Horror cinema has become, or was transformed by some critically unendowed enthusiasts, in a sort of form or another mode of expression handled by the audience rather than the film itself or its makers. It seeks to essay ––or directly ramble–– in biological rather than aesthetical terms; for example, how much adrenaline is provoked by this or that film.
It is very possible that we can attend, in very little time, to the concept of a viewer connected to a simple and small device, surely Chinese in its origin, which would control the projection of the film in parallel to the subtlest changes in the brain registry of whoever is seeing it.
Of course this “horror” seems to be the last sanctuary of something as ancient as “cinephilia”. Something that, since the apparition of a certain kind of films, dating back four decades ago or more, would be comparable to continuing to collect stamps in Medici’s Florence. The anachronism is deliberate, just in case.
This more than retrograde attitude, which it is, holds great political ––not to mention theological–– interest. Let’s leave this point behind since I have elaborated on such relationship before. Although it wouldn’t harm to insist on it from time to time.
It is obvious to all obviousness for those who have read ––by this I do not mean agreeing. I say and repeat, “read”–– my theoretical essays regarding the creation of a mode of representation and presentation known as “horror” or “terror” is born according to the articulation of something called B-Movies.
This was a double mode of production, both in the economic sense as well as in the production of that sense. Once the major studios established themselves at the beginning of “sound” cinema and achieved its cultural takeover within the WASP world through major productions, that we’ll call “A”, they were given or saw the possibility to insert even more controversial elements that those available on previous ground. A ground that had already achieved to controversially introduce the Concept of Cinema in the evolution of the arts. Without caring in the slightest ––hence their political genius–– in measuring itself with sociological objections, or politics that back then were believed to be progressive.
So it was that “B-Movies” sought to track and relocate certain themes and motifs even more controversial than those staged by the other cinema (A).
Classical Hollywood had, among many other virtues, that of being an excellent reader. And what is this, in a broad sense? To ignore the labels and categories from journalism and publishing. Because of this it did not only rescue, but put in its rightful place, authors such as Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and a very fortunate etcetera.
But it not only read and understood its stylistic resources, but it went towards the mythical-poetical and in there found, wisely, its political-philosophical content, which strengthened even more the coining of that term to sustain, even more firmly, another vision of the world in a radical controversy with the liberal-protestant world.
Without expanding any further, it rediscovered by ricorso the mythical and symbolical element referred to the sacred. Of course this was already sought and found in parallel by T.S. Eliot in “The Waste Land”, by James Joyce in “Ulysses” and even before by Igor Stravinsky in “Le sacre du Printemps”.
Of course it did. But cinema by its concept of action, production and representation, immediately achieved ––What else?–– to have, accordingly to its production, a fitting audience, educated or reeducated in parallel by cinema. Obviously it didn’t have time for nonsense such as collectionism or trivia. Classical Hollywood immediately acquired an audience with a vision symmetrical to the vision of filmmakers. Something lost, let’s say, since baroque politics. And something, above all, that was attempted and, in great measure, achieved to erase, cross out, even so degraded by liberalism, by seeking to reduce it to the tight circle of the “outdated”, the “obscure”, the “reactionary”, the “primitive”, the “childish” and, ––should the case arise–– the “popular”.
As it is known, when one holds power, which is decision, the small although talkative hurdles are not taken into account.
For that very reason Hollywood created this double-sensed form of production called “B-movies”. Naturally, and getting ahead of certain demands, the “B-Movie” not only had “terror” or “horror” themes and motifs; or ––better said–– a fantasy mode which is better than “terror”. There were crime films, comedies, westerns and even B-Musicals.
Of course it was the fantasy genre the one that ––How can we say it?–– reached more immediately to audiences and, due to this wise binary understanding by classical Hollywood, made possible the privileged underlining in such mode of action and re-presentation.
This lasted and later continued until today in the possibility conditions of historical time and space. The major studios, led vertically by families and associates, disappeared (around 1965-68); which gave place to the self-consciousness of the early seventies. Its arrival led the Concept of Cinema to its absolute culmination, including “Fantasy B-movies” (Carpenter, Cameron).
Of course, the Concept of Cinema has been attempted to be disfigured by inflation, the same way it happens with money, to devaluate representation. In this way, the excess in circulation of paper money (not currency*) makes its serialization to not represent the value of what is supposedly presenting. In such a way the inflationary production of the aesthetical plus, inherent to the human being and in permanent dispute with its biological-economical part, is attempted to be degraded ––and quite successfully, pay attention to this!–– in the same way paper money does. It would be better to say paper, not currency.
This inflation needs two things. For the inconsequentiality of its means to be immediately followed by the inconsequentiality of its ends.
The latter needs the banalization ––through inflation–– of the aesthetical feeling translated into criticism. Which, first than anything, means to put a limit to understanding. That is to not accumulate sensations, images, sounds and others without making them pass through the filter of reasoning. Naturally, it can do without formulas or metalanguages to approach criticism. Starting even with leaving aside my own theories.
To lead an emotional-spiritual formation or expression, especially coming from the triumph or even the “cerebralization” of liberal mentality, to its reduction as a mere exchange merchandise, is to play its game and even participate, parasitically, in such instrumentalization, almost reaching planetary levels.
Philias are dangerous and self-vampirical when they are not held, or are not sought, especially without philosophy. Neither is employing a previously conditioned metalanguage.
Not just cinema; fantasy in general had achieved to be, almost until yesterday, the last plant; almost the only stronghold left standing of the most extreme and subtle thought and poetics to confront the post capitalist liberal mentality, already become “global”.
Now it suffers the banalization and inflation of its production and its senses. And so it grows the poster, the chit-chat, the “it is said” and the “hunger for novelties”.
Even this “backwards staging” is already shown in its darkest phase, when it has previously achieved the inconsequentiality phase. That is, a phase of total darkness (**)
So the sons and grandsons to atheist fathers and grandfathers go into ecstasy listening things like “Black Sabbath”
*: I recommend the meditated reading of the economists that influenced Ezra Pound and not just continue to recite his poem, “With Usura”. Such as Silvio Gessel’s, today sustained or updated by the Italian Domenico Desimone. See “Il sogno di Ezra Pound” on YouTube.
**: something we have developed narratively in our novel “Tempestad y Asalto”