Anybody living in or around Montreal knows that La Belle Province’s metropolis is a fantastic place to be a film lover, especially for horror films. Now the obvious reason why this would be the case is the Fantasia International Film Festival, which had its 16th edition run this past July and August. Yet another, perhaps lesser know (but certainly growing) venue for Montreal horror film buffs to satisfy their cravings is the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, a unique experience if there ever was one.
The fine folks at Miskatonic have, in essence, set up a non-profit ‘school’ of sorts where an actual curriculum is set up for which films lovers and hopeful filmmakers can sign up for courses which last from September to April of the following year. Among the speakers are established writers, filmmakers and curators who provide bountiful insight, intelligent critical analysis and commentary on the horror genre in all its facets.
September 2012 sees the project’s third year get underway, and as a celebration, the very first class happening on September 22nd at the Film Box (Quartiers Pop) is absolutely free. Non other than Fangoria Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Chris Alexander will take attendees through the fascinating world of horror film scores and soundtracks. Again, the admission for this initial class is totally free. Talk about a sweet deal!
Below is the official release of all their 2012-2013 classes. Click here for more information on how to register!
The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies kicks off their third year of weekly horror history and theory classes with a brand new website ( www.miskatonicinstitute.com) and a visit from Fangoria Magazine Editor-in-Chief Chris Alexander, who will appear to present a special weekend class on the history of horror film composing, in conjunction with the POP Montreal International Music Festival.
Alexander’s class, “Written in Blood: Scoring Horror Cinema” looks at iconic examples of horror film music, from the employ of “Swan Lake” in Tod Browning’s Dracula to the thundering symphonies in the British Gothics; from the romantic leanings of early 60s European pictures to the brash post-mod rock in the Italian horrors; pop music, sparse electronics and note-heavy orchestras all populate this whirlwind history. This introductory class is Saturday September 22 at 2pm at the Quartiers POP (3450 St-Urbain) and is Free Admission. More info HERE: http://www.miskatonicinstitute.com/events/written-in-blood-scoring-horror-cinema/
Alexander’s class also occurs in connection to a special screening of Richard Donner’s 1976 classic The Omen – featuring Jerry Goldsmith’s Oscar-winning score – to be held in the 134-year old Church of John the Evangelist (aka The Red Roof Church). This momentous screening takes place Saturday Sept. 22 at Midnight, and is a collaboration between Fangoria Magazine, POP Montreal and the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies. Tix $10, available HERE: http://popmontreal.com/events-tickets/the-omen-midnight-mass-church-screening/
Miskatonic courses continue on a weekly basis through April 2013, held at Peut-être Vintage Microcinema – a secret hub of cult cinema collectives in Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood. Courses for the 2012/2013 curriculum include subjects as varied as classroom safety films, the original Dark Shadows, French auteur Jean Rollin, 1940s Poverty Row horrors, the practicalities of time travel and more! See below for full 2012/2013 Course lineup.
The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is a non-profit, community-based scholastic curriculum through which established horror writers, directors and programmers/curators help enthusiastic fans of the genre to gain a critical perspective.
Named for H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional University and founded in 2010 by film writer and curator Kier-La Janisse, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is co-directed by Janisse and collaborators Kristopher Woofter and Prof. Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare – also writers and curators as well as academic professionals.
Any questions? Email Kier-La Janisse at [email protected]
WRITTEN IN BLOOD: SCORING HORROR CINEMA Sat. Sep. 22, 2012 – 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Film BOX (Quartiers POP) Since the early days of tent-bound magic lantern shows, music has accompanied the grand illusion of motion pictures. This lecture by Fangoria Magazine’s Chris Alexander will not only discuss the history of musical composition in the horror film, it will specifically illustrate some of the finest examples of how music can radically accentuate and dictate an audience’s sensory and emotional connection to imagery. FREE ADMISSION!
WATCHERS IN THE WOODS: REFLEXIVITY IN HORROR CINEMA Mon. Oct. 8, 2012 – 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Peut-être Vintage Microcinema The critical frenzy around the recent postmodern horror film, The Cabin in the Woods (2012), as a game-changer or ‘reinvention’ of the horror genre suggests that journalists (and even fans) have forgotten that horror is always-already a reflexive genre. This introductory class will give students a pathway into the critical study and discussion of horror through healthy debate around the way popular (and sometimes scholarly) discourse problematically frames horror as constantly in crisis and in need of rejuvenation.
