Course Archives

  • POSTPONED: BLOOD IN THE STREETS: FILM CYCLES, SERIAL KILLERS AND THE GIALLO (London)
    Thu. May. 14, 2020 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Swedenborg Society

    This talk will investigate how a collection of film cycles within the giallo capitalised on preoccupations with the recent past in 1970s Italy, and an attendant sense of disquiet towards modernity and the pace of socio-cultural change. This will in turn reveal various strategies that were being deployed to exploit the local film market, in a perpetual attempt to capitalise on topicality and the perceived tastes of the popular audience.

  • POSTPONED: THE WORLD IS FULL OF TERRIBLE PEOPLE: SHIRLEY JACKSON AND FEMALE VIOLENCE (London)
    Thu. Apr. 9, 2020 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Swedenborg Society

    Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) remains best known for her supernatural horror novel The Haunting of Hill House (1959. After several decades of critical and commercial neglect, her work now has a higher public profile than ever. Scholar Bernice M. Murphy will be talking about who Jackson was and the reasons why her work remains so important for horror fans and creators. well as creating the most famous haunted house of the twentieth-century, Jackson also played a foundational role in establishing the ‘Suburban Gothic’ sub-genre, and wrote what is still the single-most notorious American folk horror tale (‘The Lottery’, 1948). The class will also focus on one particularly timely (and influential) aspect of Jackson’s interest in domesticity and female interiority: her recurrent depiction of deeply troubled young women. Murphy will argue that the narrator of We Have Always Lived in the Castle is the precursor to the many young women in the contemporary horror cinema canon who find the boundaries between reality and fantasy dangerously malleable, and discuss several recent horror films focusing on homicidal young women whose behaviour and motivations owe much to the Jackson blueprint.

  • POSTPONED: HAUNTING THE NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS: THE RISE OF INDIGENOUS HORROR (NYC)
    Thu. Mar. 26, 2020 - 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    For this class we welcome instructor Kali Simmons and special guest Jeff Barnaby, who will guide us through the cultural shifts that have affected and informed the depiction of Indigenous cultures onscreen over the last 50 years of horror history.

  • CANCELLED: HA! AAAH! THE PAINFUL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HUMOR AND HORROR (Los Angeles)
    Thu. Mar. 12, 2020 - 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    Veteran comedy writer David Misch (Mork & Mindy, Police Squad!, Saturday Night Live) explores how both humor and horror share a mordant view of our relationship to pain – an obsession with the human body and its multifarious fluids, and a subtext of death and transcendence underlying the eviscerated flesh and fart jokes. What could be more blood-curdlingly fun?

  • GOLEMS, DYBBUKS & OTHER MOVIE MONSTERS: THE SEARCH FOR A JEWISH HORROR FILM (London)
    Thu. Mar. 12, 2020 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Swedenborg Society

    Mainstream horror cinema has been known to draw upon Jews and Jewish belief traditions as a kind of domesticated exotica. Jews are cast as either wise scholars of arcane magic, or as voices for cynical positivism, proponents of scientific rationalism in opposition to Christian metaphysics and mysticism. In many cases, the cosmology shown in these films is much less Jewish, and more likely to be Christian beliefs performing a kind of Jewish drag show. In this class, scholar Mikel J. Koven explores Jewish folklore and looks to legends about Golems and Dybbuks as sources for cinematic horror. Ultimately, this class is designed to explore the relationship between cultural identity and horror cinema. Specifically, Koven discusses the extent to which these films avail themselves to Jewish lore and also maintain the cultural contexts which first developed these narratives. In other words, just how Jewish are these Jewish horror movies?

  • HOW TO DELIVER A TERRIFYING INFO DUMP: EXPOSITORY MONOLOGUES IN HORROR (Los Angeles)
    Thu. Feb. 13, 2020 - 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    Expository monologues – the long speeches delivered by a character to provide backstory or motivation – can be the downfall or the showstopper of a horror film, and there’s at least one in a vast majority. The purpose of all these soliloquies is an extended, intense effort to overcome the unusually high threshold of disbelief concomitant with the horror genre, generally in an attempt to answer questions for the audience like: How is this possible? Why did she do this – and in such a convoluted and oblique way? Why is this not a plot hole?
    We’ll study the four types of expository monologues and review instructive examples of each, including a detailed textual analysis of Creighton Duke’s monologue in Jason Goes to Hell – with the help of Creighton Duke himself, Steven Williams, who will appear in person as a special guest.

  • EROTIC GROTESQUE NONSENSE & THE FOUNDATIONS OF JAPAN'S CULT COUNTERCULTURE (London)
    Thu. Feb. 13, 2020 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Swedenborg Society

    In this illustrated lecture, Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp leads us into the feverish world of ero guro nansensu, a term abbreviated from the English “erotic grotesque nonsense” that first entered common parlance in Japan in the 1920s, when it was applied by reactionary cultural critics to a group of writers who traded in detective, horror, and mystery fiction with an emphasis on deviant sexuality, the irrational, and the bizarre.

  • MAN-EATER: CANNIBAL WOMEN IN FILM (NYC)
    Wed. Feb. 12, 2020 - 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    The type of the cannibalistic woman can be found in stories throughout history – Lilith, the Sirens, Snow White. But she is of particular interest right now by capturing ever-present social anxieties about the tense and endlessly complicated relationship between gender, hunger, desire, sex, autonomy and power. The characters in these films negotiate and subvert expectations for how women should look and behave. Drawing in particular from the legacy of the femme fatale, many of them actively deceive the men they intend to eat, using their beauty to seduce and then devour. They reflect the dangers of the female body, taken literally and to the extreme – mouths that swallow, teeth that bite, nails that tear. The presence of this type in cinema provokes an exploration of the idea of boundaries, interrogating distinctions between self and other, inside and outside, touch and penetration. In their pursuit of complete incorporation, these women reduce humans to their physical qualities, treating bodies like meat, provoking an experience of abjection which forces the question of what it means to be human.

  • MAGIC AND POLITICS IN ALAN MOORE & JACEN BURROWS' ADAPTATIONS OF LOVECRAFT (London)
    Thu. Jan. 9, 2020 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Swedenborg Society

    In this talk, scholar Matt Green argues that Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows’ Providence uses the comics form to assert the value of humanities research, and of the arts more broadly. Green’s focus– like Moore’s and, arguably, like Lovecraft’s — is on the relationships between imagination and the historical realities of readers; the discussion maps Moore’s reworking of Lovecraft onto current political turmoil in Britain and the US via Moore’s underlying premise that we can trace the origins of our contemporary moment through the societal anxieties encoded in Lovecraft’s fiction.

  • NORTHERN SCARS: THE FOUNDATIONS OF CANADIAN HORROR CINEMA (Los Angeles)
    Mon. Jan. 6, 2020 - 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    Prepare yourself for a snowstorm of malevolent miners, ravenous rats, killer sex-slugs and ZED (not ZEE)-grade zombies: all this and much more can be found in the frosty annals of Canadian horror movie history. Oh, and there’s some Cronenberg in there too, of course. Never a dry recitation of facts, the talk describes a wild tapestry of high drama and crazy incident, with characters from David Cronenberg to Lawrence Zazelenchuk: a sort of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls with a much more specific focus and a lot more plaid flannel shirts.

  • DEAD EYES OF LONDON: THE GERMAN 'KRIMI' FILM (NYC)
    Thu. Dec. 19, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    This class will explore the German krimi film, or Kriminalfilm, a genre of West German crime thrillers inspired by the novels of British mystery writer and King Kong creator Edgar Wallace starting in the late 1950s with Der Frosch mit der Mask (The Fellowship of the Frog, 1959), With their lurid violence and macabre humor, and shadowy, fog-drenched sets in an imaginary London or in spooky castles replete with secret passageways, the Kriminalfilm is an important but relatively unexplored subgenre. Perhaps this neglect is due to the death of home video releases for English language audiences, but the krimi represent a vital stepping-stone: they are effectively the bridge between German Expressionism and film noir, and later horror subgenres like the Italian giallo film and Eurohorror of the ‘70s. Though they retained common themes and shared stock characters—often embodied by beloved cult actors like Christopher Lee and Klaus Kinski—krimi plots would become increasingly lurid and pulpy as the series wound to a close in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, directly influencing the Eurohorror of the ‘70s.

  • The Frequency of Fear: The Power and the Glory of the Motion Picture Soundtrack (Huntington, NY)
    Wed. Dec. 18, 2019 - 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
    Cinema Arts Center

    Cinema has long tapped into the fundamental devices of fear in its employment of sound. Journeying through concepts of cymatics, standing wave levitation, musical tunings, as well as film examples, demonstrations, and dissections of modern mix sessions, Twin Peaks: The Return supervising sound editor Dean Hurley will guide participants through an awakening in understanding the spiritual power of sound both onscreen and beyond.

  • LIVE FROM MISKATONIC: PENNY SLINGER IN CONVERSATION (Los Angeles)
    Thu. Dec. 12, 2019 - 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    The Miskatonic Institute is pleased to welcome filmmaker, collage artist, sculptor and performer Penny Slinger to our LA branch for an exclusive, in-depth conversation about her dark surrealist work in multiple mediums, frequently addressing themes of interior space, body horror, female sexuality and psychosis. Penny’s work – from with her early student short films and first book of collage art, 50% The Visible Woman to her collaborations with filmmakers Peter Whitehead (Lilford Hall, 1969) and Jane Arden’s Holocaust Theatre troupe (culminating in the feature film The Other Side of the Underneath, 1972), and her masterpiece of psychic trauma, the collage art book An Exorcism (1977) – was the spark for a new mode of surrealism focused on the female experience that would have ripples throughout the film and art worlds, though it would take many years for her pioneering influence to be acknowledged.

  • THINGS FROM OTHER WORLDS: ADAPTING, TRANSFORMING AND TRANSLATING 'THE THING' (London)
    Thu. Dec. 12, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    This lecture explores the rich narrative universe of The Thing, using its various iterations to examine the multi-platform and serial nature of contemporary genre storytelling. In a way reminiscent of the alien subject at its heart, which copies, transforms and mutates as its virus spreads, The Thing illustrates the way in which intricate and complex ‘worldbuilding’ can occur through the introduction of new narrative instalments across multiple media platforms. But it also highlights the impossibility of exhaustively defining categories of adaptation and serialisation. Ultimately, this lecture does not strive to resolve these complexities, but rather to identify the theoretical considerations raised by transmedia genre storytelling within a wider culture of recycling and adaptation.

  • THE MORBIDO CRYPT’S GUIDE TO MEXICAN FANTASY AND HORROR CINEMA (Los Angeles)
    Thu. Nov. 21, 2019 - 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    Join us for a scenic tour of Mexican genre cinema guided by Morbido Fest’s head programmer, Abraham Castillo Flores. Delving beyond luchadores and psychotronica, Abraham unearths the monsters that fomented a distinctive but barely acknowledged corner of our cinematic consciousness.

  • DESTRUCTIBLE MAN: THE DUMMY-DEATH AND CINEMATIC STORYTELLING LANGUAGE (NYC)
    Thu. Nov. 21, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    Prosthetic demise, or the “dummy death” as film historians Howard S. Berger and Kevin Marr refer to it, is a practical cinematic technique wherein an actor portraying a character is replaced by an articulated replica special-effects mannequin at a moment of extreme violence and/or death within a given film’s narrative. This device has been employed by filmmakers all over the world, at every level of production and in every genre since the dawn of the cinematic medium. When viewed in isolation, the dummy death effect can be characterized as the cinematic illusion in microcosm. The class will be illustrated by clips from such dummy-death emboldened films like STRAIT-JACKET, SCANNERS, DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN, THE BIRDS, 2001 and THE FURY, and films by directors as disparate as Alfred Hitchcock and William Castle, Francois Truffaut and Al Adamson, Quentin Tarantino and Edwin S. Porter, Steven
    Spielberg and Shohei Imamura, within the same cinematic, storytelling continuum.

  • LIVE FROM MISKATONIC: GARY SHERMAN IN CONVERSATION (London)
    Mon. Nov. 18, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    In association with the Abertoir Film Festival, we are pleased to welcome Gary Sherman to the Miskatonic Institute for an evening of history, anecdotes and practical tips from his 50-year career in filmmaking, including iconic genre films such as Death Line (1972), Dead & Buried (1981), Vice Squad (1982), Wanted: Dead or Alive (1986), Poltergeist III (1988) and more.

  • SECRET POWERS OF ATTRACTION: FOLK HORROR IN ITS CULTURAL CONTEXT (Cardiff)
    Sun. Oct. 27, 2019 - 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
    Chapter Cinema

    British “folk horror” was in many ways a phenomenon of the 1970s, but it has seen a massive revival of popularity in the last decade. What caused it to grow in the fields, forests and furrows of the 1970s and early 1980s? And why has it come back with such a vengeance? In Secret Powers of Attraction, Howard David Ingham gives a broad overview of British folk horror in its time and space, and how popular interest in the occult creates the conditions for it to become a force in our collective imagination.

  • GOD OF THE OUTSIDERS: SATAN IN LITERATURE, CULTURE, AND ENTERTAINMENT—OLD MYTH AND NEW INSIGHT (Los Angeles)
    Thu. Oct. 24, 2019 - 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    Tracing the earliest origins of humanity’s conception of an opposing force in the Eastern and Western worlds, Mitch Horowitz (author, Occult America) explores some of history’s most bracing and provocative interpretations of the Satanic—from the work of Milton and the Romantic poets (William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell; Lord Byron’s Cain) to more recent fiction and nonfiction literary efforts (Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s The Club Dumas; Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Bible; Michael Aquino’s The Diabolicon), and examines how even some of our most recognized supernatural films (Devil’s Advocate; Rosemary’s Baby; The Ninth Gate) enunciate Satanic themes with penetrating classical validity. In the process, Mitch strips away historical and cultural preconceptions, misunderstandings, and shibboleths to open an entirely fresh window on the intellectual and cultural idea of the Satanic in Western history and contemporary life. He shines a new light into ancient myths, canonical literature, legends, and pop culture to trace out an authentic outsider tradition of Satanic thought. Join us for a challenging and eye-opening evening. You will come away with an entirely new conception of a “familiar devil.”

