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Institute of Film Studies

University of Nottingham
In Collaboration with the Broadway Cinema, Nottingham

Defining Cult Movies: the cultural politics of oppositional taste

An International Conference to be Held
Friday 17 November - Sunday 19 November 2000

Jeff Sconce has stressed the sheer diversity of the films that have been
brought together under the term 'cult movies'. Indeed, there is debate over
whether films become cult movies on the basis of their modes of production,
exhibition, internal textual features or through acts of appropriation by
specific audiences.

This conference will look at the analysis of cult movies: how they are
defined; who defines them; and the cultural politics of these definitions.
The definition of the cult movie, after all, relies on a sense of its
distinction from the 'mainstream' or 'ordinary'. This also raises issues
about the perception of it as an oppositional form of cinema, and its
strained relationships to processes of institutionalisation and
classification. In other words, cult movie fandom has often presented
itself as being in opposition to the academy, commercial film industries
and the media more generally, but has been far more dependent on these
forms than it has usually been willing to admit. For example, the history
of academic film studies and that of cult movie fandom are inextricably

The conference is therefore interested in a wide variety of papers and
positions, but is particularly interested in papers on the different
international and gendered contexts of film production, exhibition and

An edited collection of papers from the conference will also be published
in book form, and several publishers have already expressed interest in the

Possible topics might include:

   Definitions: what constitutes the cult movie within the academy and
within fan cultures themselves?
 Production contexts and practices
 Exploitation Cycles
 Censorship, Regulation and the Law
 Forms and Genres: High Budget and Low Budget; Bad Cinema; Erotica;
Horror; Science Fiction; Exploitation; Classic Hollywood; Bollywood; Hong
Kong Action Movies; Industrial and Educational Movies; etc.
 Auteurs: Dario Argento; Dorothy Arzner; Walerian Borowczyk; Larry Cohen;
Roger Corman; Jess Franco; Jose Larraz; Russ Meyer; Jean Rollin; Stephanie
Rothman; John Walters; Ed Wood; etc.
 Festivals, Conferences and Networks
 Repackaging the Cult Movie
 Cult Movies and the Classic
 Cult Movies as Art Cinema
 Internal and External representations of cult fandom
 Cult movies and cultural Identity
 Collecting and Trading
 Accessibility and Exclusivity in Cult Movie Fandom

Please send proposals of approximately 200 words by 1 February 2000 to:
Defining Cult Movies Conference, Institute of Film Studies, School of
American and Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7
2RD, United Kingdom. Tel: 44 (0) 115 951 4250. Fax: 44 (0) 115 951 4250.
Email Antonio Lazaro: [log in to unmask] URL:

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