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
The Battle of the Sexes: Sado-Masochism in 1960s-70s Cinema
Instructor Virginie Sélavy
In the 1960s-70s, the relaxation of censorship, together with women’s greater social assertiveness, led to the appearance of a substantial number of art and/or exploitative films that explored male/female relationships through sexual power games. A large sub-section, including Mario Bava’s The Whip and the Body (1963), Luis Buñuel’s Belle de jour (1967), Sergio Martino’s The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh (1971) and Vicente Aranda’s The Blood Spattered Bridedelve into what are presented as women’s secret repressed desires and internal conflicts. Aside from his numerous Sade adaptations, Jess Franco also dreamily explored female characters who are both victims and tormentors in Venus in Furs (1969) and Succubus (1968). Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Woman in Chains (1968) and Alain Robbe-Grillet’s Eden and After (1970) create hyper-aesthetic worlds of kinky abstract obsession while in Kôji Wakamatsu’s The Embryo Hunts in Secret (1966) and Pete Walker’s House of Whipcord (1974), the violence of amorous relationships takes on social and political connotations. Artist Niki de Saint Phalle made two unusual and fascinating contributions to this theme: not only did she co-direct her own semi-autobiographic perverse family fantasy, Daddywith Peter Whitehead (1973), but her art also appears in the fascinating Femina Ridens (Piero Schivazappa, 1968), which toys with expectations about dominant and submissive roles. The lecture will examine all these and more ramifications of the period’s unfettered sado-masochistic fantasies.
About the instructor: Virginie Sélavy is the founder and editor of Electric Sheep, the online magazine for transgressive cinema. She has edited the collection of essays The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology, and has contributed to World Directory Cinema: Eastern Europe and written about Victorian London in Film Locations: Cities of the Imagination – London. Her work has appeared in various publications, including Sight&Sound, Rolling Stone France, Cineaste and Frieze.
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.