SCHOOL OF SHOCK: PAIN AND PLEASURE IN THE CLASSROOM SAFETY FILM Mon. Oct. 15, 2012 – Mon. Oct. 22, 2012 – 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Peut-être Vintage Microcinema For many genre fans, a love affair with horror and the grotesque began early on, sometimes fuelled by unlikely sources. One of these was the classroom safety film, which for many kids was their first time seeing other children threatened by true danger, being confronted with a combination of gore effects and actual accident footage, and being offered a pictorial glimpse at things their parents didn’t want to talk about.
FRAGMENTS OF THE MONSTER: RECOVERING FORTIES HORROR Mon. Oct. 29, 2012 – Mon. Dec. 3, 2012 – 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Peut-être Vintage Microcinema This six-week course will attempt to revise and reframe persistent claims in scholarly discourse that 1940s horror is somehow inferior to a “classical” or “canonical” mode of horror in the 1930s. Within this framework, the creepers, chillers and thrillers of the 1940s become lostthe result of favoring monolithic binaries, or strict divisions within genre classifications, between high art and low art, auteurs and craftsman, and major studios and poverty row. Expect to see films you may not have ever heard of before in this class!
A GHOST STORY FOR CHRISTMAS: A BRITISH HOLIDAY HORROR TRADITION Mon. Dec. 10, 2012 – 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Peut-être Vintage Microcinema To kick off the holiday break, we’ll say farewell to the Fall 2012 semester with a one-off class celebrating the British holiday horror tradition of the BBC’s seminal ‘A Ghost Story for Christmas’ series that ran from 1971 to 1978.
SMALL SCREENS, BIG CHILLS: CLASSIC AMERICAN TV HORROR Mon. Jan. 21, 2013 – Mon. Feb. 25, 2013 – 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Peut-être Vintage Microcinema As we reflect upon the recent popularity of horror melodramas such as True Blood, The Walking Dead and American Horror Story, it becomes essential to explore the influence of earlier examples of TV horror. This six-week course looks at shows such as Twilight Zone, Dark Shadows, Outer Limits, Thriller, One Step Beyond and more, plus the golden age of made-for-TV features and the tradition of TV horror hosts.
STEPPING THROUGH TIME: THE SCIENCE OF TIME TRAVEL Mon. Mar. 18, 2013 – Mon. Mar. 25, 2013 – 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Peut-être Vintage Microcinema Movies love to play with time, but are they playing fair? This two-week course will explore time in science-fiction and in science-fact.
ALIEN AUTOPSY: A SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION OF CINEMATIC VISITORS FROM OUTER SPACE Sat. Apr. 6, 2013 – Sun. Apr. 7, 2013 – 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm Peut-être Vintage Microcinema In just over a century’s worth of genre cinema, filmmakers have conjured countless alien creatures, races and habitats to populate their imaginative stories of close encounters and invasion. Instructor Neil Calderone visits from Chicago to investigate the scientific plausibility of various cinematic alien physiologies, behaviors, motivations and anatomical structures that would seem to push science and logic to the limits of our knowledge (and beyond)
DREAMING REVOLT: JEAN ROLLIN, THE FRENCH FANTASTIQUE AND BEYOND Mon. Apr. 15, 2013 – Mon. Apr. 29, 2013 – 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Peut-être Vintage Microcinema A filmmaker ridiculed by film critics and genre fans alike, Jean Rollin (1938-2010) has only recently begun to find acceptance in his native France. Rollin’s films have been described in often paradoxical ways, from poetic and literary, to absurdist and oneiric, to technically inept and narratively impenetrable. Hence, Rollin films occupy a liminal space in film history – where art-house horror mixes with sexual taboo, where the fantastique tradition mixes with the “serial film,” and where lyricism mixes with the macabre – resulting in a disarmingly unique and personal cinematic vision
Register Now at: www.miskatonicinstitite.com