From the Arthouse to the Grindhouse: Highbrow and Lowbrow Transgression in Cinema's First Century

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John Cline, Robert G. Weiner
Scarecrow Press, Jul 17, 2010 - Performing Arts - 362 pages
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While there are numerous books on art and exploitation cinema, very few attempt to examine both. Covering the first 100 years of cinematic transgressions, From the Arthouse to the Grindhouse is a collection of numerous essays representing key contributions to overlooked, forgotten, or under-analyzed parts of film history. From cult favorites like Arch Hall Jr. to revered but under-documented marquee names like Lon Chaney, filmmakers both major and minor are covered here.

Starting with a section that pairs exploitation pioneers like Dwain Esper alongside cutting edge auteurs like Erich Von Stroheim, the volume documents the bleeding edge of the high/low cultural divide. Other essays examine the sexual melodramas of Weimer German cinema, explore the concept of Borat as a model for the new standardized cult film, and discuss the films of directors Tod Browning, Pier Pasolini, and Peter Watkins. This volume also contains a section devoted to the idea of "reality" inside and outside the documentary sphere, emphasizing audiences' desire to believe that "this is really happening," whether they're horrified or titillated. Addressing many aspects of "transgression" in cinema, these essays suggest that the distance between the venues and the audiences may not be quite as wide as viewers might imagine.
 

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Contents

Sexual Enlightenment Melodramas in AustroHungarian and Weimar German Cinema
3
The Perverseness of Erich von Stroheim
10
Tod Brownings The Thirteenth Chair
23
Dwain Esper
41
Part II SEXPLOITATION
55
Watching Doris Wishman
57
The Films of Sonney and Friedman
75
Waterpower
85
Part IV TRANSGRESSIVE STARS
171
CHAPTER 13 The Humanist Transgressions of Lon Chaney
173
CHAPTER 14 The Perfect Threat Arch Hall Jr The Sadist and the Ideal Teenager
188
Jamie Gillis
202
A Model for the New Standardized Cult Film
208
Part V REALITYDOCUMENTARYTRANSGRESSIONS
221
Art and Misdemeanor in Deadhead Imagery
223
Art Shock in Des Morts
244

Pasolini and Sade
95
Part III EXHIBITION
107
Class Gender and Taste at the Rialto
109
The Tobita Cinema in Osaka
126
CHAPTER 11 Grindhouse and Beyond
129
CHAPTER 12 Art and Grind in Seattle
153
Fetish Custom Video
264
The Films of Peter Watkins
274
Reality as Transgression in Exploitation Cinema
297
Index
317
About the Editors and Contributors
335
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

John Cline is co-chair for the Transgressive/Exploitation film area for the Southwestern Popular Culture Association.

Robert G. Weiner is associate humanities librarian at Texas Tech University where he is the librarian for film studies. He is the author of Marvel Graphic Novels: An Annotated Guide 1965-2005 and editor of Captain America and the Struggle of the Superhero: Critical Essays (2009).

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