  • CORRIDOR GOTHIC (London)
    Thu. Oct. 24, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    This class investigates the role of the corridor in Gothic fiction and horror film from the late 18th century to the present day. It seeks to establish this transitional place as a crucial locus, by tracing the rise of the corridor as a distinct mode of architectural distribution in domestic and public buildings since the 18th century. The lecture tracks pivotal appearances of the corridor in fiction and film, and argues that it has become associated with a specific emotional tenor, less to do with amplified fear and horror and more to do with emotions of Angst or dread.

  • Screening: Terror Tuesday: FRIGHT NIGHT (Los Angeles)
    Tue. Oct. 22, 2019 - 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm
    Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – LA

    Off-site screening of Tom Holland’s 1985 classic at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Los Angeles as part of their weekly Terror Tuesday series, hosted by Amy Searles in conjunction with the Miskatonic class “Wanted: More Viewers Like…” Depictions of Horror Fandom in Film and Television

  • HAUNTED MUSEUM: THE LORE AND LEGACY OF THE UNIVERSAL MONSTERS (Los Angeles)
    Sun. Oct. 20, 2019 - 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Natural History Museum

    What truly created the classic Universal monsters? The iconic figures of the Frankenstein monster, Dracula, the Wolfman, The Mummy and the Creature from the Black Lagoon were the not only the results of great performance, make-up and filmmaking skill, but a response to the events of the world around them. From the movie monsters birthed by the Great Depression to the creatures who emerged from the atomic age of the 1950s, director Joe Dante (The Howling, Gremlins), author Mallory O’Meara (The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick) and special guest Sara Karloff will discuss these origins and more on a panel moderated by author and screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner.

  • LIVE FROM MISKATONIC: KAREN ARTHUR IN CONVERSATION (NYC)
    Sat. Oct. 19, 2019 - 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
    IFP Made in NY Media Center

    In collaboration with the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival (which runs Oct 17-24), Miskatonic is proud to present a conversation with the pioneering director and producer Karen Arthur (THE MAFU CAGE, THE RAPE OF RICHARD BECK), who paved the way for women in genre filmmaking with her transgressive and socially challenging body of work.

  • WANTED! MORE VIEWERS LIKE… DEPICTIONS OF HORROR FANDOM IN FILM AND TELEVISION (Los Angeles)
    Thu. Oct. 10, 2019 - 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    In the comparatively nascent academic field of fan studies, very little scholarship has been devoted to horror fandom. Yet, for a branch of study invested in an audience’s passionate participation, horror fans have much to offer. Weaned on a steady diet of horror hosted syndicated shockers, EC Comics contraband, and dog-eared copies of Famous Monsters of Filmland, the dedicated “Monster Kids” of the 1950s and 1960s became the vaunted creators for the next generation. Similarly, enterprising “Gorehounds” of the 1980s, inspired by their use-worn pages of Fangoria and liquid latex-flecked copies of Dick Smith’s Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook went on to become the notable effects wizards for the ensuing generation. And the slithering ouroboros that is horror fandom continues to both feed and eat itself into the present day. Using fan studies as a springboard, this interdisciplinary lecture will chart the historical events, technological advancements, and cultural anxieties toward media effects that have influenced both the horror fan and the portrayal of the horror fan in film and television over the years. Dean Cameron, who famously played “Chainsaw” in Carl Reiner’s Summer School – perhaps the most recognizable fictional horror fan for viewers outside of the horror community and beloved by those within it – will be joining us for this discussion of horror fanthropology.

  • THE MORBIDO CRYPT’S GUIDE TO MEXICAN FANTASY AND HORROR CINEMA (Austin)
    Sun. Sep. 22, 2019 - 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
    Alamo Drafthouse Cinema South Lamar

    Join us for a scenic tour of Mexican genre cinema guided by Morbido Fest’s head programmer, Abraham Castillo Flores. Delving beyond luchadores and psychotronica, Abraham unearths the monsters that fomented a distinctive but barely acknowledged corner of our cinematic consciousness.

  • GOD OF THE OUTSIDERS: SATAN IN LITERATURE, CULTURE, AND ENTERTAINMENT—OLD MYTH AND NEW INSIGHT (NYC)
    Thu. Sep. 19, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    Tracing the earliest origins of humanity’s conception of an opposing force in the Eastern and Western worlds, Mitch Horowitz (author, Occult America) explores some of history’s most bracing and provocative interpretations of the Satanic—from the work of Milton and the Romantic poets (William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell; Lord Byron’s Cain) to more recent fiction and nonfiction literary efforts (Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s The Club Dumas; Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Bible; Michael Aquino’s The Diabolicon), and examines how even some of our most recognized supernatural films (Devil’s Advocate; Rosemary’s Baby; The Ninth Gate) enunciate Satanic themes with penetrating classical validity. In the process, Mitch strips away historical and cultural preconceptions, misunderstandings, and shibboleths to open an entirely fresh window on the intellectual and cultural idea of the Satanic in Western history and contemporary life. He shines a new light into ancient myths, canonical literature, legends, and pop culture to trace out an authentic outsider tradition of Satanic thought. Join us for a challenging and eye-opening evening. You will come away with an entirely new conception of a “familiar devil.”

  • Miskatonic Presents: WITCHES, SLUTS, FEMINISTS (Huntington, NY)
    Tue. Sep. 17, 2019 - 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
    Cinema Arts Center

    In this illustrated talk, New School faculty member and author of Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive Kristen J. Sollée will trace the witch in visual media from the early modern era through the present, examining her legacy as an icon of female power and persecution, and as a potent feminist symbol. Note this class is off-site at the Cinema Arts Center in Huntington, NY.

  • FOLK HORROR AND NEW FOLK HORROR: A CONVERSATION WITH ARI ASTER (Lisbon)
    Sun. Sep. 15, 2019 - 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
    Motel X – Cinema Sao George

    The occult fields and forests of Folk Horror, which in the 1970s and 80s birthed “The Wicker Man”, “Witchfinder General”, “Blood on Satan’s Claw”, “The Company of Wolves”, and others, have been revisited with increasing frequency in recent years. Filmmakers such as Ben Wheatley (“Kill List”, “A Field in England”), Robert Eggers (“The Witch”, “The Lighthouse”), Jordan Peele (“Get Out”, “Us”) and Ari Aster (“Hereditary”, “Midsommar”) have led a resurgence of New Folk Horror over the last decade.

    In this masterclass at Lisbon’s Motel X Festival, Ari Aster and writer Howard David Ingham (“We Don’t Go Back: A Watcher’s Guide to Folk Horror”) will discuss exactly what is so inspiring about the genre, why the time is right for it to find a new audience, and what the New Folk Horror brings to the field.

  • MURDER SEASON: CRIME-SOLVING PLANTS AND OTHER VEGETAL HORRORS (Los Angeles)
    Thu. Sep. 12, 2019 - 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    Like the human cadaver, every plant, tree, flower and fungus has a story to tell. But when it comes to how plants tell stories, there are essentially two schools of thought: In the 1970s it was a popular belief – aided by unorthodox experiments, the proliferation of New Age publications and the mass-marketing of Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird’s 1973 book The Secret Life of Plants – that, despite their lack of a nervous system, plants were sentient and emotional, and could communicate their feelings to humans with the help of electronic devices. Conversely, the scientific community found more practical ways of gleaning what plants had to tell us, through the examination of trace elements at crime scenes in the field of forensic botany.

    Expanded from an article commissioned for Nicolas Winding Refn’s website ByNWR.com, Murder Season takes a look at the ways that a disillusioned generation became obsessed with plants, not only in their homes and gardens as part of the burgeoning environmentalist and earth mysteries movements that summoned people back to their rural roots, but in laboratories and recording studios that aimed to document the ways plants experienced and witnessed the world around them and how they could communicate knowledge to us – whether imparting ancient wisdom or fingering a murderer.

  • THE BAD TRIP: PSYCHEDELIC HORROR CINEMA, 1967-1972 (London)
    Thu. Sep. 12, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    Within psychedelic culture the threat of the bad trip hovers like an ominous presence. Psychedelic or ‘Mind-clearing’ drugs may promise wisdom, visionary insight or a fabulous holiday for the brain, but they can also release the horrors of the id, tear the veil of sanity and pull you into the void. This class will chart the emergence of psychedelia across the Sixties and will examine the incorporation of its visual language in horror cinema during the period 1966-1972. Rather than seeing the films in question as acts of exploitation, the talk will frame them as radical works of acid horror, a from which in the case of The Dunwich Horror is used to conjure the cosmic vertigo integral to H. P. Lovecraft’s writing. Further, the talk will also read back from the films to the wider drug culture to uncover a sense of horror underpinning the psychedelic experience as a whole.

  • Ever Present: MOTHER EARTH'S PLANTASIA (Los Angeles)
    Sat. Sep. 7, 2019 - 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    The Getty Center

    Celebrate California plant culture with a special program inspired by 1970s Los Angeles and Plantasia, the iconic album made for plants and the people who love them. Worldwide curiosities guide Atlas Obscura and Brooklyn’s Sacred Bones Records teams up with the Getty’s Ever Present series to delve into the plant-centric cultural movement behind Mort Garson’s 1976 cult-classic electronic album Mother Earth’s Plantasia. Join us for a day filled with music, workshops, and presentations that explore the influence of plants on art and culture in Los Angeles, including presentations by Miskatonic’s own Kier-La Janisse and Jacqueline Castel.

  • Screening: THE KIRLIAN WITNESS (Los Angeles)
    Sun. Aug. 25, 2019 - 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Velaslavasay Panorama

    Can spider plants sense pain? Is fern telepathy feasible? The empathic, ecophilic Laurie (Nancy Boykin) thinks so, most days eschewing human interactions in favor of quality time with her fiddle-leaf fig tree. After a sudden tragedy, her sister Rilla (Nancy Snyder), a photographer and the film’s narrator, subsumes Laurie’s plant obsession, believing that certain secrets lie within their leaves. Beautifully shot by João Fernandes (Bloodrage, 1980), The Kirlian Witness is a botanical thriller of dendritic proportions, and an essential entry in the tiny but rich horticultural horror canon.
    PLUS! Enjoy a pre-screening reception in the gardens of the Velaslavasay Panorama.

  • Screening: TENEMENT (Los Angeles)
    Tue. Aug. 13, 2019 - 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm
    Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – LA

    In conjunction with its August 8th class GRAND DAMES OF THE GRINDHOUSE: THE FILMS OF ROBERTA FINDLAY AND DORIS WISHMAN, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is pleased to present this digital restoration of exploitation film pioneer Roberta Findlay’s action/horror masterpiece, Tenement – preceded by a brief introduction by Miskatonic founder Kier-La Janisse – as part of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s signature Terror Tuesday series.

  • GRAND DAMES OF THE GRINDHOUSE: THE FILMS OF ROBERTA FINDLAY AND DORIS WISHMAN (Los Angeles)
    Thu. Aug. 8, 2019 - 7:30 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    Lisa Petrucci of Something Weird Video appears at the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies with a lively illustrated lecture on the films of exploitation mavericks Roberta Findlay and Doris Wishman, looking at their historical contexts, their comparable trajectory from nudies and roughies to porn and horror, and seeking to reconcile their aversion to feminism with their status as pioneering women filmmakers.

  • HORROR EXPRESS BUS TOUR - FANTASIA EDITION (Montreal)
    Wed. Jul. 17, 2019 - 10:00 am

    Come join us for fun and photo ops as we navigate through the history of Montreal’s cinematic underbelly.

  • Industrial Terror: Sponsored Filmmaking and Regional Horror (NYC)
    Tue. May. 21, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    From the late 1950s through the mid-1980s, many workaday directors tasked with exposing film for the workplace and classrooms moonlit in cemeteries, bayous, and basements lensing brilliant genre pieces and prurient trash for drive-ins and grindhouses. Archivist and programmer Jon Dieringer will present on some of the best known examples, including George Romero and Herk Harvey, along with more obscure figures, such as the Satantic sexploitation filmmaker who made piston-pumping films for oil companies; a duo from Detroit who parlayed an independently made anti-drug PSA into an opportunity to make a gory biker revenge flick; and more. We’ll consider how quasi-documentary tropes and regional myth were appropriated within lurid, fantastic, and terrifying narratives; and reciprocally, how wry bits of the macabre livened up training and educational films.

  • Live From Miskatonic: Pete Walker in Conversation (LA)
    Thu. May. 9, 2019 - 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    Miskatonic is proud to present an evening in conversation with the great British horror and sexploitation director Pete Walker. Starting out in softcore sex shorts in the 1960s before turning to features in 1968 with films like The Big Switch, School of Sex and his breakthrough, Cool it Carol! in 1969, Walker then self-financed a decade of brilliant horror and terror films including Die Screaming Marianne (1971), The Flesh and Blood Show (1972), House of Whipcord (1974), Frightmare (1974), The Confessional (1976), Schizo (1976), The Comeback (1978) and House of the Long Shadows (1983), with the odd sexploitation film still peppered in, such as Tiffany Jones (1973) and Home Before Midnight (1979). We’ll talk to Walker about being an upstart in an uptight industry, making a horror icon out of elderly Scottish actress Sheila Keith, turning communion wafers into weapons in The Confessional, working with horror giants Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Vincent Price and John Carradine on House of the Long Shadows, his ill-fated Sex Pistols documentary, and so much more.

