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Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    The Influence and Evolution of the B-level Horror Flick

    Although B-movies have been around since the early years of cinema, they’ve taken on different connotations with audiences over the decades, even becoming their own respected genre. One might argue that Val Lewton, a writer-producer who worked in the 1940s-50s, is the tipping point in low budget horror. Films like Cat People (1942) and its sequel The Curse of the Cat People (1944) took financial restrictions and turned them into an advantage. Their use of sound is particularly effective in creating a psychologically disturbing atmosphere. Instead of the make-up and costume blockbusters that profited Universal (Dracula, Frankenstein, and their respective franchises), Lewton and director Jacques Tourner reinvented the genre. Use Lewton’s work as the fulcrum to describe how B-horror came to be a modern-day cult favourite.

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      Latest Comments

      This book really impacted me as a child and your point about breaking storytelling rules is really interesting. I remember reading Death’s spoiler of the end a bit over halfway-through and regretted having seen it. Thought it would lessen the impact of the ending. But you phrase it really well considering history is history, it can’t be changed, and although we are aware of the atrocities that have occurred in the past, it’s those lives that are meaningful.

      Themes in The Book Thief

      In the span of two films, Ari Aster’s become one of my favourite modern writer-directors. There’s something oddly relatable about his approach, especially if you watch his pre-feature shorts; they’re hilariously dark.

      Christian was more comedic in this film than evil, I found. At least on first viewing. The director’s cut has some added scenes that really expand on his selfishness and ignorance, but he’s still just clueless to the point of it being funny.

      It was Dani’s character (and Florence Pugh’s performance) that grounded the film for me. You can see her suppress crazy raw emotion from beginning to fiery end, and that’s what I love about Aster. There’s so much under the surface, and you did a good job of highlighting some of those features; he’s really quite a unique filmmaker.

      Midsommar: The Horrors of a Toxic Relationship

      What a better way to highlight the impact of such an overlooked feature as the subtitle than to look back on its history.

      The transition from silent film inter-titles to foreign language translations has so much to unpack and reading this really brought fresh insight into that evolution.

      On a side note, I’ve always noticed how much is omitted through the filter of subtitling. Whenever a character speaks French, for example, I’m following his/her spoken word while reading the text and it just isn’t the same; you miss a lot of the nuances that add to the character’s … character. I’m sure that’s a downside to any translation of the original, but it’s a shame that those who don’t understand the language are only able to grasp the bare bones.

      At least we have an outlet to international cinema.

      Subtitling for Cinema: A Brief History