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A Lot of Good This Daylight’s Gonna Do Us – Cult Cinema from 1968 to 1988: Three Directors

A Lot of Good This Daylight's Gonna Do Us - Cult Cinema from 1968 to 1988: Three Directors is on display in  Baker-Berry Library, Berry Main Street: January 5 - March 11, 2016. This exhibit examines the work of John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, and George Romero within their larger cultural context. Curator Wesley Benash explains his long-standing interest in the subject:

Cult Film exhibit poster"When I was six years old, by father let me rent Brian De Palma’s film Carrie from the video store.  It scared the hell out of me, but it also spawned a lifelong fascination with the shadowy, macabre underbelly of the cinema.  As a young boy and teenager, I was interested in these films for their sensational elements –violence, gore, and sex.  As I grew up, I began to appreciate them for their sociopolitical elements instead, and I came to understand how less reputable forms of cinema, such as the horror film and exploitation film, frequently had much to say about the societies in which they were produced.  As a student, I have parlayed this interest in cult film into scholarship; the admiration and appreciation I have for these films serves as the backbone of the thesis I am writing in Dartmouth’s Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program.

"The films on display, and others like them, tend to function as cinema’s id, forcing us to acknowledge the ugliness within society and within ourselves; it is for this reason that they repulse so many viewers.  But for those who are willing to open their minds to these films, they are equally audacious and enlightening.

"I obsessively watched the works of John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, and George Romero as a boy and teenager.  I think they are great artists and that their best work stands up to the finest products of Hollywood, Italian neorealism, the French New Wave, or any other period in cinema history.  It is my hope that upon viewing their work, you will feel the same."

Exhibit curated by Wesley Benash; design by Dennis Grady, Library Education and Outreach.

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