  • Hellbound Hearts: The Dark Art of Clive Barker (London)
    Thu. May. 9, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    This class will examine Barker’s uniquely abject and original artistry, beginning with the splatterpunk delights of Books of Blood (1984-5), The Damnation Game(1985), and The Hellbound Heart (1986) through to his fusions with the dark fantastic and YA fiction in Weaveworld (1987), The Great and Secret Show(1989), and Abarat series(2002 -), among other popular titles. Barker’s own films, as a writer and director, in the 1980s and 1990s will also be examined to analyse their familiar Barkerian elements (sex, death, religion, belonging, selling one’s soul) alongside themes and motifs on monstrosity, cultural rejection, secret desires and appetites, torment and the limits of excess and power. With the aid of clips, sketches, posters, and archive material, in this lecture I will trace and present core themes and ideas that run riot throughout his fiction and film, and invite you to (re)discover Barker’s enduring legacy and unique contribution to horror culture.

  • The Shadow Over Lovecraft: Interrogating H.P. Lovecraft's Racism (NYC)
    Tue. Apr. 16, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    There is no denying that H.P Lovecraft was a racist. These attitudes are directly apparent not only in an infamous 1912 poem denigrating those of African descent, but in journal entries and personal correspondences, as well as indirectly discernable through allegorical descriptions of non-human races in his fiction. The 2016 release of revisionist Lovecraftian tales The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle and Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff prompted renewed questioning into the legacy of Lovecraft’s fiction for a legion of fans and fellow writers who have found magic in his Mythos and Cosmic Horror, easily one of the most influential strands of horror in literary history. But does Lovecraft’s racism overshadow his incredible contributions to the field? Should Lovecraft be demoted in the pantheon of horror writers based on his personal ideologies? Can people of those races and ethnicities Lovecraft directed hate towards still find value his work? Come join us as we hash it out Town Hall-style, with special guest speakers Victor LaValle, Matt Ruff and more TBD.

  • Destructible Man: The Dummy-death and Cinematic Storytelling Language (LA)
    Thu. Apr. 11, 2019 - 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    Prosthetic demise, or the “dummy death” as film historians Howard S. Berger and Kevin Marr refer to it, is a practical cinematic technique wherein an actor portraying a character is replaced by an articulated replica special-effects mannequin at a moment of extreme violence and/or death within a given film’s narrative. This device has been employed by filmmakers all over the world, at every level of production and in every genre since the dawn of the cinematic medium. When viewed in isolation, the dummy death effect can be characterized as the cinematic illusion in microcosm. The class will be illustrated by clips from such dummy-death emboldened films like STRAIT-JACKET, SCANNERS, DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN, THE BIRDS, 2001 and THE FURY, and films by directors as disparate as Alfred Hitchcock and William Castle, Francois Truffaut and Al Adamson, Quentin Tarantino and Edwin S. Porter, Steven
    Spielberg and Shohei Imamura, within the same cinematic, storytelling continuum.

  • African Horror: Shades of Superstition (London)
    Thu. Apr. 11, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    This lecture will introduce students to the Africa horror literary genre. We shall examine the term “African Horror”, and how it is portrayed by the popular media before discussing its place as a bona-fide literary genre, similar to other regional horror genres and its classification by distributors. We shall also examine the mythos of African Horror, the lore, the superstitions that surround death, burial rites and the afterlife in African communities and the role colonialism, Christianity, politics, poverty and globalisation have played in creating situations that give rise to evils such as the harvesting of Albino body parts, the killing of child witches and the kidnapping of humans for witchcraft or political motives. These true-life horrors have all been bred by superstition, and these superstitions form the ethos behind most African Horror literature.

  • What the Fest NYC 2019: DARLIN' Screening with Jack Ketchum Tribute
    Thu. Mar. 21, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    IFC Center

    For this Special Screening at the IFC’s Center’s 2nd annual genre film festival What the Fest!? NYC, the Miskatonic Institute will be presenting a short tribute to author Jack Ketchum before the East Coast premiere of DARLIN’, which expands on the world created by Ketchum and Lucky McKee with THE WOMAN – and which will also be followed by a Q+A with the film’s director (and ‘The Woman’ herself!) Pollyanna McIntosh.

  • Enchanting Technology: Making, Hacking, and the Occult Imagination (NYC)
    Tue. Mar. 19, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    Magic and technology share a deeply intimate relationship to the human experience as they are both methods that use tools to gain control over nature and ourselves. The magician and the both attempt to break open conventional ways of working with the forces that shape our lives. Magic is, indeed, a kind of spiritual hacking: They are opening the machine of the universe to understand how it works and bend it towards a new purpose. And when magicians and artists use technology to explore the occult imagination they reveal new ways of enchanting our lives. Based on the research from Peter Bebergal’s Strange Frequencies, this multi-media presentation will take participants through the history of how human beings have attempted to interact with the otherworldly using technology.

  • In Your Face Till Your Face Comes Off: John Skipp on The History of Splatterpunk, and the Triumph of the Overt (LA)
    Thu. Mar. 14, 2019 - 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    In the 1980s, a handful of writers — Clive Barker, David J. Schow, Joe R. Lansdale, and John Skipp & Craig Spector — inadvertently kicked off a seismic shift in literary horror. Less a conscious revolution than a spontaneous eruption of the arts, these restless artists bucked against the constraints of conventional horror, serving up whopping doses of wildly explicit sex, visionary violence, and really loud rock ‘n’ roll, underlying an even more subversive layer of fierce cultural critique. Best-selling novelist, award-winning book editor and filmmaker John Skipp conducts a crazy three-hour tour through a history of horror’s most hilariously-named subgenre. The forces that shaped it. And the forces it has shaped, as we enter the fresh horrors of the 21st century.

  • The Paranoid Woman's Film (London)
    Thu. Mar. 7, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    This class will introduce students to the horror films of the 1940s through those films often described as examples of the paranoid (or Gothic) woman’s film. These films, which emerged in response to the phenomenal success of Hitchcock’s Rebecca, feature a woman in love with a potential murderous lover. Although the cycle begins before the war, its key period of productivity was during the war years, and it can therefore also be seen as a key genre associated with changes in the audience during this period. With many men away fighting the war, women were encouraged to disassociate with domesticity in favour of war work and this changed the nature of the cinematic audience. Rather than simply going to the cinema as part of a couple or a family, Hollywood was overwhelmed by the new audience of women that were going to the cinema in groups or alone, and these changed circumstances encouraged these female audiences to play with new forms of femininity. The films therefore exhibit these ambivalent relationship to both the home and the world beyond in both of which require their female leads to turn detective.

  • Blood Born: The Horror of AIDS (NYC)
    Tue. Feb. 26, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    In the early years of the pandemic, bodies fatally transformed by infection and marked by Kaposi’s Sarcoma, easily allowed representations of AIDS to borrow from classic horror texts. Bringing up old eugenicist notions of protecting bodies and borders from seductive ruin, vampires were quickly reread through the lens of HIV. Blood Born traces the spectre of infected bodies, and their cultural resonance with AIDS – in sexual, racial and border-defying terms. How was HIV/AIDS represented in mass media? How did popular culture express (or reflect) the anxieties of those who feared their private lives would be marked publicly on their bodies, or who imagined that their potential infection would identify them as deviant? Understanding how horror tropes serve to complicate and recast public health concerns, we will compare news, PSAs and other representations of AIDS with works as diverse as The Fly, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Pontypool and more recent films such as It Follows.

  • Big Scares on the Small Screen: A Brief History of the Made-for-TV Horror Film (LA)
    Thu. Feb. 7, 2019 - 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    Although rarely held in high regard by critics, the made for television horror film remains an intriguing artifact of network programming. Any subgenre was up for grabs, and the output was disparate, vast, and surprisingly subversive, often producing a collective memory (or trauma, depending) shared by millions of viewers. Join us for a retrospective on the golden age of the telefilm and beyond. This event will be hosted by Amanda Reyes, editor and co-author of Are You in the House Alone? A TV Movie Compendium: 1964-1999.

  • Horror and Hilarity: The Legacy of the Grand-Guignol (London)
    Thu. Feb. 7, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    Hidden at the end of cobblestoned alley in Pigalle lurked a little theatre which was home to the smallest stage in Paris. This was the Théâtre du Grand-Guignol (1897-1962), the legendary ‘Theatre of Horror’. In a district famous for its brothels, streetwalkers and gangsters, the unique Grand-Guignol had a loyal local fanbase and drew in many nervous visitors from further afield. Originally, its repertoire was slice-of-life realism, but it soon discovered what its audience really wanted: a little slice-of-death and a delirious mixture of sang, sperme et sueur (blood, sperm and sweat). In this talk, the academic and theatre director Richard Hand will take you on an intimate journey into a night at the Grand-Guignol, recounting the shocking stories, vivid personalities and ingenious tricks of the original theatre before exploring the theatre’s profound legacy and abiding influence over subsequent horror culture.

  • Andy Milligan: Artist, Auteur or Asshole? (NYC) - CANCELLED
    Tue. Jan. 15, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    Between 1965 and 1988, Andy Milligan produced, wrote and directed 29 films. He also photographed, edited and provided costumes, make-ups and set design. He is the embodiment of the fierce self-reliant filmmaker, a literal one-man powerhouse taking on the jobs of several people. Even more fascinating was that Milligan also ran an off Broadway theater, producing and writing plays as well as staging the works of other writers. Yet, despite all the energy and productivity, Milligan was long regarded as a pariah in cult film circles. Milligan laid bare his soul in just about every film he made. Wallowing in a sea of self-hatred, Milligan willingly shared his misanthropy and laid it out for all to see on the screens of some of the scummiest grind houses and drive-ins this side of 42nd Street. Through a combination of clips of his work and stills of his life, we’ll put together an understanding of the man who made such exploitation masterpieces as Bloodthirsty Butchers, Torture Dungeon, The Ghastly Ones, Vapors, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and so many more.

  • International Remakesploitation: The Horror Meme from The Turkish Exorcist to Dracula in Pakistan (London)
    Thu. Jan. 10, 2019 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    This lecture will introduce students to the world of horror ‘remakesploitation’ – international exploitation remakes of successful horror films that were often unlicensed and aimed primarily at the domestic market. Surveying a range of examples of horror remakesploitation from around the world, this lecture uses Richard Dawkins’ concept of the ‘meme’ – a cultural equivalent of the biological gene that spreads and mutates in a manner analogous to evolution – to explore what these films can tell us about processes of cultural globalization.

  • Roads to Hell: The Highway Horror Film (London) - CANCELLED
    Thu. Dec. 13, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    This class will introduce students to the ‘Highway Horror Film,’ an overlooked sub-genre of the wider American horror tradition which articulates profound unease about the transitory nature of modern American life, as well as the wider impact of mass automobility. We begin with Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), focusing on the relationship between the film and the emergence in the 1930s of the motel as a new kind of roadside business, and move through the ‘highway nemesis’ narrative and purgatorial tales such as Carnival of Souls (1962) and Dead End (2003).

  • Focus on: The Murder Set Piece (LA)
    Thu. Dec. 13, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    Director Rodman Flender breaks down visual storytelling to its most basic narrative requirements. Often the centerpiece of horror and thriller films, the murder set piece is its own three-act “mini movie,” with beginning, middle and climax. With close-read examinations and comparisons of murder set pieces from the silent era through contemporary releases, students will gain an understanding of the essential tools needed to create tension and suspense on a visceral and psychological level.

  • The Frequency of Fear: The Power and the Glory of the Motion Picture Soundtrack (NYC)
    Tue. Dec. 11, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    Cinema has long tapped into the fundamental devices of fear in its employment of sound. Journeying through concepts of cymatics, standing wave levitation, musical tunings, as well as film examples, demonstrations, and dissections of modern mix sessions, Twin Peaks: The Return supervising sound editor Dean Hurley will guide participants through an awakening in understanding the spiritual power of sound both onscreen and beyond.

  • School of Shock: Pain and Pleasure in the Classroom Safety Film (LA)
    Thu. Nov. 29, 2018 - 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    Just added! Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies founder Kier-La Janisse gives this class on the history of the shocking classroom safety film

  • Ha! Aaah! The Painful Relationship Between Humor and Horror (NYC)
    Tue. Nov. 13, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    Veteran comedy writer David Misch (Mork & Mindy, Police Squad!, Saturday Night Live) explores how both humor and horror share a mordant view of our relationship to pain – an obsession with the human body and its multifarious fluids, and a subtext of death and transcendence underlying the eviscerated flesh and fart jokes. What could be more blood-curdlingly fun?

  • Rotten Bodies, Rotten Blood: Medical Crises and Controversies as Reflected through Horror Cinema (LA) - CANCELLED
    Thu. Nov. 8, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    The horror genre has always been informed by bottomless displaced anxieties about the body, disease, and medicine. In this lecture, the author of THE MONSTER SHOW and HOLLYWOOD GOTHIC explores the pop culture underpinnings of modern horror in real-life crises like the thalidomide disaster, the AIDS epidemic, poisoned Tylenol and plastic surgery/body modification.

  • Cabinet of Curiosities: the strange case of the Scala cinema (London)
    Thu. Nov. 8, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    A cache of rare archival documents, architects’ plans, drawings, photographs and other ephemera will form the visual backdrop to a guided tour of the notorious Scala Cinema by its former programmer and biographer Jane Giles.

  • Dan Curtis: Old School/New School (NYC)
    Thu. Oct. 25, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    The Paley Centre for Media

    In the early 1970s, just before Hollywood auteurs like Wes Craven and John Carpenter invented the modern horror film, eschewing old-school, fantastical monsters for gritty, politically edged stories aimed at excavating our deepest anxieties, producer/director Dan Curtis dominated television horror with a series of programs reinterpreting traditional genre tropes. Join us as we explore Curtis’s horror oeuvre, exploring his thematic and aesthetic preoccupations, his evocation of the times, his own influences, and his influence on the men and women who have followed in his footsteps by finding the terror place inside us and squeezing it with a cold hand.

