The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies – London
7pm - 10pm (Film + Lecture)
£10 advance (click here) £11 on the door Prices / £8 concs (click here)
*Pilot season: monthly classes from January to June 2015, Second Thursday of the month, 8 January, 12 February, 12 March, 9 April, 14 May, 11 June
Jesús Franco: Shooting at the Speed of Light
Instructor STEPHEN THROWER
During a career spanning more than fifty years, Jesús (‘Jess’) Franco created a strange and unique style of commercial genre filmmaking, bordering at times on the avant-garde. Obsessed with ‘aberrant’ sex, erotic horror and the writings of the Marquis De Sade, he took a resolutely personal approach to movie-making, and after spending the 1960s honing his technique on slightly more conventional projects he embarked in the 1970s on a sustained period of intensive shooting, making as many as ten or twelve films in one year. Shooting with a small crew, exclusively on location, he worked at a speed that allowed little time for the honing of a perfect finished product, instead creating a cinema of spontaneity, improvisation and caprice. Franco valued freedom above all: by combining a rapid-fire series of small-scale commercial film projects, a ‘creative’ approach to finance, and a dedicated passion for the sensational, he was able to carve his own niche and digress into the most extraordinary experimental ellipses. In this evening’s discussion, Stephen Thrower will explore Franco’s ability to juggle the commercial and personal dimensions of filmmaking through his confrontational works of horror, sadism and erotic spectacle.
About the instructor:
Stephen Thrower, writer and musician, was born in Lancashire in 1963. After moving to London in 1985 he began writing reviews for the seminal horror magazine Shock Xpress, before launching his own film periodical Eyeball in 1989 with contributors including novelist Ramsey Campbell, filmmaker Ron Peck, and critics Kim Newman, Daniel Bird and Alan Jones. His first book, Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci, was published in 1999, followed by The Eyeball Compendium (2003) and Nightmare USA: The Untold Story of the Exploitation Independents (2007). His most recent work is Murderous Passions; the delirious cinema of Jesús Franco, published by Strange Attractor in March 2015.
Thrower and his partner Ossian Brown are founders of the avant-garde music group Cyclobe, who recently recorded new soundtracks for three Super-8 films by the British filmmaker and queer activist Derek Jarman (Sulphur, Tarot and Garden of Luxor). As a solo artist, Thrower scored Pakistan’s first gore film, Zibahkhana aka Hell’s Ground (2007), contributed electronic music to Down Terrace (2010) by Ben Wheatley, and was commissioned by the BFI in 2012 to score three silent short films by the pioneering director of gay erotica Peter De Rome
The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is pleased to announce the opening of its London branch on January 8th, which will be based at the heart of the city’s underground culture, the Horse Hospital.
In its pilot semester, running from January to June 2015, the Miskatonic Institute will offer monthly lectures exploring the more obscure corners of horror and fantastical cinema, which will be taught by established writers, directors, scholars and programmers. It aims to be a nurturing environment for horror fans and scholars that will inspire intellectual curiosity and critical debate in a friendly atmosphere, as well as build a community around shared enthusiasm for the genre.
Among the topics to be discussed are Jesus Franco, landscapes in horror, classroom safety films and sado-masochism. Instructors include prominent horror expert Kim Newman, author of Nightmare Movies and Cat People; horror and exploitation writer Stephen Thrower, author of Nightmare USA and Murderous Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesus Franco; Kier-La Janisse, author of House of Psychotic Women and founder of Spectacular Optical Publications; Mark Pilkington, author of Mirage Men and director of Strange Attractor Press; Jasper Sharp, author of Behind the Pink Curtain and director of the documentary The Creeping Garden; Virginie Sélavy, founder of Electric Sheep and editor of The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology.
These classes will introduce participants to less well-known aspects of the horror and fantastical realm, equip them with a more sophisticated critical apparatus as well as provide historical perspective. It will explore how this vital area of cinema delves into the sources of our fears and desires, and dramatizes the most unsettling aspects of our relationship to the natural and social world, as well as to others. It will also examine how the genre has created some of the most wildly inventive sonic and visual forms in cinema.
Named for the fictional university in H.P. Lovecraft’s literary mythos, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is a non-profit, community-based organization that started in Montreal, Canada. Founded by Kier-La Janisse in March of 2010, Miskatonic Montreal now operates under the leadership of co-directors Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare and Kristopher Woofter. Miskatonic London operates under the co-direction of Kier-La Janisse and Virginie Sélavy.
The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies welcomes donations.