Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Halloween 31 For 31: Cinema of the Abstract Edition Introduction

After two previous editions of this on the original blog, it's now time for a third on the new one. In both previous cases, with the intention of writing thirty one film reviews for thirty one days around October and the Halloween season, it was surprising how difficult and exhausting it was, but that I'm ready for a third says a lot of how invigorating doing the project has been. It's incredibly fun for all the work, because the hard work itself is pleasurable, the last two versions were amongst the most read pages on the original blog, and because the subject itself is one of my favourite things in life. An excuse to watch horror films is great, even though I watch many of them over the year, and Halloween itself is my favourite holiday though I never went trick or treating, and do not do a lot in terms of celebrating it. It's past, the legends and the real cultural background of the holiday, of the day the passage between the living and the dead opens up, has always fascinated me. The supernatural nature of the holiday has grown on me as I grow older, a period to think of the deceased and have them in your thoughts, in all seriousness, and in a more playful way to revel in the gaudy Halloween costumes and schlocky movies that get released  in October.

Obviously, the entertainment comes from the gorging of horror films. If more can be added to this, I can also use this year's project, in a fun way, to ask one question: what is the point of writing a blog called Cinema of the Abstract? Since this concept originated, years ago, on MUBI.com, I've had a lot of time to think and write about this, but it's always worth asking the simple question again so I don't make a mistake in having this amateur blog. Better know there's a point to writing for the sake of it than end in a mess. Horror films are probably the best way to ask this question. As much as it would be great to see an abstract Christmas film, Halloween is one of the few holidays where appropriate film viewing can be any horror film, supernatural movie or anything that fits the mood of the season. The horror genre is also rife in the unconventional, weird, and even the experimental and avant-garde. Experiments with form have taken place, high concepts have been encouraged, aesthetic extravagance celebrated, and in the lowest quality, incompetence can be just as peculiar and inspiring as a viewing experience, providing one hasn't become comatose halfway through the film as you were watching it.

There will be no Friday The 13ths, unlikely a lot at the multiplex unless the popcorn is spiked with something illicit, and anything conventional isn't going to be viewed. I can enjoy these films, if I wanted, when I'm taking a break from writing the reviews for this project. Expect the least conventional instead, with the same abstract rating although I will change, just for this project only, part of my format style to reflect the main question of the project.  The main question for the project can go as far as ask "why do I watch this sort of film?' The kind of films I've been covering so far since starting this blog, and writing about elsewhere online, in my own time and with pay, have been the type of cinema I've become the most enamoured and interested in over the year or so. Instead of boring myself, or pretend to enjoy or admire what I cannot see virtue in, it's liberating to watch these peculiar, unconventional films more frequently, and certainly, this project will be as much as celebration of this fact as it is asking why this is the case. With that in mind, as everything becomes a lot more macabre, the trick or treaters soon about to knock on the doors, and the air of the ghostly and mysterious is felt as winter soon encroaches, what a better way to be a site about abstract cinema then celebrate a season, a holiday, that is all about the unknown, the out-of-sight, out-of-body and supernatural?

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