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Profs & Pints: A History of Horror Films

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Presented by True Music Room and Bar at Cambria Nashville Downtown, Nashville TN

Oct 30 2019
Profs & Pints: A History of Horror Films

Profs and Pints presents: A History of Horror Films, with Nancy Roche, lecturer at Vanderbilt University, instructor at Watkins Film School, and author of Cinema in Revolt: Censorship Reform in 1960s British and American Film.

Horror films have been around for over 100 years. From the beginning, they have reflected our deepest fears and anxieties, evoking both the darkest products of our imaginations and the very real worries we face in the world.

Join Nancy Roche, a Vanderbilt lecturer, scholar and professor of cinema, for a fascinating look at how horror films have evolved over time, and often have served as a barometer of our society’s angst, fears, and political climate. Using clips from several famous horror films, she’ll show a correlation between their narratives and the particular cultural panic at the moment of their creation.

As a starting-off point, Dr. Roche will discuss how horror films are rooted in the gothic novels that came into being in the mid-18th century, and how the earliest filmmakers, such as The Lumiere Brothers and George Melies, immediately began to replicate this supernatural genre for the screen. She’ll describe how the horror film, as we know it, began in Weimar Era Germany in the years following WWI, with films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. In America, the first full-length horror film, based Mary Shelleys Frankenstein, hit the theaters in 1931.

We’ll look at how our apprehension of people we see as the Other was first captured by Ted Browning’s 1932 film Freaks, set in a circus side show, and was depicted on television in the fourth season of American Horror Story, titled Freak Show.

Moving through time, we’ll see how the 1950s, a period when Cold War tensions and early space exploration, gave rise to films focused on the specter of nuclear war and alien invasion. A decade later, Night of the Living Dead offered insights into the racial tension of that timean objective revisited by director Jordan Peele in his 2017 film Get Out. Recently films, such as Alex Garland’s 2018 Annihilation, have exploited our fears related to environmental destruction.

The essence of horror film is what terrifies and fascinates us most. Monsters, aliens, apocalypse, the supernatural, and, most recently, artificial intelligence and climate collapse all have played starring roles as the things that keep us wide-eyed and on the edge of our seats. You’ll confront each of these fears on the screen, and leave the talk geared up for Halloween. The talk is being staged at the True Music Room and Bar at the Cambria Hotel Nashville Downtown through a collaboration between Profs and Pints and the national Cambria Hotels brand that seeks to democratize access to higher learning. (Listed time is for doors and talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place orders and be seated and settled in.)

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