Musical Performance and the Cult Film Experience

Ian Conrich

in Film's Musical Moments

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780748623440
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651115 | DOI:
Musical Performance and the Cult Film Experience

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The cult film is generally seen as a development of post-war cinema, and includes a range of texts that can be used as sites for nostalgia, cultural allegiance and amplified pleasures, and which tend to be associated with camp, low culture, subversion, excess, the unexpected, the absurd, the eccentric, the extreme or the forbidden. Cult films effectively create communities of avid audiences who respond in ways that carry personal meaning yet are familiar and ritualistic. This chapter explores how some classical screen musicals have acquired a devoted following through nostalgia. However, of the many factors that assist in the creation of a cult text, the challenging of expectations and the violation of both film and social conventions features prominently. With the cult musical, this can be observed in one way in the subversion of the classical film's utopian narrative. In this context, the chapter focuses on a subgroup of the cult musical, the horror-musical and films such as The Little Shop of Horrors (1986) and Joe's Apartment (1996), where it deals with the depictions of a screen dystopia.

Keywords: The Little Shop of Horrors; cult films; Joe's Apartment; nostalgia; dystopia; cultural allegiance; amplified pleasures; cult musical

Chapter.  7335 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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