Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Fear On Film - 1982 Round Table

Take One - Fear On Film: [Part One] [Part Two] [Part Three]

I stumbled upon this while surfing trailers on YouTube and figured, if nothing else, it was worth noting for future reference. If the source description is to be trusted, it is, in essence, a piece of promotional material arranged by one Mick Garris: Host of the presentation, and Marketing & Publicity boffin for Universal Pictures (sci-fi & horror), circa 1982.

In 2013, this would undoubtedly be the kind of half-hearted, tiresome corporate material that inspires cynicism into the world. Instead, this "Take One" featurette gathers talented Directors working for Universal at the time - John Landis, John Carpenter & David Cronenberg - to speak candidly about subjects relevant to their industry. Just talking about their movies would be enough to engage fans, but they're also forming a dialogue with critical issues like censorship -- something few promo materials would even consider, today.

Yes, there is clearly an agenda relevant to promoting several motion pictures. References to The Thing, Videodrome, and An Ameircan Werewolf in London are clear and present -- but they aren't gratuitous. As a promotion, this is an admirable investment in the artists that create the pictures. It is an effort to promote the material on the strengths and merits of what has been created. A design that is all too absent in today's corporate-driven, crowd sourced industry.

Of the three directors, Carpenter is the only one I could honestly say I have a strong connection with. Cronenberg holds a definite fascination, but my exposure to his work has been almost non-existent. Landis is no stranger, but I haven't held his efforts in the same high regard I have for Carpenter. Even so, it seems like a rare treat to have the three in trio, discussing the intertwining subjects that tie some of their best known works together.

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