The History of Horror Movies (Cross Talk EP 38)

Horror movies represent a particularly special blend of storytelling and emotional triggers.

Some argue that horror movies are meant to reveal our deepest fears, others suggest they serve as morality tales about what is acceptable in society and the consqeuences of going against the natural order, still others believe that they serve as a mirror of their time. Whatever the case the telling of terrifying stories is something which has long been part of our collective cultural experience, and as horror movies became a more common format in cinema, so too did they evolve over time.

In this very special episode of Cross Talk, Chris and I take some time to give a somewhat concise overview of the history of the horror genre, all the way from the 1920s through to present day – landing the plane with Get Out, It Comes at Night,  The Killing of a Sacred Deer, IT, Better Watch Out, and a few others!

We make some obvious associations, like the birth of the slasher in the 1960s, and the over-saturation of the theme in the 1980s, the importance of the atomic age and how films of the 1950s all had a twinge of the absurd, which paved the way for cross-over genre films in later decades.

Of particular note is the importance of social issues and their place within the oeuvre of George A. Romero and other landmark directors, including the eponymous Alfred Hitchcock, who helped take horror from the realm of fear of the unknown and the mythological, and thrust it into the everyday.

And one of my favourite highlights – the first commercially successful and critically acclaimed Marvel movie is also a horror movie.

As it turns out,  I actually have a lot to say about the genre, and while my personal collection of films is closer to 2000 then 1000 at this point, I have almost 150 titles then could be classified at horror movies. Chris is a self-admitted horror fan, but it seems that we both know enough to provide a good overview of the genre, and hopefully share some theories you haven’t heard before!

This is the history of Horror movies, this is episode thirty eight of Cross Talk.

theories Summarized

Were you surprised by our thoughts on the genre overall? Did you learn anything interesting? Was our feedback on Alien vs Aliens too on the nose? I was personally surprised how many remakes came out in the 2000s and found it really valuable to learn how the 1940s was the period when genre sharing started to become more common.

Sharing is caring creative cuties, hopefully you’ve got some examples that we’ve never even considered, so comment below! And of course we’d love to hear from you in general, so please comment with your favourite horror picks, what you’ve pulled from each of these decades, and why you think horror reflects the current times best.

Until next time, please like and share the content! And subscribe to the mailing list if you haven’t yet. I’ll be sharing some insights on a new Brent Cobb album!

Tim!

Films That Have A Profound Psychologist Effect (Cross Talk Ep. 35)

In preparation for today’s episode, I decided to do a little research about the psychology of film, and in the process, I learned a few things.

For instance, did you know that film and psychology have been connected since the late nineteenth century? With research labs studying the mechanics of perception and how our visual recall works, and producers like Samuel Goldwyn working to lure the psychologist Sigmund Freud in to help determine the subtext of his films. He actually offered Freud one hundred grand to secure a meeting with Freud in Vienna in 1925. And then Hugo Munsterberg posited that film actually allowed the inner working of the mind to become visible, thus shifting our way of thinking about thinking.

Other academics like Gordon Allport have even gone so far as to indicate that cinema is a standardized daydream, which is kind of horrifying when we consider the implications against mass consumption. In the world of marketing, there is a very real fear of being led towards a product decision without conscious consideration and there is evidence that many marketers employ tactics to get such a response, so why wouldn’t a two hour video create a far stronger impression then a 30 second commercial?

But maybe that’s actually a good thing. In fact, I really do believe it to be the case.

It is the role of the critic to give the viewer the tools to think differently about art, and it is the role of the artist to give meaning to life. So by all accounts, films that affect us should be considered to be instrumental in shaping our world views and when we feel something during a movie, but are unsure of what it means, a critic can help to deconstruct that film for us, which in turn allows us to better understand ourselves and others.

