Saturday, 10 July 2010

Cult and Cultural Access

One of the things I like about living in Edinburgh is that it has one of the UK’s copyright libraries, The National Library of Scotland. Copyright libraries are libraries where publishers are required to deposit a copy of whatever they publish.

Something I’ve found, however, is that the usefulness of the copyright library when you’re studying film depends somewhat upon the kind of film that you are studying: If you’re looking at cult film, more likely to be written about in fanzines than professional magazines, then you’re less likely to find the publications you are looking for, in large part because they aren’t part of the ‘official’ culture.

Much the same seems to apply to film, albeit with a much worse initial starting point on account of the historical understanding that they were ephemeral, commercial products that didn’t need to be preserved.

While all manner of stuff that I’d never dreamed of seeing 15 or 20 years ago is now available on DVD, or can be accessed via torrents of Greek VHS rips, Italian TV broadcasts or suchlike, the fact nevertheless remains that by and large it’s so much easier if your tastes are confined to the hegemonic Hollywood and European arthouse canons.



Nigel M said...

spot on keith- the volume of stuff available in the digital age is incredible but this is generally in places where the collectors and true fans would think to seek it out, so aside from a few labels and a few major directors (notably in the UK shameless) there has been little attempt to mainstream either giallo or eurocrime.

Cinefantastique Online said...

This may be a bit off in the context of a blog devoted to Euro-trash, but it strikes as weird that it is so hard in the West to find so many of the classic Japanese ghost films like KURONEKO and GHOST STORY OF YOTSUYA.

Anonymous said...

If there was serious money in cult cinema, it would no longer remain cult.