  • I Dream of Deep Water: An Exploration of the History and Psychology of Aquatic Horror (LA)
    Wed. Oct. 24, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    From unknown ghosts of the deep to sharks, mermaids, gators and the Great Old Ones of Lovecraftian lore, This lecture by Rebekah McKendry will examine not only the history of aquatic horror, focusing on film, but also touching on earlier texts and visual arts. McKendry will also explore the psychology behind our fascination with unknown fathoms, exploring the mental intersections of fear and fascination, the symbolism of submergence, and the subconscious primordial elements of the deep.

  • Live From Miskatonic: Stephen Volk in Conversation with Sean Hogan (London)
    Thu. Oct. 11, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    Screenwriter and author Stephen Volk is perhaps best known for writing the notorious BBC Halloween hoax Ghostwatch, which spooked the nation, hit newspaper headlines and prompted questions to be asked in Parliament. However, his many other notable screenplays include those for the films Gothic (directed by Ken Russell), The Guardian (directed by William Friedkin), the BAFTA award-winning The Deadness of Dad, and The Awakening, while his other TV credits range from Afterlife to the recent Midwinter of the Spirit. During this exclusive event, Stephen Volk will discuss his career and work with screenwriter & filmmaker Sean Hogan.

  • Ghouls to the Front: Rethinking Women's Horror Filmmaking (Austin)
    Tue. Sep. 25, 2018 - 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm
    Alamo Drafthouse Cinema South Lamar

    While researching and writing her upcoming book 1000 Women in Horror, Australian film critic and author Alexandra Heller-Nicholas was struck by the scope of women’s horror filmmaking. That scope lead to some important – and sometimes difficult – questions: are horror films made by women necessarily ‘feminist’? What do we mean when we talk about ‘feminism’ anyway? What can we learn from art history? Do women make necessarily different kinds of horror films to men and represent violence in different ways? And who has told us which women horror filmmakers’ matter – and, through their omission from popular memory, which ones don’t?

    Rather than presenting a singular alternate history of women’s horror filmmaking, Heller-Nicholas seeks to blow open the way we think about this subject more broadly, looking at a range of examples from around the world from 1898 to 2018 in order to think through ways we can collectively rethink the history of horror more broadly to be more inclusive, more representative, and more fun.

  • Live From Miskatonic: Don Coscarelli in Conversation (LA)
    Thu. Sep. 13, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    Philosophical Research Society

    The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is proud to open its LA branch with a career talk with one of the most important independent directors of American genre cinema, the man whose imagination brought us The Tall Man, whose KENNY & COMPANY and PHANTASM gave pre-teen genre fans an indelible image of empowerment in the form of actor Michael Baldwin, and who adapted the books BUBBA HO-TEP and JOHN DIES AT THE END into instant cult classics. With a new biography on the horizon – True Indie: Life and Death in Filmmaking, due out October 2 – Don Coscarelli has agreed to sit down with us at Miskatonic, and over the course of a three-hour illustrated discussion moderated by Dead Right Trivia’s Jared Rivet.

  • Drag Me to Hell: Representations of Drag and Transvestism in Horror Film and Television (London)
    Thu. Sep. 13, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    From Ed Wood’s Glen Or Glenda (1953) to the Boulet Brothers’ Dragula (2017-), drag and transvestism have appeared as a recurring theme in genre cinema and television. Are there thematic links between drag and horror and what are the recurrent elements? The culture of subversion? Of extremity? The ‘fear of the other’ which is a recurrent narrative driver in genre cinema? In contemporary society where representations of drag are crossing into the mainstream (RuPaul’s Drag Race, 2009-) and cross-dressing represents less of an extreme counter-cultural revolt, what has been the impact on that relationship? And did some of the more progressive filmmakers representing drag reflect this in earlier representations?

  • Live From Miskatonic: Joe Coleman - Stealing Fire: The Mastery of the Outsider (NYC)
    Tue. Sep. 11, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    There is an intersection, by accident or intent, where the Master and the Outsider create symbols and works that mirror. There are places where The Master is unsure to go but the Outsider without the boundaries of convention walks into dangerous territory where the soul is confronted and everything is changed and what is a dream and what is real is combined and elevated. In this unique live conversation moderated by film writer and producer Heather Buckley, Joe Coleman will investigate a series of films and the ways that concepts of high and low art intersect in and around them.

  • Getting the Fear: GHOST STORIES' Andy Nyman in Conversation with Stephen Thrower (Lisbon)
    Sat. Sep. 8, 2018 - 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
    Motel X – Cinema Sao George

    Andy Nyman , co-creator of the chilling new film Ghost Stories, talks to Stephen Thrower about the process of adapting the original stage play, ghost story traditions, and how to disturb the viewer. Pivotal to Ghost Stories is the notion of scepticism: why is the sceptic such an important figure in ghost stories? How can a film scare an audience who do not always believe in its premise? And how does one retain the ambiguity so important in the creation of uncanny moods?

  • 'Dissecting New French Extremity: Xavier Gens and Pascal Laugier in Conversation (Lisbon)
    Wed. Sep. 5, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Motel X – Cinema Sao George

    Due to personal complications that came up last minute for for both the moderator and one of the speakers,  this event has been cancelled – however Xavier Gens will still be appearing in person at the Portuguese premiere of his film COLD SKIN at 9:15pm and will be participating in a Q+A following the film. Tickets for that event are HERE >>

    The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies presents Xavier Gens (Frontier(s), The Divide, The ABCs of Death, The Crucifixion) and Pascal Laugier (Martyrs, The Tall Man) in person for this live onstage conversation at Lisbon’s Motel X International Horror Film Festival. They will discuss the history of French horror cinema, New French Extremity and its influence on the horror genre (including on their own recent films – Laugier’s Ghostland, screening at this year’s Motel X ) inside and outside of France. The discussion will be moderated by Miskatonic instructor Jon Towlson, Starburst critic and author of Subversive Horror.

  • Live From Miskatonic: Michael Ironside in Conversation (Montreal)
    Fri. Jul. 20, 2018 - 5:15 pm - 7:00 pm
    Concordia University – EV Building York Ampitheatre

    A career talk with one of the most iconic character actors of our time, and a true legend of the genre film world, moderated by Heather Buckley.

  • No Sense Makes Sense: Gurus, Cults, Murder and Movies
    Thu. May. 17, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    This class will examine the rise of alternative religious movements/cults in California in the 1960s and 70s which spawned an ongoing sub-genre of the horror film. The focus will be on the Manson Family and lead on to an examination of other cults including The People’s Temple and the mass suicide at Jonestown as well as a consideration of the renewed fascination with cults in the 21st century.

  • Preserving Genre Cinema at Vinegar Syndrome (NYC)
    Tue. May. 8, 2018 - 12:00 am
    Film Noir Cinema

    This class will discuss the basic issues and challenges associated with film preservation, with a specific focus on issues most common to genre films. Topics shall include film decay and restorative processes, format specific preservation techniques, the role of home video (and specifically Vinegar Syndrome) in the preservation of genre films, viewer expectations in the digital age, as well as a general overview of the methodologies by which Vinegar Syndrome selects films for restoration and release.

  • A Restoration of 'Nosferatu' (1922)
    Thu. Apr. 19, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    This show-and-tell lecture will illustrate many of the issues encountered and (with varying degrees of success) resolved in a digital restoration of Murnau’s NOSFERATU. This talk will primarily explore the complex and subjective issues currently floating around in many analog-versus-digital discussions of film and how those opinions can influence the determination of what the restored version should look like if the goal is to replicate the original projected image at the time of first release. Can digital restorations generate valid preservation copies of photo-chemical materials? Let’s find out.

  • What the Fest?! Screening: GHOST STORIES (NYC)
    Sat. Mar. 31, 2018 - 12:00 am
    IFC Center

    Already lauded as one of the best British horror films ever, writer-directors Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson’s spooky, entertaining GHOST STORIES was adapted from a major stage hit into a seriously cinematic creep-out.

  • What the Fest?! Screening: BLUE MY MIND (NYC)
    Sat. Mar. 31, 2018 - 12:00 am - 10:00 pm
    IFC Center

    Samm Deighan will introduce the film with a discussion of female adolescence as a source of horror and the uncanny, from its origins in fairy tales and eighteenth century gothic literature to films about the terror of female sexual awakening like Cat People (1942), The White Reindeer (1952), Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), and Company of the Wolves (1984).

  • The Legacy of Richard Matheson's 'I Am Legend'
    Thu. Mar. 15, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    Through an analysis of a selection of official and unofficial adaptations of Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel I AM LEGEND, this lecture by Stacey Abbott considers how this text marks a key transformative moment within the evolution of the horror genre on film, while also examining its long standing influence on the horror genre from the 1960s to the present.

  • Shirley Jackson's Weird (NYC)
    Tue. Mar. 13, 2018 - 12:00 am - 10:00 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    This class is devoted to the work of the reclusive Vermont author whose brutal short story, “The Lottery,” still holds the record for the most letters of protest sent to The New Yorker for publishing it. Come along with instructor Kristopher Woofter as we walk through the haunted spaces of Jackson’s four major works: THE LOTTERY AND OTHER STORIES (1949), and her “uncanny house trilogy,” THE SUNDIAL (1958), THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE (1959), and WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE (1962). A bestseller in her time, and a major influence on authors like Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates, Jackson’s work has gone relatively unacknowledged by scholarship that relegates her to obscurity. Jackson’s body of work varied from domestic satire in her darkly humorous memoirs RAISING DEMONS and LIFE AMONG THE SAVAGES), to young-adult fiction (THE WITCHCRAFT OF SALEM VILLAGE), to uncanny psychological studies (THE ROAD THROUGH THE WALL, THE BIRD’S NEST), to her most popular work in the realm of horror and the weird. This class brings Jackson back to acknowledge her place as one of America’s—and without question one of horror’s—greatest writers.

  • Live From Miskatonic: Ramsey Campbell in Conversation with Stephen Jones
    Thu. Feb. 15, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    For this exclusive event, Ramsey Campbell will discuss his life, his career and his ideology with his friend and colleague, award-winning editor and writer STEPHEN JONES, as well as giving advice to would-be writers on the current state of horror publishing. The evening will end with a Q&A session with the audience. This is an opportunity no horror fan can afford to miss—an informal discussion with one of the giants of the genre, with more than half-a-century of writing experience to draw upon, about the state of modern fiction and film. Don’t miss it!

  • Black Horror: The Revolutionary Act of Subverting the White Gaze (NYC)
    Tue. Feb. 13, 2018 - 12:00 am - 10:00 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    From Spencer Williams’ Son of Ingagi to Jordan Peele’s Get Out, the cinematic screen has consistently served as a site of subversion for filmmakers of the African diaspora. Through the camera’s lens, tales of hauntings, demonic possession, vampirism, and hoodoo rituals gone awry have become a celluloid metaphor for colonization and racism’s toll on the Black psyche. This multimedia presentation will offer an immersive thematic overview of Black horror narratives while highlighting noteworthy films within the genre spanning the early 1900s to modern day. Select films will be paired with excerpts of literary, sociological, and philosophical texts to enhance students understanding of the cinematic genre and its radical roots. Through visual, cultural, and historical exploration, this presentation aims to examine and foster dialogue about what happens when subjection is subverted and what stories can be told when the white gaze is decentered.

  • Secret Powers of Attraction: Folk Horror in its Cultural Context
    Thu. Jan. 18, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    British “folk horror” was in many ways a phenomenon of the 1970s, but it has seen a massive revival of popularity in the last decade. What caused it to grow in the fields, forests and furrows of the 1970s and early 1980s? And why has it come back with such a vengeance? In Secret Powers of Attraction, Howard David Ingham gives a broad overview of British folk horror in its time and space, and how popular interest in the occult creates the conditions for it to become a force in our collective imagination.

  • Sacred Disobedience: on ‘Penda’s Fen’ (NYC)
    Tue. Jan. 9, 2018 - 12:00 am - 10:00 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    Only recently exhumed after having been out of circulation for forty years, Alan Clarke and David Rudkin’s Penda’s Fen has lost none of its power to bewitch and ensorcel. This illustrated talk by Sukhdev Sandhu will explore its topographies and febrile contexts – experimental public broadcasting, avant-garde arcadias, the rural uncanny, a mid-70s Britain that teetered on the brink of civil war, the rise of eldritch England.

  • YULETIDE TERROR: CHRISTMAS HORROR ON FILM AND TELEVISION
    Thu. Dec. 14, 2017 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    To celebrate the release of Spectacular Optical’s new book Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television, contributors Stephen Thrower and Derek Johnston will delve into the world of festive fright favourites and obscurities, from American Santa Slashers (and the ensuing controversies) to the quintessentially-English A Ghost Story for Christmas series, providing insight on these subversive film and television presentations that allow viewers to engage in different ways with the complicated cultural history of the Christmas season.

  • YULETIDE TERROR: Christmas Horror on Film and Television (NYC)
    Tue. Dec. 12, 2017 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    To celebrate the release of Spectacular Optical’s new book Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television, contributors Michael Gingold and Kier-La Janisse will delve into the world of festive fright favourites and obscurities, from American Santa Slashers (and the ensuing controversies) to the quintessentially-English A Ghost Story for Christmas series, providing insight on these subversive film and television presentations that allow viewers to engage in different ways with the complicated cultural history of the Christmas season.

