FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 3, 2014

News you can use!

Briefcase Woman says YES to news! And to shoulder pads. And to business!

Now that we've got the distance of time and...distance...between us, my breakup with Los Angeles has become like a breakup with one of those people things you read about. You know, it's been so long that you only remember the good times and the highlights, how things were in the beginning, way before Marc Singer ripped off the fake latex face of the city/your significant other to reveal the alien lizard hidden underneath.

The point is, now there is not a day that goes by where I'm all "Aw dang, I gotta get back to L.A." I've forgotten just about everything that made it so cruddy! And I tell you, the fact that so much stuff happens there really doesn't help. Look, I love you, New England, but stuff kind of just doesn't happen here except for Autumn and snow. And I adore those things, believe me! But listen, the other night a friend went to see Halloween at the Egyptian Theater and Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter were in attendance. What! And lo and behold, someone else just notified me about this thing, which is happening.

Again I say: what! See, things like this happen all the time out there. But I am not there. But maybe you are? And if you are, then you need to do these things. That is the news you can use!

Oh, like here's another thing: there's a short film called SLUT, written and directed by up-and-coming filmmaker Chloe Okuno, that'll be featured in the prestigious Screamfest Film Festival on Saturday, October 18. (It's also playing a bunch of other film festivals around the country, so check out SLUT's Faceplace for dates and the whatnot.) I haven't caught SLUT yet but I've seen some of Okuno's other work and I'm super excited about this film. So if you can see it, go see it! What's wrong with you?

And finally, some news you can use that doesn't involve leaving your house (truth be told, that is my favorite kind). The inimitable Alexandra West done went and wrote herself a fantastic essay about the Final Girl's place in the films of the New French Extremity, in particular High Tension, Inside, and Martyrs. I'm a big fan of the subgenre discussed and of West's writing,  and you should be, too. What's wrong with you?

Still, though, it got me thinking. Fucking Martyrs. Am I ever going to actually write about it? Or will I die having only written about writing about it? What's wrong with me? There must be something. I mean, I want to move back to Los Angeles.


Sandisan said...

I admire anyone who could possibly write about Martyrs. Beyond just GUH JEEBUS HOLD ME.

CashBailey said...

That essay was terrific.

I'm not one to care too much about socio-sexual-political analysis of horror movies, but I love those movies and she goes much deeper than the usual write-ups about the sexual politics of HIGH TENSION, which inevitably arrive at the conclusion that these movies are just misogynistic trash.

I don't see them that way, but then again I'm not really looking.

Stacie Ponder said...

I don't always think it's necessary, but sometimes I love me some socio-sexual-political analysis of horror movies, whether reading or giving it a shot. Well, I love reading if the writing ain't dry. Ms. West is sure good at it! Not dry writing, that is.

I am tired.

vampy said...

Some of the people I know in NYC were going to see Suspiria in a Theater. I was jealous.

Melizer said...

I live in Austin five minutes from where Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed, but they picked the house up and moved it an hour away. I got to watch the movie outdoors on a big screen in the front yard next to the house AND meet Marilyn Burns :)

CashBailey said...

@vampy: I have a lifelong ambition to see SUSPIRIA on the big screen.

Unfortunately, living in the sticks means that it is likely, without extensive train travel and expensive accommodation.

Unknown said...

I'd contend New England is good for a Halloween fix. At least Connecticut and Mass. I dunno what they do up in New Hampshire and Vermont. Probably tell scary stories about maple syrup monsters or something?

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

Thanks for the link to to the A. West essay. Just great!

Jen @ said...

OMG! I wish I wasn't dirt poor - The Exorcist is my favorite movie ever! Thanks for the heads up anyway though!

Neil Snowdon said...

I wonder how much the twists of the New French Extremists - in term of transference - are built on what Hitchcock did in PSYCHO. Having so carefully built our identification with Marion,we are cut loose with only one person to shift out POV to, wheb she dies: Norman. Apparently innocent, if out upon to the degree that he's protecting his murderous mother, only to pull the rug oin us and discover mother isn't real (or at least, isn't alive). How much of the final shot of HAUTE TENSION is playing on the final shots of PSYCHO's final 'wouldn't hurt a fly' pull back?

I'd be interested to know more of how the films are received in France. I certainly see a lineage that goes back to LES DIABOLIQUES for strange terrors turning out to be extreme careful meticulously horrible plots by others.

There's something in what Patricia Highsmith thought about leaving France after living there, that she couldn't get on with the idea that everyone believed that everyone else was at least a little crooked,that it was just the norm.

It's interesting to see these elements evolving amidst the social upheavals in France. I also can't help wondering how much the physical torture towards a possible (though usually questionable, or 'doubted' transcendence, is to do with the fact that Christianity in France means Catholicism.

It's certainly true that we've not seen such overtly politicised Horror movies since the 70'sn and that these new films deserve as much critical attention as those films ever did (which makes the fact that Aja went from Haute Tension to a remake of Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes - a personal favourite).

Thanks for flagging this one up Stacie :)