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Film is a genuine art. It is genuine in that it is strictly popular. Like all the arts its apppeal is based on a few primitive, and therefore universal, instincts and mechanisms in man. Sex and combat are the chief instincts. --after Terry Ramsaye (1926).

Voyeurism is not just one of the primary tools of cinema, but of written fiction too. [Dec 2005]

"The Kino is a vulgar modern entertainment and I doubt if it can tell us anything serious about the modern condition." --Sigmund Freud

Peeping Tom (1960) - Michael Powell [Amazon.com]

Related: cinema | fiction | film editing | the film experience | film genre | film gallery | filmography | Hollywood | photography | VCR

Canon: Peeping Tom (1960) - Michael Powell * A Clockwork Orange (1971) - Stanley Kubrick * Videodrome (1983) - David Cronenberg * Audition (1999) - Takashi Miike * Romance X (1999) - Catherine Breillat

Bibliography: Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Midnight Movies (1983) - Incredibly Strange Films (1986) - Cult Movie Stars (1991) - Immoral Tales (1994) - 1001 Movies (2004)

By profession: actors - actress - director - distributor - film critic

Theory: film history - film theory - auteur theory - the male gaze - voyeurism and the nature of cinema

By region: American cinema - British cinema - French cinema - European cinema - German cinema - Italian cinema - Japanese cinema - World cinema

It is Camille Paglia's central thesis that in the 20th century (which she calls the Age of Hollywood) pagan popular culture overtook and vanquished the high arts. Thanks to advances in technology, pop became a universal language, as catholic in its reach as the medieval church. Once pop art embraced commercial iconography, the avant-garde was dead.

By genre: anime | adventure film | art films | art house films | avant-garde films | banned films | blockbuster | B-movie | comedy | cult film | documentary film | early film | mainstream erotic film | Euro trash | experimental film | exploitation film | film censorship | film noir | gay film | giallo | horror film | mainstream film| midnight movie| narrative film | paracinema | postmodern cinema | ratings | science-fiction film | silent film | slasher film | surrealism in cinema | transgressive film | violent film | Western | women in prison film

The rise of cinema and "moving pictures" in the first decade of the 20th century gave the modern movement an artform which was uniquely its own. -- [Dec 2004]

By era: early film | silent film | 1970s film | 1980s film | 1990s film


Welcome to my pages on film. My love for cinema started when I was young, fostered by my father. My omnivorous tastes in film are reflected on these pages, where you will find films considered as "high art" and films considered as "low art". Geographically the films are from Europe, the US and Japan.

I tend to follow the work of certain directors and actors but for now I have mainly focused on directors. The first wave of directors whose work I started to appreciate — mainly influenced by the wonderful book Cult Movie Stars, the Antwerp arthouse cinemas and television — were Roger Corman, David Cronenberg, Pedro Almodóvar, Peter Bogdanovich, Larry Cohen, Peter Greenaway, Jonathan Demme, Roman Polanski, Stanley Kubrick, Patrice Leconte, Nicolas Roeg, John Sayles, Jacques Tati and Alex van Warmerdam.

The second wave of directors and associated titles were discovered with the help of the internet and the Antwerp film museum. They include Catherine Breillat, Georges Franju, Michael Haneke, Todd Haynes, Juzo Itami, David Lynch, Radley Metzger, François Ozon, Lars von Trier and Michael Winterbottom.

You will find cross-referenced information on these directors and their films, as well as info on genres which are dear to me, but maligned in the mainstream. I refer to art films, documentaries, erotic films, horror and science fiction, cult films or the combination of the above. In academia referred to as paracinema, they are perhaps overrepresented on Jahsonic.com. The reason for this is straightforward: there are numerous sites out there covering the films of canonized directors such as Scorsese, Bresson, Hitchcock and Tarantino; authors whose work I appreciate but who receive enough attention as it is. I try to find beauty in unexpected places and redress — what I perceive as — a ruling publication bias.

A word of thanks here to five books, Cult Movie Stars (1991), Incredibly Strange Films (1986), Midnight Movies (1983), Film As a Subversive Art (1974) and Immoral Tales (1994) which have fed my oppositional tastes.