  • Duane Jones: Race and Revolution in the Vietnam Era
    Tue. Nov. 28, 2017 - Tue. Dec. 5, 2017 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    This two-week course with Dave Austin and Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare examines the important place of the actor who played the now-iconic character of Ben in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) and the lead in the experimental horror film, GANJA AND HESS (1973), as a figure embodying the revolutionary aspirations of the Vietnam era.

  • Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Exploring The Demon Feminine In Film (NYC)
    Tue. Nov. 21, 2017 - 12:00 am - 10:00 pm
    Film Noir Cinema

    In this illustrated talk, New School faculty member and author of Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive Kristen J. Sollée will trace the witch in visual media from the early modern era through the present, examining her legacy as an icon of female power and persecution, and as a potent feminist symbol.

  • INTO THE DARK: THE MONSTERS AND NIGHTMARES OF HORROR ANIMATION
    Thu. Nov. 9, 2017 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    In this illustrated talk, Nag Vladermersky, Director of the London International Animation Festival, will look at the specific forms that horror takes in animation, digging deep into the bowels of the extensive LIAF archive to unearth some of the darkest, weirdest and hellish gems that have screened at the festival over the last 14 years.

  • DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS: WOMEN HORROR DIRECTORS
    Tue. Oct. 17, 2017 - Tue. Nov. 21, 2017 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    In this five-week course, five different instructors focus on issues related to women’s and gender issues in horror. Topics include horror films by female directors, feminist horror, feminist readings of horror, and female performances of abjection in horror. Films include CARRIE (Brian De Palma, 1976), TÉSIS (Alejandro Amenábar, 1996), JENNIFER’S BODY (Karyn Kusama, 2009), THE BABADOOK (Jennifer Kent, 2014), and EVOLUTION (Lucile Hadžihalilović, 2015).

  • VIDEO DUNGEON: HOW TO TALK ABOUT ‘PSYCHOTRONIC CINEMA’
    Thu. Oct. 12, 2017 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    To launch his new book VIDEO DUNGEON, Kim will be talking about critiquing films some reckon beyond or beneath or outside criticism, illustrated with clips from the weirdest and rarest films. He will consider critical approaches to what Michael Weldon calls ‘Psychotronic Cinema’ and less perceptive souls write off as ‘junk’.

  • AUSTRALIAN HORRORSCAPES
    Tue. Sep. 26, 2017 - Tue. Oct. 10, 2017 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    Animals that kill, barren desert landscapes, and brash local culture: myths regarding Australia’s danger persist on an international scale. This course will examine how these narratives inhabit the landscape in Australian horror film, drawing material from the inventive ‘Ozploitation’ of the 1970s, the historically canonized art-cinema of the same time, and the more recent cycle of Australian horror films. In order to investigate how the horror-landscape is constructed and utilized within these examples, we will interrogate space and formal elements such as lighting, mise-en-scène and sound. To scrutinize the national mythologies behind these landscapes, and to question how genre is employed to project fears from and of colonial Australia, we will consider the historical, political and industrial contexts around the production of these films. We will ask how these films engage with Australian Indigenous and settler histories, myths of nationhood and national cinemas, and the ‘wilderness’ versus ‘culture’ binary. Films that may be included are WAKE IN FRIGHT, RAZORBACK, PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, THE LONG WEEKEND, WOLF CREEK, HOWLING III: THE MARSUPIALS, NIGHT CRIES, CARS THAT ATE PARIS, ROGUE, DARK AGE, MYSTERY ROAD, WYRMWOOD.

  • PAPERBACKS FROM HELL – with Grady Hendrix and Special Guests! (NYC)
    Tue. Sep. 19, 2017 - 12:00 am
    Film Noir Cinema

    Grady Hendrix delivers a mind-melting oral history of the wild and woolly world of 70s horror pulps, featuring Nazi leprechauns, skeleton doctors, killer crabs, killer jellyfish, and killer fetuses, featuring hair-raising readings, a William W. Johnstone quote-off, and more tales of terrifying tots, tricycles, clowns, puppets, and heavy metal bands than should be strictly legal. Prepare yourself for a tour of this long-lost universe of terror that lurked behind the lurid, foil-embossed, die-cut covers of… the Paperbacks from Hell!

  • VIRGINS & VAMPIRES: GOTHIC DAMSELS AND FINAL GIRLS IN THE CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN
    Thu. Sep. 14, 2017 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    Mixing art cinema, fantastique and exploitation, Jean Rollin created a unique cinematic world, transgressive and oneiric, and dominated by the feminine. His films, steeped in the roman noir of the 18th and 19th century via his love for Surrealism, are peopled by damsels in distress who reveal themselves much less vulnerable than they initially appear.

  • Chimerical Optics: Haiti, Colonialism and Voodoo Terror
    Thu. May. 18, 2017 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    Haiti has held a special place in colonial imaginings of all that is macabre, sinister and maniacally savage, a land of irredeemable barbarism and “Voodoo Terror”. This class will trace a history of such representations, discussing how they continue to shape xenophobic and neo-colonial imaginings of Haiti as a country mired in superstition and incapable of enlightened self-governance, and the importance of the zombie figure for these “chimerical optics”.

  • Tele-terrors: The Real and Imagined Horrors Inside the Made for Television Movie
    Thu. Apr. 20, 2017 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    Often considered the bastard step-child of the theatrical motion picture, TV movies have long been relegated to the dusty corners of our childhood memories. However, despite its scorned status, telefilms could be thoughtful and, at times, subversive. This lecture offers an exploration into several facets of the made for television movie, surveying its cultural touchstones and analyzing the influence the telefilm had on Americans during the run of the network made for television movie produced between 1964 – 1999.

  • CALIFORNIA SCREAMING: WEST COAST CULT HORROR
    Tue. Mar. 21, 2017 - Tue. Apr. 4, 2017 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    Joining us to wrap up our 7th year is our “Final Guy,” Mike Wood, with three weeks of “California Screaming: West Coast Cult Horror.” Mike, a historian and archaeologist by profession—and expert on Indonesian culture, history and politics—has been devouring films like PSYCH-OUT (1968), COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE (1970), and MEPHISTO WALTZ (1971), since he was in his teens. In this course, he turns his youthful cinephilia into an exploration of the alternative religious movements and cults in 1960s and 1970s California—perhaps most notoriously represented by Charles Manson and Jim Jones, and their followers—that spawned a whole subgenre of films.

  • Synthetic Flesh/Rotten Blood: The Turn to Gruesomeness in American Horror Films, 1931-1936
    Thu. Mar. 16, 2017 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    Taking a fresh look at the genre from 1931 through 1936, this class examines ‘happy ending’ horror in relation to industry practices and censorship. Early works like Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) and The Raven (1935) may be more akin to the modern Grand Guignol of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) and Hostel (2005) than many critics believe. Tracing the development of classic horror to the deployment — and subsequent censorship — of on-screen ‘gruesomeness’, Jon Towlson will illustrate the discussion with memos, letters and censorship reports from the studio archives and other research conducted for his new book, The Turn to Gruesomeness in American Horror Films, 1931-1936.

  • THE MISKATONIC BROOD presents...
    Tue. Mar. 7, 2017 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    From the creator of the JU-ON series (2000, 2002, 2003), MAREBITO conceptualizes “fear” not so much as a negative affect, but rather as a positive one: an opening up, a potentiality, a force. When harnessed by capture technologies, fear becomes an event that opens up new worlds and new visions … which may or may not lead to madness. Looking at the film through the writings of Brian Massumi, Cayer will help us to locate the film’s importance in the influential J-horror cycle, as well as its function as a hypertext that brings together various mythologies and influences: the Japanese urban landscape, the scopophilia of films such as PEEPING TOM, the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Hollow Earth theories, the vampire mythos, and more.

  • Lost Treasures of Japanese Genre Filmmaking
    Thu. Feb. 16, 2017 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    In this illustrated talk Jasper Sharp will explore the out reaches of Japanese fantasy cinema, from the embryonic trick films of “The Father of Japanese Film” Shozo Makino through oddball homegrown sub-genres such as the prewar “ghost cat” (bakeneko or kaibyô) films and the ama cycle of sexy pearl diver films, some long-lost Japanese takes on the movie monsters of Universal Studios, the pink film-horror of directors like Tetsuji Takechi and Kinya Ogawa and much, much more, all peppered with a liberal amount of clips of some truly bizarre titles that remain either unseen or unseeable to modern audiences outside of the country.

  • SLASHER THEORY: REASSESSING AN UNDERVALUED SUBGENRE
    Tue. Jan. 24, 2017 - Tue. Feb. 28, 2017 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    Miskatonic-Montréal goes back to “basics” with this six-week course taught by five different instructors. In the first class, all five instructors will weigh in on Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO (1960) as an urtext for the Slasher film, with an eye towards the later film they have selected. From there, each instructor will trace a Slasher genealogy extending from PSYCHO’s monstrous feminine(s) through a host of the subgenre’s most influential (or notorious) entries.

  • "Nature Found Them Guilty": Revenge in Australian Exploitation Cinema
    Thu. Jan. 19, 2017 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    This lecture will explore how Australian horror cinema of this period incorporates a subversive streak that critiques Australian history and culture through the theme of revenge. This lecture will explore how Australian horror cinema of the 1970s and 80s incorporates a subversive streak that critiques Australian history and culture through the theme of revenge.

  • Working the Blue Rose Case: Signs, Codes, and Mysteries in David Lynch's 'Fire Walk With Me'
    Thu. Dec. 8, 2016 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    FIRE WALK WITH ME (1992, directed by David Lynch and co-written with Robert Engels) was created to address unanswered questions in the seminal TV series TWIN PEAKS (1990-91), but instead it offered more puzzles and dream narratives to confound viewers. Its premiere in Cannes was met with boos and jeers from the audience, but over the years critical opinion of this challenging film has matured and developed. Maura McHugh will explore the symbols and themes that underpin FIRE WALK WITH ME and TWIN PEAKS, and will offer you a refresher course in its characters and strange happenings in advance of the new series of TWIN PEAKS which will materialise in 2017.

     

  • The New York State of Horror (NYC)
    Thu. Dec. 8, 2016 - 12:00 am - 10:00 pm
    Morbid Anatomy Museum

    Longtime horror journalist Michael Gingold leads you on a travelogue through New York City horror, discussing resident auteurs such as Larry Cohen, Abel Ferrara, Frank Henenlotter and William Lustig as well as the ways in which New York City-set scare flicks reflected the changes in the city itself over the years.

  • Monsters in the Closet: Gay Pulp Horror in the 1970s (NYC)
    Thu. Nov. 17, 2016 - 12:00 am
    Morbid Anatomy Museum

    Monsters in the Closet examines the intersection between horror and gay erotic novels of the 1970s, when adults-only publishers mined the conventions of genre fiction formulas that lent themselves to sexually explicit variations.

  • SHIRLEY JACKSON'S WEIRD
    Tue. Nov. 15, 2016 - Tue. Nov. 29, 2016 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    With “Shirley Jackson’s Weird,” Miskatonic-Montréal celebrates the 100th birthday of Shirley Jackson, one of the grandmothers of literary horror. This three-week course is devoted to the work of the reclusive Vermont author whose brutal short story, “The Lottery,” still holds the record for the most letters of protest sent to THE NEW YORKER for publishing it. Come along with instructor Kristopher Woofter as we walk through the haunted spaces of Jackson’s four major works: THE LOTTERY AND OTHER STORIES (1949), and her “uncanny house trilogy,” THE SUNDIAL (1958), THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE (1959), and WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE (1962). A bestseller in her time, and a major influence on authors like Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates, Jackson’s work has gone relatively unacknowledged by scholarship that relegates her to obscurity. Jackson’s body of work varied from domestic satire in her darkly humorous memoirs RAISING DEMONS and LIFE AMONG THE SAVAGES), to young-adult fiction (THE WITCHCRAFT OF SALEM VILLAGE), to uncanny psychological studies (THE ROAD THROUGH THE WALL, THE BIRD’S NEST), to her most popular work in the realm of horror and the weird. This course brings Jackson back to acknowledge her place as one of America’s—and without question one of horror’s—greatest writers. This course will feature a screening of Robert Wise’s stunning Jackson adaptation, THE HAUNTING (1963).

  • Little Terrors: Children's Horror on Film and Television
    Thu. Nov. 10, 2016 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    This class will explore in detail the area of horror films and television programmes created specifically for children in the UK and the US.

  • Adapting Lovecraft for the Screen: A Master Class with Dennis Paoli (NYC)
    Thu. Oct. 20, 2016 - 12:00 am - 10:00 pm
    Morbid Anatomy Museum

    Dennis Paoli, screenwriter for director Stuart Gordon’s film adaptations of the works of H. P. Lovecraft (Re-Animator, From Beyond, Dagon, and for the cable television series “Masters of Horror,” Dreams in the Witch House), will lead a two-hour master class on adapting Lovecraft for the screen—the challenges, techniques, and insights into the works gained in the process.

  • Vulgar Structures; or Andrzej Zulawski's Love Triangles
    Thu. Oct. 13, 2016 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    Writer and filmmaker Andrzej Zulawski, who passed away earlier this year, worked in different genres: war films (The Third Part of the Night), gothic horror (The Devil, Possession), melodrama (The Most Important Thing is to Love, My Nights Are More Beautiful Than Your Days, La Fidelite), thrillers (La Femme publique, Cosmos), science fiction (On the Silver Globe), costume dramas (La Note bleue),crime films (L’Amour braque), erotic dramas (Szamanka) – even musicals (Boris Godunov). However, all of Zulawski’s films share the same fundamentally vulgar structure: the love triangle. This class looks at the love triangle fundamental to all of Zulawski’s films and squares it with this remarkable director’s life and loves.

