The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Culture Warrior

Part of the appeal of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films is that the basic conceit informing their aesthetic seems so natural. Batman is one of few major superheroes that isn’t actually a super-hero. Batman mythology, then, lends itself to a degree of plausibility more than, say, Superman or Spider-Man, so why not manifest a vision of Batman that embraces this particular aspect that distinguishes this character from most superhero mythologies? But realism has not been a characteristic that unifies Batman’s many representations in the moving image. Through the eyes of Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher, the Batman of tentpole studio filmmaking has occupied either a world of gothic architecture and shadowy noir, or one of schizophrenic camp. From 1989 to 1997, Batman was interpreted by visionary directors with potent aesthetic approaches, but approaches that did not necessarily aim to root the character within a landscape of exhaustive Nolanesque plausibility.

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From 12 noon on Saturday, October 15 through 12 noon on Sunday, October 16, horror fans will descend on the Grandview Theater in Grandview, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. The line-up includes 35 mm prints of rare, historic, and foreign films along with trailers, cartoons, and various short subjects. Other activities during the movie marathon will include the annual costume contest and scream contest. Just this weekend, marathon organizers announced the final line-up of films, which includes a rare 35 mm screening of the controversial A Serbian Film, presented unrated and uncut. This will likely be one of the few times horror fans in Ohio will be able to see Srdan Spasojevic‘s international shocker on the big screen. The other anchor film will be the Midwest premiere of Midnight Son. Although Shock Around the Clock is only the third annual horror marathon at the Grandview Theater, these events go back to 1988 with the Night of the Living Drexel 24-hour horror movie marathons. All-night horror marathons struggled to find a home in Columbus during the 90s after the historic Drexel North theater was turned into a drug store and later a health club. Various incarnations of the event took place at different theaters in the central Ohio area, sometimes only in the form of 14-hour marathons from 10 pm until 12 noon the next day. With the opening of the Grandview Theater in 2009, the 24-hour line-up returned.

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Every Sunday in October, Old Ass Movies will be teaming with 31 Days of Horror in order to deliver a horror film that was made before you were born and tell you why you should like this. This week, Old Ass Horror presents one of the first zombie films ever committed to moving pictures – a horrifying man, a troubled hero, and the constant threat of death at the hands of a living dead puppet. Come along as we open up The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

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