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Related: 1950s

Founding of: Situationist International (1957-1972)

Literature: Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays (1957) - Northrop Frye - On the Road (1957) - Jack Kerouac - Erotism : Death and Sensuality (1957) - Georges Bataille - Mythologies (1957) - Roland Barthes - The Poetics of Space (1957) - Gaston Bachelard

Films: I Vampiri (1957) - Mario Bava, Riccardo Freda

Evergreen Review, Vol. 1 No. 1, 1957

Deaths: Wilhelm Reich (1897 - 1957) - Erich von Stroheim (1885 - 1957)

Births: Spike Lee

Potlatch #29

  • 1957 - Potlatch #29. Foundation of the Situationist International by Guy Debord at Cosio d'Arroscia. Publication of Fin de Copenhague with Asger Jorn (Imaginist Bauhaus). Report on the Construction of Situations and on the Conditions for Organization and Action of the Situationist International Tendency (internal S.I. document).

    The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) - Terence Fisher

    Another innovation, and one which took advantage of the studio's investment in a more expensive colour production, was the amount of gore in the film. Previously, horror films had not shown blood in a graphic way, or when they did it was concealed by monochrome photography. In The Curse of Frankenstein, it was bright red, and the camera lingered upon it.

    The film itself is directed excitingly by Terence Fisher, with a lavish look that belies its modest budget. Peter Cushing's performance as Baron Victor Frankenstein, and Lee's as the imposingly tall, brutish monster provide the film with a further veneer of polish.

    The film was an enormous success, not only in Britain, but also in the USA, where it inspired numerous imitations from, amongst others, Roger Corman and his American International Pictures. It also found success on the European continent, where Italian directors and audiences were particularly receptive.

    The Curse of Frankenstein provided the studio with a template which they stuck to for around the next ten years. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammer_Horror [Jul 2005]

    A Face in the Crowd (1957) - Elia Kazan

    A Face in the Crowd (1957) - Elia Kazan [amazon.com]
    image sourced here. [Aug 2005]

    The 1957 film "A Face in the Crowd" critiques the television industry, in this tale of a TV reporter who turns a hobo into a TV star. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television#Dangers [Aug 2005]

    The setting for the film is late 1950s America, a time during which television was rapidly replacing radio as the most popular entertainment medium. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Face_in_the_Crowd [Aug 2005]

    More timely now, perhaps, than when it was first released in 1957, Elia Kazan's overheated political melodrama explores the dangerous manipulative power of pop culture. It exposes the underside of Capra-corn populism, as exemplified in the optimistic fable of grassroots punditry Meet John Doe. In Kazan's account, scripted by Budd Schulberg, the common-man pontificator (Andy Griffith) is no Gary Cooper-style aw-shucks paragon. Promoted to national fame as a folksy TV idol by radio producer Patricia Neal, Griffith's Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes turns out to be a megalomaniacal rat bastard. The film turns apocalyptic as Rhodes exploits his power to sway the masses, helping to elect a reactionary presidential candidate. The parodies of television commercials and opinion polling were cutting edge in their day (Face in the Crowd was the Network of the Eisenhower era), and there are some startling, near-documentary sequences shot on location in Arkansas. An extraordinary supporting cast (led by Walter Matthau and Lee Remick) helps keep the energy level high, even when the satire turns shrill and unpersuasive in the final reel. There's an interesting parallel in Tim Robbins's snide pseudodocumentary Bob Roberts: both these pictures have almost as much contempt for the lemmings in the audience as for the manipulative monsters who herd them over the cliff. --David Chute for amazon.com

    see also: 1957 - television

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