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  #1  
Old 11-24-2009, 07:54 PM
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Default Cine-Excess

In what is believed to be the UK's first ever cross commercial-academic film venture, Brunel University's School of Arts Cult Film Archive, via its Cine-Excess project, has been given the rights to the archive of some of the 300 movies owned by the legendary B-movie producer and film director, Roger Corman. The university's intention to "take trash seriously" in an academic respect and to release the films from the Corman archive on DVD has led to the university's lecturer in Film and TV Studies and director of Cine-Excess, Xavier Mendik, seeking out the services of the prestigious London-based art film outlet, Nouveaux Pictures, as a joint distributor of its forthcoming titles.

Cine-Excess was originally established in 2007 by The Cult Film Archive at Brunel University as a high profile annual conference and film festival aimed at bringing together leading international scholars and critics with global cult filmmakers for a series of plenary talks, filmmaker interviews and UK theatrical premieres of up and coming cult releases.

The aim of the Nouveaux Pictures / Cine-Excess label is to bring the very best examples of cult cinema to both the commercial consumer and to the cult film studies educational sector. Extra features on the label's releases will include university academics discussing the films, many of which have been, or are being remade in Hollywood, but may also have a "retro" appeal to new audiences and are of interest to film studies students.

The first DVD release from Nouveaux Pictures / Cine-Excess will be VIVA, the debut full-length feature by LA-based artist and filmmaker Anna Biller (The Hypnotist; A Visit From The Incubus). Future releases will include the Corman-directed NOT OF THIS EARTH and ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS and Ron Howard's directorial debut feature, GRAND THEFT AUTO, along with such well-known cult cinema titles as SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, BIG BAD MAMA, DEATH SPORT, THE CRY BABY KILLER starring Jack Nicholson, plus Dick Maas' AMSTERDAMNED and a Special Edition of Dario Argento's classic, SUSPIRIA.

Speaking about the planned releases, Xavier Mendik said, "These are probably the first cross commercial-academic DVD movie releases ever. For someone who grew up as a cult film fan the opportunity to be able to release some of my all-time favourite movies is a dream come true."

Martin Nash, director of Nouveaux Pictures commented, "We have always been a niche label enjoying good support from the educational sector and we are delighted to distribute cutting edge movies, not only targeted at academia, but to the wider DVD market as well."

Visit www.cine-excess.co.uk for details of current and future releases.
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2009, 12:43 AM
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Suspiria on Blu-ray? Count me in.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:49 AM
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Oh, and at the risk of offending the genre intelligensia, I think all that psycho-babble preening is bullshit.

Fact: Suspiria is and always has been a horror classic. It needs no apology nor any academic bollocks.

It came out in 1977. It's taken you 32 years to realise it's a valid horror classic? Please.

Nevertheless, I'll buy one. Thank you Cine-Excess.

I don't mean to be rude, please accept my apologies if I seem a tad confrontational.
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:16 PM
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I'm not anti-critiques of films or anything like that. But...sometimes...it's just a film and that's all there is to read into it. I'm not one for trying to analyse sub-plots and discern hidden meanings in the story. I put the film on and want some cinematic escapism for an hour or two. However, there are notable exceptions that simply demand deeper analysis because the film won't allow you to sit on the fence - Cannibal Holocaust is a prime example. It's so much more than just an exploitation film and its subject matter won't allow you to simply be a passive observer, it extracts a reaction out of you whether you want it to or not. Sometimes, though, when academics start waffling on about subtexts and 'subverting the form' or some other such nonsense, I just kind of tune out.

And I don't want to appear to be taking shots at Cine-Excess either, I think the label is a great idea and I'll certainly pick up Suspiria on Blu-ray for definite.
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:13 PM
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Quite, you just have to listen to someone like Mark Kermode waffle on about The Exorcist for an example.
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2009, 06:37 PM
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I'm going to disagree

I had a run in with another site mod on Twitter over using the word Trash a few months ago, when he argued that to denigrate the work was to disrespect the artists who created them,

(Artists like Doris Wishman, Andy Milligan, HG Lewis and Ed Wood for instance!)

