I thought it would be last my time – The sense that, beyond the town, There would always be fields and farms, Where the village louts could climb Such trees as were not cut down; I knew there’d be false alarms – Going, Going, stanza 1 – Philip Larkin. Above is the opening stanza of Philip Larkin’s 1972 poem, Going, Going. The poem captures the … Continue reading Demise Of The Rural in Requiem For A Village (1976) And “Going, Going” (Philip Larkin).
One of the key criticisms of the Folk Horror Chain is its emphasis, both in argument and in evidence, upon the rural landscape and its various elements. While the key works of Folk Horror cinema seem to broadly use rural landscape aesthetics and practice to set and conjure their horror, by setting up such a parameter, it does indeed neglect some of the sub-genre’s most … Continue reading The “Urban Wyrd” In Folk Horror.
Part 1. Part 2. Belief And Ritual. The power of belief and its will in the distortion of reality is one of Valerie‘s more crucial cinematic aspects. This isn’t simply a belief in the sense of a religious doctrine and all of the aesthetics that accompany it, but the moral belief of the main character whose fantasies dictate the narrative ruptures within the film. However, … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision (Part 3).
As the Folk Horror canon expands into more forms of media and territory, the Folk Horror Chain becomes less useful as a tool for looking at thematic material. This is partly due to it being derived as an idea from one medium and one that is explicitly narrative based. Yet, some of its ideas can be loosely translated into the area of reception studies of … Continue reading Questioning Nostalgia In Folk Horror.
Part 1. Innocence and Sexuality. As already suggested, Valerie is first and foremost about the links, barriers and cross-over between innocence and sexuality. Whilst some characters (for example, the religious fundamentalists), believe there to be a strict differentiation between the two, the film and Valerie herself know that this is not the case; if anything, it is the watermark of the patriarchy that such a … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound And Vision (Part 2).
With the ideas of the Folk Horror Chain starting to seem incomplete as the sub-genre grows in popularity and is more analysed, it’s about time further facets, themes, ideas and traits were added to the conversation. This will be the first in a number of pieces about other traits not accounted for or addressed in the initial idea of the chain (which itself was only … Continue reading The Ritual Of Craft In Folk Horror.
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).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Part 8. Conclusions. “If its central characteristics remained immune to change, the ghost story did keep pace with the times through progressive modernization of settings and language.” – Cox (xix, 1991). From analysis of the BBC Ghost Stories, it is clear that the narrative function of the supernatural has a natural … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 9 (Conclusions).
The following article contains plot twists. Hysteria and Nigel Kneale’s Baby. A very particular and often quoted segment from Freud’s summations of hysterical patients will be used here to begin the contextualisation our analysis. Whilst writing about the generalities surrounding such cases of hysteria and eventually compulsion neurosis, Freud came up with a short but rather useful sound-bite to describe every patient he had seen. … Continue reading Technological Hysteria in Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape (1972).
When watching Nigel Kneale’s infinitely weird TV series, Beasts (1976), there’s a great sense of underlying currents behind what appear to be strange amalgamations of the everyday with something of the Other. Though the links between the episodes are often animalistic, ranging the ghost of a dolphin in Buddyboy to the hoards of rats in During Barty’s Party, the majority of the episodes all, at … Continue reading Hysteria and Curses in Nigel Kneale’s Baby (Beasts, 1976).