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by medium cult fiction - cult directors - cult films - cult movie stars - cult objects - cult television - underground music

Related: audience - camp - classic - cult of personality - cult classic - cult status - fan - god - greatness - idol - love - minority - non mainstream - nostalgia - obsession - rare - religion - underground

A cult following is a group of fans devoted to a specific persons or cultural artifacts, examples are films, television or radio programs, comic books, musicians, writers and directors. These dedicated followings are usually relatively small and pertain to items that don't have broad mainstream appeal due to their underground subject matter or experimental style. The cult items you will find at Jahsonic are related to underappreciated books, films and music. For film I propose 250 films and their directors; for literature 80 cult books and their writers; and for music a history of dance music and a history of black music and their makers.

For a general definition of what it means for an item to be a 'cult item' there are certain guidelines. First of all keep in mind that many fans of cult items have a religious, idolatrous and fetishistic devotion -- appropriately so because the terms cult, fetish and idol have their origins in 'primitive' religion. Furthermore, cult items rarely belong to the mainstream and the devotion of their fans is often obsessive. There is also a historical and genre element: cult items generally don't gain that status until some time after their release and certain genres such as horror, erotica and science fiction attract cults more easily than others. In literary and cinematic fiction, cult items often contain "subversive" elements like references to non-normative forms of sexuality and as such have often been censored or banned. Lastly, cult items are collectible and are avidly collected. [Dec 2006]

Definition (culture)

  • Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.
  • The object of such devotion.
  • An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest. --AHD

    Something that has a following of devoted aficionados. See the following:

    --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_%28disambiguation%29 [Oct 2004]

    Definition (religion)

    In anthropology, an organization for the conduct of ritual, magical, or other religious observances. Many so-called primitive tribes, for example, have ancestor cults, in which dead ancestors are considered divine and activities are organized to respect their memory and invoke their aid. A cult is also a religious group held together by a dominant, often charismatic individual, or by the worship of a divinity, an idol, or some other object. (See animism, fetish, and totemism.) --Bartleby.com

    • A practice within a religion; see cult (religion).
      • A religious group often existing on the margins of society; see cult and new religious movement.
      • A group which exploits and destroys its members or even non-members; see destructive cult
    • Some of these cults have been known to participate in cult homicide and/or cult suicide.
    • Some religions in the South Pacific are refered to as cargo cults.
    --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_%28disambiguation%29 [Oct 2004]


    • Ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, as to a person or principle. See Synonyms at love.

    Cult following

    A cult following is a group of fans devoted to a specific thing, usually a film, television or radio program, though some comic books, musicians, writers and others also gain cult followings.

    These dedicated followings are usually relatively small and pertain to items that don't have broad mainstream appeal, though there are exceptions, mostly in science fiction. Cult followings are often dedicated enough that many of the people in them have at least heard of each other due to their meeting at conventions, concerts, internet chat rooms or shops featuring the item in question.

    An example of a usual cult following would be the followers of the Ogre Battle series of video games. An exception to the usual cult following rules is Star Trek, whose followers call themselves Trekkies. Star Trek has an extremely large following but can still be considered 'cult'. Science-fiction oriented cult followings include that of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

    "Cult Following" is also used to describe the more obsessive fans of established mainstream performers. For example, many persons have been interested in Michael Jackson's music or in Disney films, but some fans take their interest to what are generally considered extreme levels, such hoarding vast amounts of collectables. Some such "cult fans" occasionally veer into obsessive-compulsive disorders or stalking. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_following [Jul 2005]

    Defining cult items

    • Cult items are in the eye of the beholders.
    • Cult items are may or may not be mainstream.
    • Cult items attract obsessive fans
    • Cult items generally don't gain that status until some time after their release.
    • An item that attracts too large a number of fans cannot be regarded as a cult item.
    • In fiction, items of certain genres (horror, science fiction) are more likely to be regarded as "cult" items.
    • The attraction of cult items is sometimes totally different to the original intentions of the author.
    • In fiction, cult items often contain "subversive" elements like references to homosexuality.
    • Cult items are collectible and are avidly collected.

    Cult classic [...]

    A cult classic is a work of fiction, it can be a film or television show or book, that is extremely popular with a select audience. A cult classic may or may not enjoy mainstream success. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_classic [Oct 2004]

    Cult in the mass produced arts

    In Literature, one might refer to "cult books" or "cult fiction", in cinema, one refers to "cult movies", "cult cinema" or "cult films", in music one refers not to cult, but to "underground music", "alternative".

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