A cult film is a broad term that doesn’t have a clear definition. The definition changes as time progresses. Once a cult film definition is established, a new film arises that becomes a cult film and goes against the definition, then the definition changes again. One clear aspect of a cult film is that they are films that have acquired a large group of highly devoted followers. Most films fan bases don’t expand past a very small group. Some exceptions like Fight Club and Donnie Darko are good examples of films that have large fan bases in the mainstream. Many cult films have themes that are not widely accepted in mainstream society. The themes are usually taboo subjects that are mostly avoided. This trait of cult films leads them to be ahead of their time. Cult films usually set presidents for concepts like nudity, violence, or ratings etc. Cult films are not easily forgotten and that part of the appeal. Their strong fan base of obsessive, hyped, and intricate people loves the films for a specific appeal. Most have a certain part that is unusual and noted. Mainstream cinema has certain rules that are simply not broken and cult films have unconventional concepts from costume design to technical work. Most cult films become known or their controversy and transgression in the name of cinema.

This blog on cult films and their cultural significance is quite self-explanatory. I chose eight films to dissect to discover their meaning in the time they were initially released or the time they became a cult film. I also observed the reasons why cult films are so popular and the reasoning behind their admiration. I watched one film a day and wrote a response to each that day.

One of the largest challenges in working on this project was choosing only eight films out of the unquantifiable list of cult films in the world. Since their point is to be outside of normality and convention, it was hard to find films that were similar in some ways, but different enough to cover the spectrum of genres and sub-genres in the world that is cult film. Another large challenge was having the discipline to watch a film with great attention and writing an essay on each for two weeks. It was easy until I got behind on my Jubilee post and had to watch Brazil then write the response to the two films in one day.

In my project I learned valuable facts about technique and how/when certain sub-genres of film were discovered. This project acted as an exercise for my writing skills as well as teaching me additional film history and technique. One can love a film from strictly observing but it takes watching with purpose and truly studying the film to discover the real genius in filmmaking. I earned a great respect for filmmakers I was already familiar with like Cocteau and Polanski. And I discovered new passions for Ohbayashi and Argento. I learned about the tragedies and comedies behind the scenes of the films. A great aspect of cult films and their appeal is escapism and I found an escape in this project. Delving into the offbeat lands of the world of cinema was a true adventure. This project let me further discover my interests in film and reassure my aspiration to become a filmmaker.