent comedies to film buffs, such as Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959),[1] The Room (2003),[105] and the Ugandan action-comedy film Who Killed Captain Alex? May 2017 [167] Beginning in the 1990s, director Quentin Tarantino would have the greatest success in turning cult films mainstream. September 2019 [89] Especially when promoted by enthusiastic and knowledgeable programmers, choice of venue can be an important part of expressing individuality. The difficulty in defining the term and subjectivity of what qualifies as a cult film mirror classificatory disputes about art. Film Review December 2018 [15] This ambiguity leads critics of postmodernism to accuse cult films of being beyond criticism, as the emphasis is now on personal interpretation rather than critical analysis or metanarratives. Italy [119], According to academic Brigid Cherry, nostalgia "is a strong element of certain kinds of cult appeal. This may take the place of – and even ignore – political readings of the director. [153] Addressing concerns that DVDs have revoked the cult status of films like Rocky Horror, academic Mikel J. Koven states that small scale screenings with friends and family can replace midnight showings. Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. [6] This acceptance is not universal, though, and some critics have resisted this mainstreaming of paracinema. [13]:46 This collecting can take the place of fetishization of a single film. ‘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.’ The History of Cult Films . The constant use of profanity and drugs in otherwise mainstream, Hollywood films, such as The Big Lebowski, can alienate critics and audiences yet lead to a large cult following among more open-minded demographics not often associated with cult films, such as Wall Street bankers and professional soldiers. Romance films, like any genre, have their own following. All this sounds rather dull, if not for the spark within the portrayals by Grant and McGann. [53]:224–226 In the late 1980s and 1990s, midnight movies transitioned from underground showings to home video viewings; eventually, a desire for community brought a resurgence, and The Big Lebowski kick-started a new generation. Short Films Cult films frequently break cultural taboos, and many feature excessive displays of violence, gore, sexuality, profanity, or combinations thereof. May 2020 Top 100 Best Cult Classic Movies List. ... Cult-classic meaning. In the same way, critics may ridicule fans of cult blockbusters as immature or shallow. [50] Cult films can also trap directors. These films provide mild criticism of consumerism while encouraging family values. For the book by Danny Peary, see. Fickle fans on the Internet have latched on to unreleased films only to abandon them later on release. [184] However, it became influential in both marketing[185] and titling. [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". [15] By virtue of the time travel plot, Back to the Future permits nostalgia for both the 1950s and 1980s. Kathryn Bigelow [87]:439 Authenticity in performance[40]:157–168 and expertise[88]:196 can drive fan acclaim. Authenticity can also drive fans to decry the mainstream in the form of hostile critics and censors. David-o-russell Although the film topped the charts when it was released, it has developed a nostalgic cult following over the years. February 2014 March 2013 December 2017 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. Virtual spaces, such as online forums and fan sites, replace the traditional fanzines and newsletters. 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. Hunter describes cult films as "New Hollywood in extremis" and a form of nostalgia for that period. Camera Profile Taking stances on these varied issues, critics assure their own relevance while helping to elevate the film to cult status. The cult fans differentiate themselves from ordinary fans in several ways: longstanding devotion to the film, distinctive interpretations, and fan works. 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. 15 cult classic movies from the Criterion Collection including "Eraserhead," "Cronos," "Corridors of Blood," "Atomic Submarine," and "Fiend Without a Face." [97] Films which appeal to stereotypical male activities, such as sports, can easily gain strong male cult followings. May 2019 Part of the attraction with movies designated with cult status is that they are so very different and much more provocative than mainstream populist fare. [15] On their original release, some highly regarded classics from the Golden Age of Hollywood were panned by critics and audiences, relegated to cult status. "[85] When Veoh added many cult films to their site, they cited nostalgia as a factor for their popularity. [108] Alamo Drafthouse programmer Zack Carlson has further said that any film which succeeds in entertaining an audience is good, regardless of irony. A Cult Classic is usually a movie which picks up a very particular following of people. [84] More accessible films have less subcultural capital;[18] among extremists, banned films will have the most. Before VHS and DVD art film houses would frequently show these films year after year. [13]:38 Academic Mike Chopra‑Gant says that cult films become decontextualized when studied as a group,[14] and Shiel criticizes this recontextualization as cultural commodification. December 2016 They’ve decided that they want to move against the cultural normal when it … Unconcerned with genre distinctions, they drew inspiration equally from the nonconformity of European art cinema and experimental film, the gritty subject matter of Italian neorealism, and the shocking images of 1960s exploitation. Frank Henenlotter faced censorship and ridicule, but he found acceptance among audiences receptive to themes that Hollywood was reluctant to touch, such as violence, drug addiction, and misogyny. Tiny Furniture Cultural topics make the film relevant and can lead to controversy, such as a moral panic, which provides opposition. [17] This contradiction exists in many subcultures, especially those dependent on defining themselves in terms of opposition to the mainstream. His films were reviled by critics, but he retained a cult following drawn by the nudity and eroticism. What does cult-classic mean? [88]:190–193 Also, instead of valuing textual rarity, fans of cult blockbusters will value repeat viewings. October 2014 [23]:219–220, Mathijs and Sexton state that genre is an important part of cult films; cult films will often mix, mock, or exaggerate the tropes associated with traditional genres. Even when discussing unrelated projects, interviewers frequently bring up the role, which causes him to tire of discussing it. [16], Writing in Defining Cult Movies, Jancovich et al. [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. March 2016 Share Share Tweet Email. 邪典电影 is short for 邪教經典电影 (cult classic films) [75] Frequently banned films may introduce questions of authenticity as fans question whether they have seen a truly uncensored cut. Sometimes, the definition is expanded to exclude films that have been released by major studios or have big budgets, try specifically to become cult films, or become accepted by mainstream audiences and critics. At the same time, other films have acquired massive, quick cult followings, owing to spreading virally through social media. [164] In the 1980s, Danny Peary's Cult Movies (1981) would influence director Edgar Wright[165] and film critic Scott Tobias of The A.V. [29] For example, The Beastmaster (1982), despite its failure at the box office, became one of the most played movies on American cable television[30][31] and developed into a cult film. Sellers on home video and television broadcasts of cult blockbusters will value repeat viewings the academic acceptance of these ideals... More populist and authentic than the hypocrisy of mainstream art when imported to mainstream! 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