Cinema at the Margins by Wheeler Winston Dixon

By Wheeler Winston Dixon

An increasing number of, quite a few canonical classics, akin to Michael Curtiz's Casablanca (1942) or Victor Fleming's long gone With The Wind (1939), are representing the whole movie output of an period, to a brand new iteration that is familiar with little of the prior, and is inspired through well known media to stay purely within the everlasting current. what's going to ensue to the remainder of the movies that enchanted, expert and transported audiences within the Nineteen Thirties, Forties, or even as lately because the Sixties? This selection of essays goals to focus on a number of the lesser-known treasures of the previous – these titles which have been dismissed through today's wave of cinema amnesia

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And so they took me in! (Schlockoff 1982, 51) 42 Figure 2. Lucio Fulci. Source: Author’s collection. After this auspicious beginning, Fulci provided the story for A Day in Court (1953) – I’ll confine myself to the English titles for this chapter, in the interest of simplicity – then scripted an additional ten comedy/genre films up until 1958, when he finally got the chance to write and direct The Thieves (1958). The film created very little impact and was followed by his work as an associate producer on Mario Bonard and Sergio Leone’s scrumptiously over-the-top 1959 version of The Last Days of Pompeii starring Steve Reeves and with Fernando Rey as Arbacès, the high priest and villain of the piece.

It’s no coincidence that Fulci’s films are full of eyes, usually seen in extreme close-ups and often sightless and clouded, in addition to being on the receiving end of various sharp implements. [As] Fulci explains, “they are the first thing you have to destroy, because they have seen too many bad things” […] [As The Beyond continues], lips, tongues and eyes are munched by marauding tarantulas, throats are ripped open by a guide dog gone to the Devil, partially dissected corpses run rampant and a little pigtailed girl has a hole blown clean through her cranium.

A female companion was then introduced to support the hero’s efforts, with the possible addition of a young boy or girl “sidekick” to encourage adolescent identification with the serial’s characters. The hero was aided by a number of associates who usually worked as a team to support the lead’s efforts. Lastly and most importantly (for the leads in serials were usually rather bland), there was the chief villain, often masked, whose identity was not disclosed until the final moments of the last chapter.

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