Adapting Lovecraft for the Screen: A Master Class with Dennis Paoli (NYC)

Date(s) - Thu. Oct. 20, 2016
12:00 am GMT - 10:00 pm GMT

Morbid Anatomy Museum

Dennis Paoli


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. The class will also explore the collaborative nature of adaptation—the writer, in as real a sense as possible, collaborates with the original creator of the literary work—and of film-making, by nature a cooperative, if sometimes contentious, undertaking.

The enduring popularity of Gordon and Paoli’s film versions of Lovecraft’s fiction speaks to the enduring popularity of the original tales, but also to their capacity for updating, re-casting, and expanding. These specific adaptations will be examined in scenes from each of the films. Paoli will also discuss his long-time collaboration with Stuart Gordon, their methods of working together and roles in the process, based on their strengths.

Paoli, who runs writing programs and teaches Gothic Fiction at Hunter College, will also consider Lovecraft’s work in the larger context of the literary genres of horror and science fiction, the major themes and working principles of Gothic literature, and their long history of cinematic adaptation.