     

  • WOMEN HORROR DIRECTORS
    Tue. Sep. 27, 2016 - Tue. Nov. 1, 2016 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    Miskatonic-Montréal kicks off its Fall 2016 semester on Tuesday, 27 September, 7-10pm, with the six-week course, “Women Horror Directors.” Week one features a screening and discussion of the Soska Sisters’ AMERICAN MARY, followed by THE HITCH-HIKER, directed by Ida Lupino, a pioneering woman director working in Hollywood (4 October). Week three of the course treats us to Amy Holden Jones’s feminist slasher film, SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE (pictured), written by novelist Rita Mae Brown (11 October). Next up is Kathryn Bigelow’s cult favourite, NEAR DARK (18 October), followed by Iranian-American director Ana Lily Amirpour’s acclaimed independent horror film, A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT (25 October). Our final week of the course features a screening, Q&A and discussion with Montréal filmmaker Maude Michaud about her work, which includes the feature film, DYS-, and the short film, SNUFF (1 November).

  • Rituals in the Dark: Evoking Magic on Film
    Thu. Sep. 22, 2016 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    Step into the safety of the magic circle as Mark Pilkington explores how the myriad Western esoteric magical practices and traditions have been represented, enacted and portrayed on film.

  • Live From Miskatonic: In Conversation with Jack Ketchum (NYC)
    Wed. Sep. 21, 2016 - 12:00 am - 10:00 pm
    Morbid Anatomy Museum

    Stephen King called him “the scariest guy in America.” And so we kick off Miskatonic NYC with a bang as a titan of horror fiction, Jack Ketchum (OFF SEASON, THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, THE LOST, RED) joins us for our first event at the Morbid Anatomy Museum for an in-depth look at his work and adaptations to the screen, moderated by film writer, programmer and Miskatonic Institute founder Kier-La Janisse.

  • IT’S NOT REAL, BUT IT’S REALITY: The Story of Custom-Made Sex and Horror
    Thu. May. 12, 2016 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    This lecture traces the history of the custom shoot – from its clumsy beginnings in video horror to the present facsimile death scenes – which occupies a unique space in the collective mind-set, one created and never occupied by the ‘reality’ of snuff films.

  • HOLY TORTURE: Desire, Cruelty, Power and Religion in 1960s-70s Cinema
    Thu. Apr. 14, 2016 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    The 1960s-70s saw copious amounts of on-screen self-flagellation, brutal witch-hunting, delirious possessions and sadistic exorcisms, culminating into the so-called ‘nunsploitation’ genre. This lecture by Miskatonic London co-director Virginie Selavy will explore the various ways in which desire, cruelty, power and religion are configured in the cinema of the period.

  • TRUE CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
    Tue. Mar. 29, 2016 - Tue. Apr. 12, 2016 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    True Crime appeals to armchair detectives, voyeurs and conspiracy theorists. Each story offers the tantalizing possibility of resolving a mystery — though, often the most appealing works tend to instead multiply motives by pointing toward clues left uninvestigated. This three-week course will celebrate the genre by exploring how inspectors, authors, lawyers and viewers rely on the power of narrative to confirm their own path to an unreliable truth. Screenings may include: THE JINX (2015), THE THIN BLUE LINE (1988), and IN COLD BLOOD (1967).

  • CANCELLED - INHUMAN NOISE: Synthesized Sound as Weapon, Antagonist and Supernatural Presence in Horror Cinema
    Thu. Mar. 10, 2016 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    This talk looks beyond the soundtrack at the role of composers, instruments, computers and other sound-making devices in horror films, revealing that the relationship between alien sounds and inhuman activity is not always as straightforward as one might expect.

  • Live From Miskatonic: JOHN HOUGH IN CONVERSATION
    Thu. Feb. 11, 2016 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    In this special instalment of LIVE FROM MISKATONIC, Hough will participate in a lengthy on-stage conversation with our guest interviewer Justin Harries, the curator of London’s popular FILMBAR70.

  • DOCUMENTING HORROR
    Tue. Feb. 2, 2016 - Tue. Mar. 15, 2016 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    This seven-week course kicks off an entire Winter 2016 semester devoted to the horrors of the real. Seven instructors offer their unique scholarly approaches to the varied convergences of horror and documentary cinema. Topics include pseudo-documentary horror, fake found-footage horror, the French cinema of sensation, horror in experimental documentary and the essay film, archival horror, and horror film samples in industrial music. Screenings may include: THE ACT OF KILLING (2014), LEÇONS DES TÉNÈBRES (1999), and THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLE (1971).

  • J.G. Ballard: Crash, The Atrocity Exhibition and Moving Beyond Literature
    Thu. Jan. 7, 2016 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    This talk by visiting instructor Jack Sargeant offers an exploration of Ballard’s radical experimental work, and traces its influence into the subcultural mise en scène of the era and beyond.

  • LIVE FROM MISKATONIC: NIGEL KNEALE’S ‘THE ROAD’
    Thu. Dec. 10, 2015 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    To mark the launch of WE ARE THE MARTIANS, a new book of essays about Kneale and his work from Spectral Press, The Miskatonic Institute presents a unique celebration of the work of Nigel Kneale. A rehearsed reading of Kneale’s lost drama THE ROAD (featuring Jonathan Rigby and others), will be followed by an in depth discussion of Kneale’s work and influence by some of the book’s authors

  • “Daggers of the Mind”: Shakespeare’s Occult Influences and Japanese Horror
    Tue. Nov. 17, 2015 - Tue. Nov. 24, 2015 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    This year’s edition of “Shakespeare and Horror” looks at Early Modern beliefs in witchcraft, magic, and especially mind-control. In addition to discussing Renaissance discourse on the “transitive” powers of vision and imagination—the notion that minds and matter can be influenced by another subject across the visual field—we’ll consider how Shakespeare’s allusions to proto-hypnosis, “fascination” by the evil eye, and demonic mental influences translate into the Japanese art-horror films of two (unrelated) Kurosawas. During our first session we’ll view THRONE OF BLOOD aka SPIDER WEB CASTLE (1957), Akira Kurosawa’s gothic, Noh-influenced adaptation of Macbeth. In our second class we’ll watch Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s CURE (1997), a cinematic initiation into a world mesmerism and contagious violence.

  • SHADOWS AND FOG: THE FORGOTTEN HISTORY OF THE GERMAN EDGAR WALLACE KRIMI
    Thu. Nov. 12, 2015 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    Jim Harper explores the background and history of the Wallace krimi, from their beginnings to their long-term influence in Germany and beyond, discussing the charm and appeal of these quintessential European cult favourites.

  • BRITISH OCCULT CINEMA
    Tue. Oct. 20, 2015 - Tue. Nov. 3, 2015 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    The occult loomed large in British horror films of the latter part of the 20th century. In the Night of the Demon (1957) ancient folklore, arcane writings, séances and a malevolent magician are subject to the skeptical inquiries of a team of international paranormal investigators lead by Dana Andrews. The Witches (1966) follows a school teacher (Joan Fontaine) recovering from a mental breakdown while working in Africa as she takes up a new post in a peaceful and rather conservative English village. She soon finds out that not all is what it seems as she encounters the evil forces and sinister rituals lurking below the surface of an otherwise tranquil rural setting. The Devil Rides Out (1968), based on the novel of Denis Wheatley, gives a glimpse into the occult experiments of the 1920’s British upper-class. A world of ecstatic rituals, esoteric texts, demonic conjurations and the figure of Mocata, a practitioner of the magical arts based on the infamous occultist Aleister Crowley. These three films reflect contemporary realities of gender, class, race, colonialism and modernity as post-war Britain dealt with the end of empire and profound social changes. These films also reflect popular conceptions of and reactions to various aspects of the Western occult tradition such as spiritualism, ceremonial magic and Wicca, the set of neo-pagan beliefs that was becoming known to a wider public for the first time as these movies were first released.

  • SATANIC PANIC: POP-CULTURAL PARANOIA IN THE 1980s
    Thu. Oct. 8, 2015 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    From con artists to pranksters and moralists to martyrs, this lecture – based on the instructors’ book of the same name – aims to capture the untold story of the how the Satanic Panic was fought on the pop culture frontlines and the serious consequences it had for many involved.

  • Mondo Realism and the Cinema of Joe D’Amato
    Tue. Sep. 29, 2015 - Tue. Oct. 13, 2015 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    This course will examine Joe D’Amato’s body-centred films within the context of Italian cinema, the paracinematic, and genre studies. We will focus on what I call D’Amato’s “Mondo Realist” films, made within a very short period between 1975-1979. D’Amato’s films bridge Neo Realism and the Mondo film, which continue to be understood in almost mutually exclusive terms in film theory. His films offer a way to open up these categories through the embodied and sensual experiences of the porn and horror genres.

  • FREAKS, HIPPIES AND WITCHES: THE STRANGE, SALACIOUS CINEMA OF ANTONY BALCH
    Thu. Sep. 10, 2015 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    As part of Scalarama 2015, our first class of the fall semester features William Fowler talking about Antony Balch, an extraordinary figure of 1960s-70s British film, best known for directing Secrets of Sex (1970) and Horror Hospital (1973), and for his collaborations with William Burroughs.

  • Miskatonic Graduation at the Masonic Temple with "DEAD EYES OF LONDON"
    Sat. Jul. 4, 2015 - 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    The Masonic Temple at the Andaz Hotel

    The Miskatonic London 2015 pilot semester has now wrapped, but we would like to invite all our graduates (those who were with us for the whole semester) to a screening of The Dead Eyes of London at the fantastic Masonic Temple in Liverpool Street on Saturday 4 July at 1pm (part of the East End Film Festival). This will be followed by a panel discussion on krimi films with Kim Newman, Jim Harper and Alex Fitch, after which the graduates will receive their Miskatonic diplomas from the hands of Kim Newman.

  • Jesús Franco: Shooting at the speed of life
    Thu. Jun. 11, 2015 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    In this evening’s discussion, acclaimed author Stephen Thrower (NIGHTMARE USA) will explore Franco’s ability to juggle the commercial and personal dimensions of filmmaking through his confrontational works of horror, sadism and erotic spectacle.

  • Engulfed by Nature: Psychological and Supernatural Landscapes
    Thu. May. 14, 2015 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    This lecture and screening by Jasper Sharp will look at how landscape and elemental conditions can be evoked to express dangerous forces existing beyond man’s perceptual and belief systems, but also, in contrast, how heightened psychological states can be given visual form through use of such timeless spaces, taking the viewer out of their comfort zones and back into nature at its most wild, mysterious and untamed.

  • London Underground: Death Line
    Thu. Apr. 9, 2015 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    Kim Newman will talk about Gary Sherman’s 1972 British horror film, Death Line (aka Raw Meat), highlighting the film’s political subtext, transgressive use of cannibalism as metaphor and for shock value, black humour, performance styles, relationship with American and other British films on similar subjects, and exploration of London lore and locations.

  • HITCHCOCK AND THE APOCALYPSE
    Tue. Apr. 7, 2015 - Tue. Apr. 21, 2015 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    This 3-week course will revisit The Birds (Hitchcock 1963) as an approach to two unique films on the edge of the apocalyptic tradition: Safe (Haynes 1995) and Take Shelter (Nichols 2011). Like The Birds, these are relatively quiet melodramas overtaken by an uncanny horror that scrambles space and subject, defying explanation and leaving cinematic representation up for grabs. Together, the three films will let us consider the boundaries of the horror genre as well as its capacity to intervene in other modes and complicate the project of realism.

  • The Battle of the Sexes: Sado-masochism in 1960s-70s cinema
    Thu. Mar. 12, 2015 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    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. This lecture will examine the various ramifications of the period’s unfettered sado-masochistic fantasies.

  • THEORIZING HORROR, PART 2: HORROR AND SENSATION
    Tue. Feb. 17, 2015 - Tue. Mar. 24, 2015 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    Our second instalment of horror theory courses focuses on the synesthetic pleasures and sensual pains of horror with five classes devoted to the body and the senses. Course content will include the place of affect theory in horror studies, the revelatory tradition in cinema and photography, Deleuzian bodies without organs, the desire and dread conjured by the Gothic documentary (gothumentary), and a trip through the nightmarish world of Kenneth Anger. We will also screen a wide variety of films and moving-image works, including French cinema of sensation, body horror, B-horror, avant-garde horror, documentary horror, and more.

  • I Eat Cannibals: Atavism, Exoticism and Atrocity
    Thu. Feb. 12, 2015 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    Mark Pilkington talks about the development of the Italo jungle thriller with a screening of Lenzi’s MAN FROM DEEP RIVER (1972) followed by a series of classic cannibal film trailers to uncover the genre’s roots in the West’s growing interest in environmentalism, atavistic cultures, lost worlds and the perils of the green inferno.

  • GOTHIC SCIENCE
    Tue. Feb. 3, 2015 - Tue. Feb. 10, 2015 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    The anxiety unleashed by the Industrial Revolution at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century helped propel a new Romantic sensibility regarding the natural sciences. The mixture of both fear and fascination that accompanied the discoveries of new, almost magic-like forces – particularly those in electromagnetism and electrochemistry, as made famous by Luigi’s Galvani’s demonstration of “animal electricity” – have become a persistent theme in the genre of both horror and science fiction from Shelly’s Frankenstein (1818) onward. This course will trace how our current notions of science, which first arose during this period, have served continuously as a cipher for both the anxieties and perceived horrors of modernity in literature and film.

  • School of Shock: Pain and Pleasure in the Classroom Safety Film
    Thu. Jan. 8, 2015 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    The Horse Hospital

    We kick off the pilot season of Miskatonic London with Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies founder Kier-La Janisse’s class on the history of the shocking classroom safety film.