He was a bit of a dolt, but I think these films need critical analysis

If you don't want to read anything more into them, that's fine and dandy, these films were made for profit and perhaps to excise the manias of the director in Jess Franco and others cases, but the cultural landscape that demands this kind of product is endlessly fascinating to me

I only really watch older exploitation movies because it's not all about the tits and blood for me, the music, context, setting, editing and era are all vital as well

I don't enjoy new exploitation films because I think society has moved on in it's attitudes to say, women, homosexuality and race

Watching Toetag films stuff makes me ill, but Fight for Your Life doesn't

Why?

Because one is the product of a time when attitudes were different and that's interesting, the other makes me uncomfortable because things move on

That's why I don't enjoy films that pay tribute to the Grindhouse era (Tarantino aside) because when those films were made, women didn't have the same respect, animal rights weren't respected and it was OK to call "a Spade a Spade"

Personally, I don't take the movies at face value because they are far more interesting than that to me, so I like an in depth analysis, it doesn't mean that some critics don't talk crap, but I think dismissing deeper thought on these works is folly

I don't think there's anything wrong with watching them for kicks, I do it too, but If you don't know the background, the 42nd street dives, porno chic, store front theatres, the darkening of the 60s dream into early 70s libertinism and decadence then the films are just empty sensation

Maybe I just need to justify my liking for Women in Prison films?

But seriously, If you watch I Spit On Your Grave for sheer entertainment value, isn't that a little seedy?
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemonia View Post
I'm not anti-critiques of films or anything like that. But...sometimes...it's just a film and that's all there is to read into it. I'm not one for trying to analyse sub-plots and discern hidden meanings in the story. I put the film on and want some cinematic escapism for an hour or two.
I couldn't agree more and movies are purely and simply a source of entertainment to me. Nothing more, nothing less.

If i recall rightly Maurice Yacowar's audio commentary contributions on the Flesh For Frankenstein and Blood For Dracula DVDs are a prime example of somebody looking far too much into a film imo.
It's been years since i listened to the yap tracks in question but i remember being bored outta my skull by Yacowar's mundane meandering musings on the above two cult classics.
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Old 11-28-2009, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam@Cult Labs View Post
I'm going to disagree
And I'm going to disagree right back. All in good humour, though, I might add. I just like a good debate so please don't take offence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam@Cult Labs View Post
I had a run in with another site mod on Twitter over using the word Trash a few months ago, when he argued that to denigrate the work was to disrespect the artists who created them,
(Artists like Doris Wishman, Andy Milligan, HG Lewis and Ed Wood for instance!)
I don't think it disrespects the creators, in fact most of them would agree that their films are trash. Cheaply made 'quickies' to turn a fast buck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam@Cult Labs View Post
He was a bit of a dolt, but I think these films need critical analysis.
But what's to analyse in, say, A Night to Dismember? I mean, it's pretty much total rubbish. The only analysis needed here is to inform the viewer what the hell it's all about!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam@Cult Labs View Post
If you don't want to read anything more into them, that's fine and dandy, these films were made for profit and perhaps to excise the manias of the director in Jess Franco and others cases, but the cultural landscape that demands this kind of product is endlessly fascinating to me.
Exactly - 'made for profit' being the key phrase here. Franco's work I like and enjoy by and large, and some of them are very artistic and surreal and others are...well...trash. Rushed because he was bored and wanted to move onto something new. In fact, a friend of mine interviewed Franco and told him he'd seen 80 of his films. Franco stared at him in disbelief and said 'Why??'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam@Cult Labs View Post
I only really watch older exploitation movies because it's not all about the tits and blood for me, the music, context, setting, editing and era are all vital as well.
I agree to an extent - but that kind of thinking also makes it an almost elitist club. Only those 'in the know' can appreciate these things. I can't quite go along with that. Plenty of people enjoy these films without all this supposedly prerequisite knowledge. And, really, isn't tits and blood all the cinema goers of the time wanted? I'm sure they weren't aware consciously of their cultural landscape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam@Cult Labs View Post
I don't enjoy new exploitation films because I think society has moved on in it's attitudes to say, women, homosexuality and race

Watching Toetag films stuff makes me ill, but Fight for Your Life doesn't

Why?

