Oddball Films and guest curator Landon Bates bring you Spooky Booky!, a program of spooktacular gothic literary adaptations that will bring out the boo! in book. This Friday the 13th, take a break from all your mid-summer sun-tanning and recede for an evening into the shadows, with a program of live action short story adaptations, as well as animated interpretations of several classically creepy poems. The selections include The Hangman (1964), a semi-surrealistic animated rendering of Maurice Ogden's poem; a made-for-TV adaption of William Faulkner's cobweb-infested A Rose for Emily (1983), starring Anjelica Huston in the title role; The Raven (1978), an experimental take on Edgar Allen Poe's nightmarish verse, designed from the engravings of Gustave Dore; The Boarded Window (1973), from a ghastly Ambrose Bierce tale; and lastly, an animation of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's spectral Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1967), powerfully narrated by Sir Richard Burton. These films will leave your skin crawling and your spine tingling!
Date: Friday, July 13th, 2012 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 558-8117
The Hangman (Color, 1964)
Paul Julian, previously known as an animator for Warner Bros' Looney Tunes, directs this haunting adaptation of Maurice Ogden's poem of the same name. A mysterious hangman comes to a small town, taking upon himself the responsibilities of town judge, jury, and executioner, but rather than questioning the stranger's arbitrary sentencing, the town's residents stay satisfied with their own well being, and look idly on as their community dwindles and their neighbors, one-by-one, face the noose-but might they too be beckoned by the hangman? Surreal in its visual style with long shadows and sharp color contrasts, and made all the more unsettling by an eerie jazzy sort of score.
This compelling made-for-tv dramatization of William Faulkner's short story is worth it for Anjelica Huston's shyly sullen performance alone. Huston plays Emily Grierson, the last of the esteemed southern aristocratic Grierson clan, who grows more and more reclusive and fragile after the death of her father, clinging to the past so desperately that living in the present is out of the question. After years of rejecting suitors who would come calling, Emily takes a mediocre lover. But along with his abrupt disappearance and the resulting deterioration of Emily's psychological state, the film smolders into delicious delirium. Directed by Lyndon Chubbuck, with John Carradine in a cameo role.
The Raven (Color, 1978)
Don't be deterred by any negative associations you may have with the idea of a Raven adaptation (after, I'd guess, the recent one with John Cusack). A look at this elegant, experimental animation, directed by Lewis Jacobs, will breathe new life into Poe's classic deathful tale, editing Gustave Dore's 19th century engravings to stunning effect, with brilliant near-psychedelic coloring and an appropriately somber voice-over reading of the poem.
Ambrose Bierce, whose Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Kurt Vonnegut called the greatest of American short stories, was a master of psychological terror. This short film version of his story The Boarded Window packs a serious punch. The film begins with serene look at the daily routine of a simple woodsman trapping in the Appalachian mountains, rife with chirping birds and swaying pines, but as his dutiful wife becomes stricken with fever in their isolated cabin, the story swiftly escalates to a screaming pitch that will leave our woodsman sweeping up the splinters of his psyche.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (B&W, 1967)
Sir Richard Burton narrates this animated adaptation of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's singular The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, directed by John Ryan. The animation consists of drawings intended to imitate woodcuttings, and a vivid dreamlike effect is achieved with the movement of cut-out drawings, the deep contrast shading, and camera movement.
Curator's Biography:Curator Landon Bates is a UC Berkeley graduate of English Literature, a projectionist at the Elmwood Theatre in Berkeley, a drummer in the Oakland-based psych-rock band Disappearing People, and a dedicated cinephile.