Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision. Jaromil Jireš’ Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) is a cornucopia of images and sound. Its vision is of a complex blossoming of sexuality amidst the visual and thematic realisations of a Freudian dreamscape, driven primarily by the lack of understanding and misinterpretation caused by social naivety. The narrative rarely ascends to … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision (Part 1).
This article was originally a paper presented at Queens University Belfast at the first Folk Horror Conference on Friday the 19th of September 2014. Introduction/Thesis. Folk horror is a strange form of media. It has a craving for the need to be defined and canonised whilst also being a sub-genre which seems inherently intuitive, especially when becoming aware of its common likenesses in films, television, … Continue reading The Folk Horror Chain.
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Conclusions From the analysis of only a handful of British folk horror films, it has been shown that they rely heavily on their music in order to achieve their full cinematic effect. Altman states the following when discussing genre theory: “Constantly opposing cultural values to counter-culture values, genre films regularly depend on … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 8 (Conclusions).
In one of the first attempts I made at canonising the sub-genre of Folk Horror, I likened the majority of its films to be brilliant but mere fugues on the ideas presented in Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages (1922). Outside of Victor Sjöström’s The Phantom Carriage (1921), it was the earliest and most explicit form of the sub-genre that seemed to be surviving … Continue reading The Uncanny in Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages (1922)- Benjamin Christensen.
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Musical Anachronisms – Naturally and Overtly. “Let’s just say there aren’t many films set in the reign of William and Mary in which the devil rebuilds his body by harvesting the skin of children…” (Gatiss, 2010, BBC). To address the presence of musical anachronisms in films of all types is a tricky subject … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 7 (Musical Anachronisms).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Narrative Functionality. The music of The Wicker Man, while having few boundaries in terms of the effect of its various functions on its narrative content, is split into several different types. For this section, the specific type of music to be looked at is the folk song; a form that makes several appearance in the film with original compositions … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 4 (The Wicker Man’s Narrative Functionality).
Part 1. Thematic Material of the Folk Horror Chain. “Grendel was the name of this grim demon, haunting the marches, marauding round the heath and the desolate fens; he had dwelt for a time in misery among the banished monsters, Cain’s clan, whom the creator had outlawed and condemned as outcasts.” (Heaney, p.6, 1999). Though the historic and cultural factors around why folk horror was … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 2 (Folk Horror Chain and Witchfinder General).
The Sounds of Sacrifice: The Music of British Folk Horror Films. Introduction. In the late 1960s and the early 1970s, a small group of horror films made in Britain set themselves apart from the rest of the genre, becoming an aptly cult phenomena now acknowledged under the banner of folk horror. As a newly recognised sub-genre, it can be difficult to assess though, as new … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 1 (Sub-Genre Theories).
Two writers who could be said to epitomise the ideas of Folk Horror, M.R. James and Nigel Kneale, while addressing these ideals through different media, are writers whose work often crept into the same realm. This has lead to both of their work having a natural relationship with each other, with one almost being a reincarnation of the other. Of course, to imply such things … Continue reading An Ancient Evil: M.R. James and Nigel Kneale.
Cry of the Banshee (1970) makes no qualms as to what its aims are. Looking at its promotional poster, it would be natural to associate it with Roger Corman’s Poe films; it’s emblazoned with Edgar Allen Poe references, its main star is Vincent Price and its design is a technocolour nightmare. The film itself is about as far from Corman’s dreamlike fantasies as possible in … Continue reading Cry Of The Banshee – Gordon Hessler (1970)