Because one is the product of a time when attitudes were different and that's interesting, the other makes me uncomfortable because things move on
You're kind of backtracking there. The exploitation films of today will one day be viewed in the same way as your retrospective view of exploitation films of times past. What about the cultural landscape that exists now that demands the kind of films that Toetag make? Isn't that equally as valid and interesting? Or is it only retrospectively that films and their cultural environment can be analysed? I'm equally fascinated by the times we live in as the times that long passed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam@Cult Labs View Post
That's why I don't enjoy films that pay tribute to the Grindhouse era (Tarantino aside) because when those films were made, women didn't have the same respect, animal rights weren't respected and it was OK to call "a Spade a Spade".
I don't think these films have ever been fully culturally accepted. Certainly not in the UK where the censor took a dim view of such things, hence why Fight for Your Life remains banned in the UK to this day. So no, those views may have been tolerated more back in the day, but I don't think they've ever had wide cultural acceptance. Deodato still landed in jail for killing those animals, so I'd hardly say that killing those animals was acceptable even back then. More tolerant of it, possibly, not accepted as the norm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam@Cult Labs View Post
Personally, I don't take the movies at face value because they are far more interesting than that to me, so I like an in depth analysis, it doesn't mean that some critics don't talk crap, but I think dismissing deeper thought on these works is folly
I'm not saying deeper analysis is unnecessary - but mostly you've talked about the cultural environment that demanded such product, which has more to do with audience demand than the film itself. Audiences wanted tits and and blood and that's what they got. Is it really any more complex than that? By all means talk about influences, cultural environs and the like. But the film itself was designed to deliver illicit thrills and to generate profit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam@Cult Labs View Post
I don't think there's anything wrong with watching them for kicks, I do it too, but If you don't know the background, the 42nd street dives, porno chic, store front theatres, the darkening of the 60s dream into early 70s libertinism and decadence then the films are just empty sensation
But to Grindhouse audiences back in the day, weren't they just that - empty sensation? The audiences then couldn't define the cultural landscape they inhabited. They weren't watching these movies as an academic exercise - they wanted vicarious entertainment and they got it. So yes, I'd say if you take away the retrospective glasses of academia, then all you're really left with is empty sensation. Maybe some feel they have to justify enjoying this stuff by glossing it over with a veneer of academic respectability; after all, how can we really just be enjoying these films for what they are - trashy entertainment? Well, I can and I do. Then again, I do have good knowledge of the Grindhouse scene etc - so maybe that helps. But I'm certainly not analysing what I'm watching in any great depth. Usually I just watch them to see how jaw-droppingly politically incorrect they can be. So, yes, that aspect never ceases to amuse me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam@Cult Labs View Post
Maybe I just need to justify my liking for Women in Prison films?
You maybe just need to join WIP Anonymous. 'Hi...my name is Sam and I....I....*ahem*...I like Women in Prison films...' (big silence)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam@Cult Labs View Post
But seriously, If you watch I Spit On Your Grave for sheer entertainment value, isn't that a little seedy?
I think ISOYG is another of those films that demands a reaction to it. Like I say, not all films should be dismissed, some demand closer attention. But in all honesty I'm not really going to read anything deep into a Doris Wishman film like Hideout in the Sun, which is just an extended excuse for gratuitous nudity.

Saying all I have done, I do accept that some, if not most Grindhouse films present a snapshot of an era long gone. But that's completely different to subjecting the films to an academic analysis.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:31 PM
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The disc has excellent AV quality and the commentary's great! My review can be found here.
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:40 AM
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Thanks for that Nosferatu - good review too!
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