  • Petite philosophie du zombie
    Tue. Dec. 2, 2014 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    Le zombie est figure d’inquiétudes – il représente nos craintes, ce que nous préférerions taire. C’est bien en cela qu’il se fait symptôme de ce qui taraude la conscience de notre époque. L’image – le cinéma, le jeu vidéo – n’est pas uniquement une fiction, un divertissement, elle est aussi la marque d’une époque, et en cela le moyen d’une analyse. Voilà pourquoi à côté d’une analyse du zombie comme produit typiquement commercial de notre époque, il importe aussi de l’appréhender comme un produit psychique : on y découvre alors quelques-unes des principales raisons de sa prodigieuse popularité actuelle.

  • SHAKESPEARE AND HORROR
    Tue. Nov. 18, 2014 - Tue. Nov. 25, 2014 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    OCCULTISM, MONSTERS, DISMEMBERMENT, CANNIBALISM—these are some of the spectacles that earned Shakespeare star power in his time and continue to secure his cultural authority and commercial worth today. This two-session course will explore Shakespeare’s ongoing relationship to “horror.” In it we will begin with a broad overview of Elizabethan contexts (revenge tragedies, demonological discourse, monster shows); move to a discussion of Shakespeare’s unusual place among 19th-century freak shows; and end by examining 20th- and 21st century “horror” films adapted from or inspired by Shakespeare’s most horrific mindbenders and gore-fests.

  • Beyond Conan: The Horror Literature of Robert E. Howard
    Tue. Nov. 4, 2014 - Tue. Nov. 11, 2014 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    ichael Wood returns fresh from his lecture on pseudo-archaeology for our course on H.P. Lovecraft to take on one of HPL’s contemporaries and most frequent correspondents, Robert E. Howard. Despite his enormous influence on popular culture, Howard’s name is barely recognizable as the creator of Conan the Barbarian, and master of the sword and sorcery genre. But the troubled author also produced a significant body of work that was an inventive blend of dark fantasy and horror in tales like Red Nails (first serialized in 1936 in Weird Tales) and “Pigeons from Hell,” the latter tale adapted for an episode of the Boris Karloff-hosted 60s horror TV series, Thriller. Howard also created horror-adventurer, Solomon Kane, in a series of tales that inspired a recent film adaptation, and he produced (upon Lovecraft’s encouragement) numerous tales inspired by Lovecraft’s fictional topography, which helped to generate an intertextual body of fiction that is now dubbed the “Cthulhu Mythos.”

  • BLOOD BORN: INVASION OF THE BODY
    Tue. Oct. 7, 2014 - Tue. Oct. 21, 2014 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    The advent of AIDS coalesced cultural fears around otherness, sexual danger and the tension between nature and science. Horror films often explore the body made unfamiliar through infection or mutation. Blood Born traces the spectre of infected bodies, and their cultural resonance with AIDS – in sexual, racial and border-defying terms. How much did early representations of AIDS borrow from classic horror texts? Do works as diverse as Cronenberg’s films and Charles Burns’ graphic classic BLACK HOLE inevitably demand rereading through the lens of HIV infection?

  • PURE PROVOCATION: AVANT-GARDE HORROR CINEMA(S)
    Tue. Mar. 18, 2014 - Tue. Apr. 1, 2014 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    This course will investigate the locus of horror within avant-garde cinema(s). Beginning with canonical films which are examples of Dadaism and Surrealism, the course will progress through European and American avant-garde horror, including the work of Jean Cocteau, J.S. Watson and Melville Webber, Stan Brakhage, Maya Deren, Sidney Peterson, Arthur Lipsett, Shirley Clarke and recent examples of Canadian independent media artworks. We will look briefly at manifestos written in the early period of film history. These manifestos were written by Dadaists, Futurists and Surrealists and called for cinema to be both ‘pure’ (Louis Aragon, Guillaume Apollinaire) and a ‘provocation’ (The Futurists).

  • H.P. LOVECRAFT: FROM COSMIC HORROR TO HEAVY METAL
    Tue. Feb. 4, 2014 - Tue. Mar. 4, 2014 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    Horror fiction writer, theorist, philosopher, and prolific epistolarian, H.P. Lovecraft is one of the most important American authors of the 20th century. Lovecraft was a mentor to major horror writers such as Robert Bloch and Ray Bradbury. His work has inspired everything from film festivals, to board games, to the ancient alien theories popularized by TV shows like In Search of …. Over this five-week course, various instructors will lecture on key aspects of Lovecraft’s work and influence, including his influence on heavy metal music, his connections to theology, his inspiration from and influence on pseudo-science, his importance to 20th century horror literature, television, cinema, music and gaming, and his influence on major authors of the “Weird,” like Peter Straub, Stephen King, China Miéville, Thomas Ligotti, Joyce Carol Oates, Kathe Koja and Caitlín Kiernan.

  • QUEER BITES!
    Tue. Jan. 21, 2014 - Tue. Jan. 28, 2014 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    Come sink your teeth into a few queer questions about horror films that rub many queer fans the right way. Let’s take up Halberstam’s (1995) call to look for queer bodies in horror film that “present a monstrous arrangement of skin, flesh, social mores, pleasures, dangers and wounds.” We will take “queer forms of pleasure” in Hillyer’s Dracula’s Daughter (1936) and Bruce LaBruce’s Otto; or Up with Dead People (2008).

  • The Big, the Bad and the Impossible: The Physics of Movie Monsters
    Tue. Dec. 10, 2013 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    Equal parts special-effects marvel and revelation of cultural anxieties, the colossal movie monster has fascinated audiences since perhaps its most famous incarnation in King Kong (1933). From gargantuan radioactive ants in the 1950’s classic THEM! (1954) to the resurrected t-rex in Jurassic Park (1993), these giants seem unstoppable. But are they even possible? Nature has rules, after all. In this talk, movie monsters meet physics—and the news isn’t very good for the monsters.

  • Transformations et métamorphoses: l’effet spécial et le cinéma d’horreur
    Tue. Nov. 12, 2013 - Tue. Nov. 26, 2013 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    Nous explorerons ensuite comment les techniques d’effets spéciaux ont transformé le genre horrifique aux niveaux esthétique, narratif et thématique. Finalement, nous aborderons les questionnements théoriques qui surgissent à propos ou en périphérie de l’effet spécial (qu’il s’agisse du cinéma des attractions ou de l’approche psychanalytique). Projections: Inferno (Giuseppe de Liguoro, 1919, Italie), The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982, États-Unis), troisième titre à determiner.

  • THE ELEPHANT MAN IN THE ROOM
    Tue. Oct. 15, 2013 - Tue. Oct. 29, 2013 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    From “freaks” to “creepers,” Hollywood horror has capitalized on the “crip” body for decades. From disability as metaphor, plot device, or the manifestation of monstrosity itself, we’ll explore “freakshows” and “abnormal” bodies in films, and ask what bodies on screen can suggest about broader ideological shifts in American culture in the 1930s-40s. In this course, Cory Legassic draws links between Browning’s Freaks (1932) and Universal’s “Creeper” films, and the fall of the studio system with the 1949 Hollywood Anti-Trust Act.

  • SHOCK AND DRAW: HORROR COMICS
    Tue. Oct. 1, 2013 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    In the post-WWII comics industry, superheroes were on the decline and horror stories, particularly those published by William Gaines’ EC Comics, were on the rise. These graphic morality tales — including such familiar titles as Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror and The Haunt of Fear — inspired a rabid readership, but they also attracted the attention of social interest groups that accused these books of corrupting young minds. Psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, who led the public crusade against comics, argued not just that horror comics had a negative influence on their readers, but that comics as a medium was fundamentally degenerative. This lecture will historicize the rise and fall of the horror genre in post-war comics and interrogate, using specific examples from the comics, the arguments made against the medium. When possible, we will look specifically at comics that would later be adapted cinematically and/or televisually in order to compare and contrast different modes of representation. Screenings may include clips from Tales from the Crypt (dir. Freddie Francis, 1972), The Vault of Horror (dir. Roy Ward Baker, 1973), Creepshow (dir. George Romero, 1982), and Tales from the Crypt (HBO, 1989-1996).

  • HOMESICK HORROR
    Tue. Sep. 17, 2013 - Tue. Sep. 24, 2013 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    Starting with ideas from Sigmund Freud and Anthony Vidler, this class considers homesickness as a cornerstone of the uncanny and as the imaginative center of what we will loosely call haunted house films from German Expressionism to the slasher and beyond. We will feel our way through sick, seeing, and beckoning homes: diseased structures shaped by troubled perspectives and characterized by irrational angles and impossible relations between interior and exterior. Simultaneously we will think about homesickness in the more conventional sense of the word, as we examine the narrative importance of nostalgia and the compulsion to return to safe spaces and slaughterhouses alike. Films and shows for discussion include Robert Wise’s The Haunting, the X-Files episode “Home” (1996) and Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974).

  • BASHA: FILM POSTERS
    Fri. Jul. 26, 2013 - Sun. Aug. 4, 2013 - 12:00 am
    J.A. de Seve Cinema,

    Barbara ‘Basia’ Baranowska – best known in North America for her poster for Andrzej Zulawski’s POSSESSION – is the unsung hero of Polish poster art. Whereas the likes of Jan Lenica developed a distinct, often instantly recognizable style, Barbara Baranowska was a chameleon (as reflected in her alternating use of ‘Basia’, ‘Basha’ and ‘Bacha’ as her professional name). She donned a variety of graphic personae – from the sometimes brutal cut outs of her early Polish book jackets to voluptuous, almost psychedelic surrealism of her French film posters.

  • DREAMING REVOLT: JEAN ROLLIN, THE FRENCH FANTASTIQUE AND BEYOND
    Tue. Apr. 16, 2013 - Tue. Apr. 30, 2013 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    A filmmaker ridiculed by film critics and genre fans alike, Jean Rollin (1938-2010) has only recently begun to find acceptance in his native France. Rollin’s films have been described in often paradoxical ways, from poetic and literary, to absurdist and oneiric, to technically inept and narratively impenetrable. Hence, Rollin films occupy a liminal space in film history – where art-house horror mixes with sexual taboo, where the fantastique tradition mixes with the “serial film,” and where lyricism mixes with the macabre – resulting in a disarmingly unique and personal cinematic vision.

  • STEPPING THROUGH TIME: THE SCIENCE OF TIME TRAVEL
    Tue. Mar. 19, 2013 - Tue. Mar. 26, 2013 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    Can we travel through time? Can we slow the ticking of a clock? Could we watch our sun age a billion years and turn to dust, all between lunch and dinner? The answer to each of these questions, surprisingly, is ‘yes’ (mostly). Of course, movies love to play with time, but are they playing fair? This two-class course punctuated by a dazzling arrray of film and TV clips will explore time in science-fiction and in science-fact. To understand time we will dive into physics by exploring the basics of theories like Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, but we won’t dive too deep. No background in science or mathematics is required, but there will be select readings.

  • SMALL SCREENS, BIG CHILLS: CLASSIC AMERICAN TV HORROR
    Tue. Jan. 22, 2013 - Tue. Feb. 26, 2013 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    As we reflect upon the recent popularity of horror melodramas such as True Blood, The Walking Dead and American Horror Story, it becomes essential to explore the influence of earlier examples of TV horror. This six-week course looks at shows such as Twilight Zone, Dark Shadows, Outer Limits, Thriller, One Step Beyond and more, plus the golden age of made-for-TV features and the tradition of TV horror hosts.

  • A GHOST STORY FOR CHRISTMAS: A BRITISH HOLIDAY HORROR TRADITION
    Mon. Dec. 10, 2012 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    To kick off the holiday break, we’ll say farewell to the Fall 2012 semester with a one-off class celebrating the British holiday horror tradition of the BBC’s seminal ‘A Ghost Story for Christmas’ series that ran from 1971 to 1978.

  • FRAGMENTS OF THE MONSTER: RECOVERING FORTIES HORROR
    Mon. Oct. 29, 2012 - Mon. Dec. 3, 2012 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    This six-week course will attempt to revise and reframe persistent claims in scholarly discourse that 1940s horror is somehow inferior to a “classical” or “canonical” mode of horror in the 1930s. Within this framework, the creepers, chillers and thrillers of the 1940s become lost—the result of favoring monolithic binaries, or strict divisions within genre classifications, between high art and low art, auteurs and craftsman, and major studios and poverty row. Expect to see films you may not have ever heard of before in this class!

  • SCHOOL OF SHOCK: PAIN AND PLEASURE IN THE CLASSROOM SAFETY FILM
    Mon. Oct. 15, 2012 - Mon. Oct. 22, 2012 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    Peut-être Vintage Microcinema

    For many genre fans, a love affair with horror and the grotesque began early on, sometimes fuelled by unlikely sources. One of these was the classroom safety film, which for many kids was their first time seeing other children threatened by true danger, being confronted with a combination of gore effects and actual accident footage, and being offered a pictorial glimpse at things their parents didn’t want to talk about.

  • WATCHERS IN THE WOODS: REFLEXIVITY IN HORROR CINEMA
    Mon. Oct. 8, 2012 - 12:00 am
    Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

    The critical frenzy around the recent postmodern horror film, The Cabin in the Woods (2012), as a game-changer or reinvention of the horror genre, suggests that journalists (and even fans) have forgotten that horror is always-already a reflexive genre. Horror films show a formal awareness of the constraints and conditions within which horror genre artists work, regarding the expectations of a knowledgeable fan-base, the production realities of a limited budget, having to work within and against traditional horror themes and conventions, and with other genres and other media (e.g., television, gaming), and even with existing horror scholarship. This introductory class will give students a pathway into the critical study and discussion of horror through healthy debate around the way popular (and sometimes scholarly) discourse problematically frames horror as constantly in crisis and in need of rejuvenation. In addition to clips from The Cabin in the Woods, we will screen in its entirety Tod Browning’s 1935 film Mark of the Vampire.