There are many examples of stories out there which have parents, groups, and government campaigning against film, television, games and other art forms, because of the suggestive nature of that content, and in some cases, blaming the content for how children behave. Again, I agree that there is a lot of evidence that suggests such an outcome, but what if we exposed children, youth, and even adults in need of rehabilitation towards content which depicts a more empathetic worldview? Say Sling Blade, K-PAX, Moonrise Kingdom or the very recent films Get Out and Hostiles, the later of which I did a review on last week!

Maybe in those cases, we can learn something about the world and be less inclined towards hatred. Which is what Chris and I set out to do in coming up with a list of ten movies we collectively agree are incredibly impactful, and how each of those films personally effected us.

I think you’ll get special interest from the films Manchester By The Sea and The VVitch, as we focused on them in case studies from our lives. This is episode thirty seven of Cross Talk – movies which had a profound psychological effect.

theories Summarized

Were you surprised to learn how we each felt about these choices? I wasn’t especially taken back to discover how Chris feels about Manchester By The Sea, it is a very dark film, and Casey Affleck deserves all the awards he got for playing a depressed man. But I bet you weren’t expecting me to open up about The VVitch the way I did, now were you?

Sharing is caring creative cuties, hopefully you’ve got some examples that we’ve never even considered. And we’d love to hear from you, so please comment below with your picks, and if you’re up to it, please share a little bit about why these movies have left a mark.

Until next time, please like and share the content! And subscribe to the mailing list if you haven’t yet. I’ll be sharing some insights on a new Leon Bridges album!

Tim!

The Reconciliation of Art & Faith (Dave Von Bieker, musician, singer-songwriter, arts chaplain interview)

It’s finally arrived! After a solid couple of weeks worth of posts featuring my good friend Dave Von Bieker, also known by his very clever stage name of Von Bieker, our full-length interview is alive, well and available for all to enjoy.

In case you haven’t been following the previews, I have decided to change things up just a little bit and slowly publish some the content related to each interview rather then post a single preview and a longer interview. That, and Mr. Von Bieker and I had tons of content to share, so this was a good trial run.

The first preview is about making art for self rather then a paycheck, and the second one about the role of art in a spiritual life. These are both great questions to consider in your own journey, and I think you’ll get a kick out of his answers, but don’t fret about the order of viewing – you can enjoy them before watching this video, afterwards, or over and over again. It’s your choice!

Now let’s discuss the main course – reconciliation. A couple of months ago, Dave and I sat down to talk about his role as an arts chaplain and his burgeoning career as a musician. You see, dear readers, Dave is a big believer in believing in something larger then yourself.

Whether you are into a religious ideal, self-actualization or somewhere in-between, the main theme running through this interview is the importance of reconciling art and faith within ourselves. The demands placed on artists are great, and they come both from within and from our clients, but Dave acutely recognizes this and has done things in his life to help him resolve those larger questions.

As the founder of Bleeding Heart Art Space (https://bleedingheartart.space/), this is a gallery Dave helped build, where faith meets art. Their tagline is Art Space, Sacred Space, Community Space. It’s a shining example of multiple elements of life coming together in a healthy relationship.

In the interview, we discuss the value of having a routine, another innovative musical hero named Dave, intention in art, the difference between performing and making, the immutable nature of music, and finally, why we need to reconcile art and faith. An easily answered question, of course.

theories Summarized

So there you have it, you absolutely can make a case for art and faith working together. Seamless really, and we managed to have fun while we solved all of the worlds problems. Now that that’s been accomplished, please tell me what YOU thought. Did one question stand above all the others? Do you agree with Dave? Are you a bigger fan of David Burns now?

Please check out more Von Bieker (http://vonbieker.com/) and if you’re interested in his social media –  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Sound Cloud, Spotify, iTunes and YouTube have all the good stuff.

And special thanks to Dave for being daring, dapper and disciplined. We need more leaders like him in our local communities, artists who spend more time giving back then they do focusing on themselves. And if you want a bankable theory, I expect this is just the start of it for him.

Tim!

