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"Born to Be Bad: Trash Cinema from the 1960s and 70s"
Conference and Film Festival
May 17 -19, 2002
University of California, Berkeley

Keynote speaker: Eric Schaefer
Emerson College, Boston
Author of "Bold! Daring! Shocking! True!": A History of Exploitation Film, 1919-1959 (Duke University Press, 1999).

Prof. Schaefer of Emerson College, Boston, is the author of the award-winning book, “Bold! Daring! Shocking! True!”: A History of Exploitation Film, 1919-1959 (Duke University Press, 1999), and is working on volume 2, exploitation films from the 1960s and 70s.  He has also written several essays on related material such as “Plain Brown Wrapper: Adult Films for the Home Market, 1930-1970” and “Gauging a Revolution: 16mm Film and the Rise of the Pornographic Feature.” His talk, “Sexploitation, Storefronts, and Sixteen: The Practice of Trash Historiography,” will cover trash films and the rise of 16mm pornographic films, citing how many shops in San Francisco would set up makeshift “cinemas” to show 16mm sexploitation films.

Guest: Xavier Mendik
Director of the Cult Film Archive in Northampton, UK

Director of the Cult Film Archive in Northampton, UK, Mendik has unlimited energy and an undying love for cult films. He interviews the world’s top directors on a regular basis (http://www.kamera.co.uk/interviews/index.html), publishes frequently in scholarly journals, has edited several anthologies including Unruly Pleasures: The Cult Film and its Critics (FAB Press, 2000) and Shocking Cinema of the Seventies (Noir Publishing, 2001), runs the Cult Film Archive, is beginning a new scholarly journal on cult and popular cinema, Alterimage, and even finds the time to work with DVD manufacturers (he was fundamental in instigating the DVD release of Abel Ferrara’s Driller Killer).  His paper, “Monstrous Sex: Horror, Eroticism and Cult Constructions of the ‘Other’ in the Black Emanuelle Films,” will be on Black Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals, a bizarre soft-porn and gore-fest movie in one.

Conference Director: Tamao Nakahara

A Ph.D. Candidate at the University of California at Berkeley, Nakahara has put together this three-day conference and film festival, bringing in speakers from around the world. Her research has covered everything from Pee-Wee Herman, product placement in Hollywood movies, Italian Diva films, to her dissertation, entitled “Busty Babes and Boiled Babies: Bodily Excess in 1960s and 70s Italian Cinema.” Her paper, “Barred Nuns: Italian Nunsploitation Films” will cover the gamut of 1970s Italian nun exploitation films from sex comedies, to soft porn, to nun horror.


Other Conference Speakers and Guests include:

Henry Benshoff (University of North Texas): Prof. Benshoff has taught widely on The Horror Film, The Western, American Film History, International Film, Television History, and Lesbian, Gay and Queer Film and Video. His publications include his book Monsters in the Closet: Homosexuality and the Horror Film (Manchester University Press, 1997) as well as essays on blaxploitation horror films, Dark Shadows fan cultures, and Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies. He will be talking about the film, The Gay Deceivers, in which two men try to avoid being drafted into the army by pretending to be gay.

Joan Hawkins (Indiana University at Bloomington): Prof. Hawkins has published widely on cult favorites, Cutting Edge: Art-Horror and the Horrific Avant-garde (University of Minnesota Press, 2000), “The Anxiety of Influence: Georges Franju and the Medical Horrorshows of Jess Franco,” "Sleaze-mania, Euro-trash and High Art: The Place of European Art Films in American Low Culture,” and “One of Us: Tod Browning's Freaks.” For her paper, she will discuss Trash filmmakers in the New York scene such as Nick Zedd.

Kevin J. Heffernan (Southern Methodist University): Winner of the Sundance Film Festival 1998 Filmmakers’ Trophy for Documentary for the feature-length documentary on John Waters and Divine, Divine Trash, Prof. Heffernan also teaches and writes on film. He has presented much of his work on cult films including “Zontar, of Course! Cult Cinema and Canonicity,” “Film Genre and Hong Kong 1997:  The Gangster Cinema of John Woo,” and “’I’m Gonna Ride You til You Can’t Stand Up!’  Homophobia and Hegemonic Masculinity in The Sands of Iwo Jima.” He will be talking about the role of television in 1960s trash films.

Elliot Lavine (Programmer of the Roxie Cinema, San Francisco): The Roxie Cinema, the oldest movie house of San Francisco, houses one of the most knowledgeable programmers on cult and trash films. Lavine will share his stories on cult film finding, programming, memorabilia collecting, and historical moments at the Roxie such as the re-release of David Cronenberg’s Shivers and diva Barbara Steele’s visit to the theater.

Ernest Mathijs (University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK): Mathijs has written many articles on cult films including “Alternative Europe; the Cult Film in Continental Europe,” “Kumel, Cult and Critics: Interpreting Daughters of Darkness as Euro Horror,” and “Defining Cult Movies: the Cultural Politics of Oppostional Taste.” He will be talking about what makes a cult film and will use the example of Belgian trash films and its reception

Amy Abugo Ongiri (University of California at Riverside): Prof. Ongiri’s current research project is a study of the Black Arts movement of the 1960s and 70s including articulations of the Black Power ideology found in Black Arts poetry, soul music, and Blaxploitation film. She has done extensive work on blaxploitation films including “’You better watch this good shit!’:  Black Spectatorship, Black Masculinity and Blaxploitation Films” and “He Won’t Bleed Me!: The Project of Masculinity in Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasss Song!” Her unique talk will be on the meeting of Kung Fu and Blaxploitation film cultures and how that helped to build an audience for the films.

Bill Osgerby (University of North London and University of Leicester): Prof. Osgerby has published numerous essays including, “’Endless Summer’: Mythologies of Youth and Hedonism in Sixties Beach Movies,” “Full Throttle on the Highway to Hell: Mavericks, Machismo and Mayhem in the American Biker Movie,” and “’Chewing Out a Rhythm on My Bubble-gum’: The Teen Aesthetic and Genealogies of American Punk.” He will be talking about the beginnings of 1960s Biker movies such as Roger Corman’s The Wild Angels with Peter Fonda.

Stephanie Rothman (Film maker): One of the few women sexploitation directors from the 1960s and 70s, Rothman will grace us with her presence and discuss her experiences of making films like The Student Nurses, that we as movie-lovers now consider cult films.

Steven Schneider (New York University): Schneider has published and edited on a wide range of cult film topics including An Auteur on Elm Street: The Cinema of Wes Craven (Wallflower Press / Columbia University Press, 2003), Freud’s Worst Nightmares: Psychoanalysis and the Horror Film (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming), and Underground USA: Filmmaking Beyond the Hollywood Canon (forthcoming with Xavier Mendik). Schneider will talk about Blaxploitation Horror and Welcome Home, Brother Charles, which will be showing.

Linda Williams (University of California at Berkeley): Perhaps most known for her book on pornography, Hard Core: Power, Pleasure and the Frenzy of the Visible (University of California Press, 1989), Prof. Williams has also written numerous essays on cinema and what she has termed, “body genres.” We are honored to have her respond to Eric Schaefer’s talk on 16mm sexploitation films.

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