  • WRITTEN IN BLOOD: SCORING HORROR CINEMA
    Sat. Sep. 22, 2012 - 12:00 am
    Film BOX (Quartiers POP)

    Since the early days of tent-bound magic lantern shows, music has accompanied the grand illusion of motion pictures. This lecture will not only discuss the history of musical composition in the horror film, it will specifically illustrate some of the finest examples of how music can radically accentuate and dictate an audience’s sensory and emotional connection to imagery. From the employ of “Swan Lake” in Tod Browning’s Dracula to the thundering symphonies in the British Gothics; from the romantic leanings of early 60’s European pictures to the brash post-mod rock in the Italian horrors; pop music, sparse electronics and note-heavy orchestras; we’ll speed through decades of sound, led by Fangoria Magazine editor and composer/filmmaker Chris Alexander.

  • TERROR AT THE MARGINS: THE PROSTITUTE AS OTHER
    Wed. Apr. 4, 2012 - Wed. Apr. 25, 2012 - 12:00 am
    Blue Sunshine

    The figure of the prostitute has long been depicted (and understood) to be unfeminine, irredeemable and polluting – a source of corruption and contagion. Thus, she becomes a monster — both in terms of fears about women’s sexuality and assumptions about ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ gendered behaviour. This course will parallel the extreme treatment of, and presentation of, the Monster in films with the representation of prostitutes and sex workers. This juxtaposition makes the underlying cultural constructions and fears at play in both contexts both more complicated and compelling.

  • SCARING THE DAYLIGHTS OUT OF YOU: THE FILMS OF WILLIAM CASTLE
    Wed. Feb. 29, 2012 - Wed. Mar. 14, 2012 - 12:00 am
    Blue Sunshine

    An icon of B-movies and master of marketing stunts, William Castle has left a lasting impact on the horror film industry. Despite less than stellar reviews, Castle’s films often proved successful commercially, thanks to his many gimmicks which attracted curious movie goers, and his constant quest to scare the daylights out of audiences. This course will examine Castle’s legacy by first situating him within the historical context of the early-40s Hollywood, when he began his career, before focusing on his ‘horror cycle’ which began in the late-50s.

  • THEORIZING HORROR
    Wed. Jan. 18, 2012 - Wed. Feb. 22, 2012 - 12:00 am
    Blue Sunshine

    This six week course will examine the recent history of horror theorizing starting in the early-1980s through some of the most influential writings on the genre. From Linda Williams’ essay on women and looking, Barbara Creed’s monstrous-feminine, Tania Modleski’s terror of pleasure, Carol Clover’s final girl, Steven Shaviro’s cinematic bodies, through to Cynthia Freeland’s dread-centred experience of horror, this course will discuss these genre theorists in conjunction with the “major” thinkers that influenced them, such as Sigmund Freud, Julia Kristeva, Karl Marx, Laura Mulvey, Gilles Deleuze, and Nöel Carroll. Every session will be taught by a different instructor.

  • THE 'TERROR' FILMS OF VAL LEWTON
    Wed. Nov. 23, 2011 - Wed. Dec. 14, 2011 - 12:00 am
    Blue Sunshine

    With the popularization of “auteur theories” very few producers get to carry the mantle of auteur, which is usually reserved for directors. Val Lewton is an exception. The nine horror films that Val Lewton produced for RKO studios between 1942 and 1946—including Cat People (1942), I Walked with a Zombie (1943), The Seventh Victim (1943), and Isle of the Dead (1945)—are traditionally described as indicative of a decidedly non-sensationalist, even poetic approach to the horror film. It is the visionary quality of the films under Lewton’s collaborative guidance that we will explore in this course. We will also look at Lewton’s output in the context of film noir and the “woman’s film” immensely popular at the time, and influential on Lewton’s brand of 40s horror.

  • CREEPY KIDS
    Wed. Oct. 26, 2011 - Wed. Nov. 16, 2011 - 12:00 am
    Blue Sunshine

    This course interrogates the figure of the child that, as Robin Wood reminds us, has “figured prominently in horror film as the monster or its medium.” This figure—embodied as “innocent” baby, child, or teenager somehow gone wrong—operates as much more than simply an inspirer of terror in this context; it exposes collective anxieties about ourselves: our beliefs, our environment, our desires, and our futures. Rather than following a chronological path, the trajectory of “Creepy Kids” follows the stages of age and development of our contemporary understandings of “normal” infancy, childhood, adolescence and young adulthood, and will explore the cultural significance of the child in horror films through readings, lectures, screenings and (most importantly) discussion.

  • UNIVERSAL HORRORS
    Wed. Oct. 5, 2011 - Wed. Oct. 19, 2011 - 12:00 am
    Blue Sunshine

    This course will examine the main themes and stylistic characteristics of the horror films produced by Universal Studios during the 1930s. In order to offer an efficient analysis of the themes and stylistics of Universal horrors, each of the four classes will be specifically devoted to the study of one film from the first horror cycle.

  • GETTING EVEN: A HISTORY OF THE RAPE REVENGE FILM
    Mon. Jun. 6, 2011 - Mon. Jun. 13, 2011 - 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Blue Sunshine

    No genre gets a worse rap that the rape-revenge film. Cited as unrelentingly misogynistic, and viewed as perpetuating real-life violence against women, rape-revenge films are considered the bottom-of-the-barrel even among exploitation fans. Alternately (and often facetiously) referred to as the “women’s revenge picture”, I maintain that rape-revenge is just that: a cathartic and empowering vehicle for female cinematic rage.

  • THE JAPANESE HORROR FILM
    Mon. May. 16, 2011 - Mon. May. 30, 2011 - 12:00 am
    Blue Sunshine

    The Japanese horror film burst onto the International scene in the late 1990s with a series of suspenseful, nerve-wracking chillers that brought mood, subtlety and terror back into a genre that was growing weary and stale. To the jaded horror fan J-horror felt alive and fresh, but its seminal figures were clearly drawing from a rich historical tradition of supernatural and ghost stories that go back to pre-Modern Japanese literature, theatre, and painting. The course will trace the importance of the pre-modern tradition (pre-1900), as seen in Japanese Kabuki and Noh theatre, literature and painting, on the first flowering of great Japanese horror in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and then examine how the current new wave of J-horror drew from this older tradition of ghost/supernatural film and art and added a modern, technologically concerned sensibility.

  • REVISIONIST MONSTERS
    Tue. Apr. 19, 2011 - Tue. May. 3, 2011 - 12:00 am
    Blue Sunshine

    From monsters under the bed to Monsters Inc., generations of our collective imagination have been preoccupied with boogie men and their various incarnations. Classic monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein or the Werewolf unite our fears as well as cultural reference points; meaning, today, ‘traditional’ monster narratives are so universal that old and young alike can easily identify historical, aesthetic and plot clichés inherent to each classic baddie. But with the recent, frightening pervasiveness of the teenie-bopper Twilight franchise, it’s clear that the vampire story, for one, has come a long way from ‘I vant to suck your blooood.’ Under the shadow of Twilight’s seemingly superficial re-imagining of the Dracula tale, this is an excellent time to re-examine more complex and interesting forays into revisionist monster movies. With clips, selected readings and screenings, this course will look at the implications, questions and cultural concerns raised when filmmakers transpose classic monster tales onto contemporary milieus.

  • DEAD CELLULOID: A BRIEF HISTORY OF ZOMBIES IN CINEMA
    Sat. Mar. 12, 2011 - Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 - 12:00 am
    Blue Sunshine

    The dead are among us, and always have been, since the dawn of cinema. From the parasitic, hollow eyed drones of the expressionist era to the monsters of Monogram studios, up through the atomic 1950’s and fully kicking into gear with the the cannibal corpses of George A. Romero; international pop culture’s fascination with zombies has resulted in some of the most relevant and defining works that horror genre has to offer. RUE MORGUE RADIO head honcho Stuart ‘Feedback’ Andrews will take you on a two day journey into the black, putrifying heart of darkness with this exciting, lively and shuddery history of the living dead on-screen.

  • REGARD SUR LA NANAROPHILIE
    Wed. Mar. 9, 2011 - Wed. Mar. 23, 2011 - 12:00 am
    Blue Sunshine

    La nanarophilie consiste à regarder un film au deuxième degré dans le but d’en rire. Au lieu de se laisser porter par l’œuvre, le spectateur adopte une position particulière dans laquelle il tire son plaisir des erreurs de production et des intentions manquées du réalisateur. Cette pratique connaît aujourd’hui une certaine popularité auprès d’un public grandissant. Plusieurs amateurs se rassemblent régulièrement dans des bars pour visionner un nanar, un nombre important de sites Web sont consacrés à ce que le cinéma a de pire à offrir et il est désormais courant de trouver au sein de la programmation d’un festival généraliste une projection dite psychotronique. Comme son titre l’indique, le présent séminaire se penchera sur ce phénomène d’un point de vue historique et théorique.

  • ALL THE COLOURS OF THE DARK: THE ITALIAN GIALLO FILM
    Tue. Feb. 15, 2011 - Tue. Mar. 1, 2011 - 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Blue Sunshine

    This course looks at the peak period of the Italian giallo film (1963 – 1982) and discusses the historical development of the genre as well as its predominant themes and motifs, placing it contextually within the changing landscape of Italian and European popular cinema. Issues covered include misogyny, paranoia, xenophobia, the sexual revolution, alcoholism and self-medication, and the giallo’s fantasy microcosm of leisure and independent wealth. Key giallo figures whose work will be discussed include Mario Bava, Dario Argento, Sergio Martino, Luciano Ercoli, Umberto Lenzi, Lucio Fulci, Massimo Dallamano, Ernesto Gastaldi and others. The course will also look at the giallo’s influence on contemporary cinema, pop culture, and the curious legacy of J&B Whiskey.

  • THE HAUNTED HOUSE
    Tue. Jan. 25, 2011 - Tue. Feb. 8, 2011 - 12:00 am
    Blue Sunshine

    This course explores the characteristic styles, themes and conventions of the ‘haunted house’ film, from early cinema to recent films and television. Films featuring haunted structures express the need for anxieties around the past and future to be given embodiment in objects and structures. These films typically play upon fears of the unknown in nature and the psyche, and evidence a mistrust in the objectivity of modern perceptions of reality. We discuss conceptualizations of haunting as a righting of past wrongs, as a means of ritualizing national and cultural guilt, and as a way to explore anxieties around family and the American Dream.

  • MISOGYNY IN HORROR
    Tue. Jan. 4, 2011 - Tue. Jan. 18, 2011 - 12:00 am
    Blue Sunshine

    Beginning with the assumption that representations of “the feminine” and the female body illuminate broader, historical fascinations with and anxieties over gender, sexuality and the body, this course sets its sights (and sites) on misogyny, sexism, patriarchy and power as naturalized tropes in horror worthy of investigation. Women’s bodies––as slashed, maimed, mutilated and murdered, as sexually deviant and devious, as monstrous and horrifying, and even as the victim-hero––scream for interrogation, particularly by those who consume her time and time again.

  • THE FILMS OF MARIO BAVA
    Tue. Nov. 30, 2010 - Tue. Dec. 14, 2010 - 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Blue Sunshine

    Over the past 30 years Italian director Mario Bava has gone from relative obscurity to being acknowledged as perhaps the most significant and influential Post World War 2 European horror director. This course will examine Bava’s enduring legacy by first situating him within the Post WW2 Italian film industry, where the dominant genre changed according to popular trend (peplum, giallo, spaghetti western, gothic horror, crime film, etc.), and then with close analysis of some of his key films to arrive at an understanding of his unique stylistic and thematic contributions to the horror genre.

  • THE MONSTERS OF HAMMER HORROR
    Tue. Nov. 9, 2010 - Tue. Nov. 23, 2010 - 12:00 am
    Blue Sunshine

    This course will examine Hammer horror films through their most distinctive feature: the centrality of the monster. From the Italian monstrare (to show), the monster exists to be read: it warns and reveals. This course will read Hammer films through a look at its monsters – such as the Frankenstein monster, vampires, werewolves, zombies, mummies, devil worshippers, and of course, the Baron and Count – as an essential ingredient in the studio’s massive success in the 1950s through to its ultimate decline in the 1970s.

  • REALITY HORROR
    Tue. Oct. 19, 2010 - Tue. Nov. 2, 2010 - 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Blue Sunshine

    This course looks at a popular sub-genre of horror films that blend a documentary aesthetic with traditional horror conventions to produce a hybrid form of horror cinema. Characterized by such films as The Blair Witch Project (1999), George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead (2007), Cloverfield (2008) and Paranormal Activity (2009), ‘reality horror’ films seem particularly suited to expressing millennial and/or post-9/11 anxieties regarding not only individual and social security, but also ambivalent attitudes towards technology, new media and online databases such as YouTube and Google Video.

  • INTRODUCTION TO HORROR FILM CRITICISM FOR TEENS
    Tue. Oct. 5, 2010 - Tue. Oct. 12, 2010 - 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Blue Sunshine

    Miskatonic director and longtime horror writer/film programmer Kier-La Janisse kicks off the Miskatonic season with this 2-evening course on horror film criticism for teens aged 14+. The course will focus on developing an aptitude for critical interpretation, using Jack Smight’s 1973 Frankenstein: The True Story as a focal point. Examples of various historical schools of writing and interpretation will accompany open discussion in class, as well as individual review assignments.

  • ADAPTING LOVECRAFT FOR THE SCREEN: A MASTER CLASS WITH STUART GORDON AND DENNIS PAOLI
    Sun. Jul. 18, 2010 - 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    Blue Sunshine

    Stuart Gordon and Dennis Paoli ( Re-Animator, From Beyond, Dagon) will be the inaugural instructors at Miskatonic’s new home, and will be delivering a two-hour masterclass on adapting Lovecraft to the screen – the challenges, the techniques and some insight as to why their films stand out amidst a sea of historically troubled counterparts.