Thursday, January 3, 2008
Chas Clifton has posted in his blog about the notion of The Scary Countryside and urban anxiety about nature. He also mentions the notion that Frazer's monumental work The Golden Bough is in part responsible for the attitude that the British countryside is a place full of dark secrets, being a repository of ancient beliefs and practices...
The notion of a Frazerian Cinema intrigues me. I am reminded of an essay written by Tanya Krzywinska on landscape imagery in British horror films, in particular its association with paganism (I have an earlier version of the article but it will soon be published in a collection called Cinematic Countrysides forthcoming from University of Manchester Press).
I also wonder if this might be an intriguing subject for a chapter in The Celluloid Bough, in terms of the pagan revival ushering in an era of obsession with "earth mysteries" and stone circles, monoliths and other so-called sacred sites. We have not completely finalized what the final structure of the book will be. Right now we are working with one based on a wide-ranging introduction, and chapters arranged by decade which will contain overviews and sub-chapters on individual films. This is the simplest approach, of course, being easy to organize.
But we've also talked about the idea of theme-based chapters, which I think might be very interesting. This would allow for chapters on our individual areas of interest such as color in cinema, music, popular culture, teen witchcraft, satanic panic, etc. Frazerian Cinema (or rather, the ideas and expressions of what a Frazerian Cinema might encompass) would be a fitting subject for an entire chapter.
And of course our title is a direct homage to Frazer, so...