The film section is a work in progress (I started it in 1996), and I have included links to Wikipedia entries on most of the title and director entries, so you can help to keep the info up-to-date and accurate. [Jun 2006]

Film links

  1. http://www.imdb.com
    The most complete movie database, owned by amazon.com
  2. http://www.sensesofcinema.com
    From Australia, an online film journal devoted to the serious and eclectic discussion of cinema.
  3. http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/
    A popular-academic hybrid of movie analysis, history, and commentary written by curdled critics and excitable academics. Gary Morris is chief-editor
  4. http://www.offscreen.com
    With chief editor Donato Totaro, a very prolific cinema writer.
  5. http://www.imagesjournal.com/
    Articles about movies, with an emphasis on the visual language of cinema. Includes studies of Westerns, film noir, serials, horror, stardom, and Alfred Hitchcock.
  6. http://daily.greencine.com
    The informed blog of an online DVD rental, video-on-demand and DivX service.

Voyeurism and cinema

Voyeurism is just one of the primary tools of cinema. Hitchcock and directors before him in the silent era, when you shot a close-up from somebody's point of view, you were tying the audience very directly into the experience. It's the only art form in which you are showing the same piece of information to your character and the viewer in the audience simultaneously. That's what's unique about it and that's why people are drawn into film -- because they're experiencing the same visual information as the character. --Ian Rothkerch, http://archive.salon.com/ent/movies/int/2002/11/06/depalma/print.html [Dec 2004]

Rear Window (1954) - Alfred Hitchcock

Since its birth, but most explicitly since the 1950s, the cinema has played with surveillance, voyeurism, and the power of the gaze, often in cautionary tales that conjure up the specter of totalitarianism, and also through meta-references to the movie camera's own complicity with institutional voyeurism. --Andrew Hultkrans via Surveillance in the Cinema via http://www.stim.com/Stim-x/7.1/SurvFilms/SurvFilms.html [Dec 2005]

Voyeurism, by definition, is the obsessive observation of sordid or sensational subjects, often sexual in nature. Renowned director Alfred Hitchcock further popularized voyeurism in what is considered by many to be his greatest film, Rear Window (Paramount, 1954). --Joe Winters via http://www.horror-wood.com/peep.htm [Dec 2005]

Incredibly Strange Films (1986) - V. Vale , Andrea Juno

Related: V. Vale - underground film - grindhouse film - Andrea Juno - American cinema - strange - 1986

Incredibly Strange Films (1986) - V. Vale , Andrea Juno [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

See here.

From Caligari to Hitler (1947) - Siegfried Kracauer

From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film (1947) - Siegfried Kracauer [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

See here.

Hollywood Babylon (1959) - Kenneth Anger

Jayne Mansfield on the cover of the Italian edition of Hollywood Babylon I

Hollywood Babylon (1959) - Kenneth Anger [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Hollywood was not yet a dirty word in 1916. It was just a junction of dirt roads, a solitary "Mission-style" hotel, some claptrap bungalows scattered in the orange groves, and the startling apparation of a Babylon orgy in full swing in the sunshine, smack on Sunset Boulevard. --first sentence of the 1965 edition.

See here.

Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Amos Vogel

Related: Amos Vogel - art - avant-garde film - art house cinema - intellectual - subversive - transgressive cinema - 1974 - film

Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Amos Vogel [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Subversion in cinema starts when the theatre darkens and the screen lights up. For the cinema is a place of magic where psychological and environmental factors combine to create an openness to wonder and suggestion, and unlocking of the unconcious. It is a shrine at which modern rituals rooted in atavistic memories and subconscious desires are acted out in darkness and seclusion from the outer world -- Amos Vogel via Film As a Subversive Art (1974).

See here.

Immoral Tales: Sex And Horror Cinema In Europe 1956-1984 (1994) - Cathal Tohill & Pete Tombs

Related: 1994 - Immoral Tales - European cinema - Euro trash

Immoral Tales (1994) does for European cinema what Incredibly Strange Films (1986) does to American cinema.

Immoral Tales: Sex And Horror Cinema In Europe 1956-1984 (1994) - Cathal Tohill & Pete Tombs [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

See here.

Cult Movie Stars (1991) - Danny Peary

Cult Movies Stars - Danny Peary [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

‘My intention is to get movie fans to seek out particular stars and show why others are so devoted to them.’ --Danny Peary

See here.

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