 

Selling Your Heart Out (Dave Von Bieker, preview interview pt 2)

Do we all get to be who we decide to portray ourselves as on screen or in the media? I’d like to believe that it’s possible. But more importantly, I wonder if we can ever live up to the moral ideals we establish about our creative touch.

Making art is extremely difficult to sustain and it takes a lot of personal sacrifice if you really do hope to make it for a life time. Whether your medium is music, painting, design, fashion, photography, video, dance or any other combination of forms, it’s challenging road, filled with dues paid and money earned.

And a more common theme on everyone’s lips is the notion of burning out or fading away with time. The age old struggle of the creative professional – to be completely bohemian or a corporate sell-out. These polarizing terms exist for reason though, and I happen to believe that both are valid ways of looking at this as a career. This is where the theory comes in; if you want to truly be happy, you need to embrace both in some regard. That’s why it’s important to wrestle with the dichotomy of self versus the selfless.

Yes, you shouldn’t compare yourself to others, but relating to what those who have come before and have found success is an invaluable exercise. You might learn something by breaking apart a Kanye West song, recreating a Rembrant, or spending some time with 1927 movie classic Metropolis.

It’s a continual sacrifice. I give a lot for my art and to make it, so it seems crazy to me that I wouldn’t it to be heard by as many people as possible

Dave Von Bieker

I had so much fun talking with local music genius Von Bieker, that I decided to give another preview interview. I know, I know, I promised a full length interview, but this way you get even more content, and I can further craft his story in a meaningful way for you. Time for some more bow-tie rock to haunt your heart.

Enjoy creative cuties!

theories Summarized

Everything I do artistically is an expression of my ideals. Is this a true statement?

It’s an excellent question to ask yourself dear readers, and if you did, please like and share the video, leave me some comments and I’ll share them on social media. Maybe some new theories will unfold in the process.

Coming up next, a review on the new Young Fathers record, so please check back in tomorrow evening for more theories! You won’t be disappointed.

Tim!

The Role of Art In A Spiritual Life (Dave Von Bieker, interview preview)

This happens so often to us as creative professionals – we attempt to tackle issues far greater then ourselves in the hope that we contribute something meaningful in the world around us. Which is why I personally believe that whether you hold a secular world-view, are a monotheist, or believe in many different gods, holding onto that time for reflection, contemplation, studying, devotion and ritual can inform your artistic practice and vice versa.

Now, I realize that the word spirituality actually means a great many different things to different people. So consider this for a moment.

I often like to think of spirituality as the process of getting to know yourself so that you can begin to know what is greater then yourself through commitment to an ideal. And so, that act of creation is very much tied into reflection. As we spend time with our work, contemplating the purpose of it, studying ways to make it better, devoting copious amounts of time to the act of making, and creating routines or rituals to enable good habits in ourselves.

Dave Von Bieker also believe this. He specifically told me that being an artist is about paying attention, and as a consequence we can’t but help acknowledge the sublime, being in a state of wonder. Having spent so much time in churches, art galleries, concerts, and reflections, he sees similarities in practising art versus practising spirituality. Further to that point, he recognizes that for him, God is far greater then a specific set of views and elements of life.

And I find that fascinating.

Which is why I think you’ll get some value out of spending some time with this preview of our interview on spiritual alignment. Dave Von Bieker is a musician, singer, songwriter, and arts chaplain who runs an art gallery in central Edmonton (Bleeding Heart Space). His stage name is Von Bieker, and his music defies genre, so he prefers to call it bow-tie rock to haunt your heart, for thematic purposes.

theories Summarized

But what did you think? Can art, science and spirituality work together in tandem in our lives? What artistic practices can you think of that would satisfy two or even all three of those models of thinking?

I hope you got something out of this initial discussion on the role of art in a spiritual life, and if you did, please like and share the video, and leave me some comments on future topics you’d like to see. I’ll drum up some theories we can rock out to!

With that all said, I thought it would be appropriate to follow up this post with an album review by Mary Gauthier, Rifles & Rosary Beads, so please check back in tomorrow evening for more theories! You won’t be disappointed.

Tim!