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JACK STEVENSON IS A 43 YEAR OLD AMERICAN FILM WRITER, TEACHER AND PRINT COLLECTOR LIVING IN DENMARK SINCE 1993.
HE HAS PUBLISHED FILM ARTICLES IN DANISH, (KOSMORAMA, LEVENDE BILLEDER, INFERNO) SWEDISH (CHAPLIN, ISSUE 258/SUMMER 95) CZECH, FINNISH, DUTCH, AUSTRIAN (BLIMP, ISSUES 34-40 INCLUSIVE), US (FILM QUARTERLY, FILM THREAT, etc) etc. AND PUBLISHED THE BOOKS: CAMP AMERICA (ABOUT JOHN WATERS AND THE KUCHAR BROTHERS), UK, 1996 and TOD BROWNING'S FREAKS, BELLEVILLE PRESS/MUNICH, 1997 (In German) AND CONTRIBUTED 5 ARTICLES TOTAL IN ALL 3 ISSUES OF STEFAN JAWORZYN'S SHOCK X-PRESS BOOK SERIES, PUB. TITAN BOOKS, LONDON
HE HAS PRESENTED SHOWS FROM HIS ARCHIVE AT THE DUTCH AND DANISH NATIONAL FILM MUSEUMS, AT THE CINEMATEKET IN STOCKHOLM (DEC. 1992: THUNDERCRACK! AND "SPARKLES TAVERN"), TWICE AT THE ROTTERDAM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AND AT FESTIVALS IN UMEĹ (TWICE), LUND (FANTASTIC FILM FESTIVAL), LILLE, NANCY, AMSTERDAM, etc.. SERVED AS JURY MEMBER AT FESTIVALS IN LILLE, HAMBURG (SHORTFILM FESTIVAL) AND STUTTGART FILMWINTER(1999). HE HAS DONE SHOWS AROUND NORTHERN EUROPE IN THE HOLDS OF FREIGHTER SHIPS (STOCKHOLM 1989, AND COPENHAGEN/CURRENT), BASEMENT FILM CLUBS, ATTICS, ABANDON BUILDINGS, ETC.
WAS A TEACHER AT THE EUROPEAN FILM COLLEGE IN EBELTOFT, DENMARK FROM 1995/1996 (GUEST TEACHER) AND WAS EMPLOYED AS A FULL TIME TEACHER FOR THE 1996/97 & 1997/98 SESSIONS.
TODAY HE CONCENTRATES ON WRITING FILM RELATED PIECES, RUNNING A SMALL FILM DISTRIBUTION COMPANY SPECIALIZING IN CULT, HORROR, UNDERGROUND AND MIDNIGHT TYPE PROGRAMMING, AND ORGANIZING TOURS FOR AMERICAN FILMMAKERS & COLLECTORS. HE DISDAINS VIDEO AS AN EXHIBITION FORMAT AND REMAINS AN INSUFFERABLE FILM PURIST DEDICATED TO THE EXPERIENCE OF THE PORTABLE 16MM MOVIE SHOW STAGED IN UNIQUE ENVIRONMENTS. --http://hjem.get2net.dk/jack_stevenson/pers.htm, accessed Apr 2004
- Land of a Thousand Balconies : Discoveries and Confessions of a B-Movie Archaeologist (2003) - Jack Stevenson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Most books about B-movies are straight-forward genre guides, biographies, or encyclopedias. Not this one. In addition to film showmen, gimmicks, cult, camp, and trash movies, Land of a Thousand Balconies documents Jack Stevenson's first-hand exploration of movie theatres, lamenting the disappearing sense-of-place that is such an integral part of the movie-going experience-from the notorious grindhouses of San Francisco, to the store-front cinemas of Seattle and New York, to the underground film clubs of Europe.
In the fifties and sixties, Los Angeles' sprawling Griffith Park was a virtual haunt of supernatural menace as zombies, perverts and space monsters in exaggerated make-up and baggy costumes staggered after screaming B-queens in torn skirts and heels. Read the first page
Statistically Improbable Phrases
deliberate camp, pure camp, passionate intent, film collecting, film collectors, grind house, film freaks, ham acting, underground film, cult film
Capitalized Phrases (CAPs):
Thousand Balconies, San Francisco, John Waters, William Castle, Sidney Pink, Jon Moritsugu, Russ Meyer, Ate the Cocktail Lounge, Los Angeles, Seventh Planet, The Nyback Chronicles, Maria Montez, Secret History of Cult Movies, The Passionate Plastic Pleasure Machine, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Jack Smith, Night of the Living Dead, Lower East Side, Bent Barfod, Carl Ottosen, Dennis Nyback, Dwain Esper, Rudolph Grey, Susan Sontag, The Queen Of Technicolor
THE SECRET HISTORY OF CULT MOVIES, a Biblical tale of the Holy Unlikely
Jack Stevenson © 1999
FEBURARY, 1953... Under the management of Cy Harvey and Bryant Haliday, the barn-like Brattle Theater that adjoins Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusettes launches a booking policy of reviving famous actors then considered passe, including - eventhough he has yet to appear in "The African Queen" - Humphrey Bogart. The student clientele connects with Bogart's sense of style and a Bogart cult, based on "Casablanca" and fueled by the fraternal college spirit, spontaneously emerges.
The Brattle's "Bogart Week" becomes a popular annual tradition at final exam time in May. The Bogart "cult" spreads across the Country and many other college town theaters begin to book Bogart weeks in May as well.
Ritualistic responses to the films grow increasingly formalized and obscurantist. Rites of passage include tossing off the names and immitating the mannerisms of minor characters from "Casablanca", and deducing the chronology of all of Boogie's films by reckoning solely on his receding hairline. Students boast to each other how many times they have seen the film, and chant lines along with their screen icons whom also include Claude Rains, Dooley Wilson and Peter Lorre.
SOME TIME EARLY THAT SAME YEAR ... across the Country ... in Hollywood, California. "Twenty-Six Thousand Dollars!!!" screams a rotund, perpetually worried little man, his face growing red and his tone rising as if some slumlord had just tripled the rent on his shabby studio complex. On the other side of his desk sits a fresh-faced young novice director named Ed Wood. Wood has just completed his first feature film and is being screamed at by his producer, exploitation mini-mogul, George Weiss who has to his credit a string of programmers with titles like "Pin Down Girls" and "The Devil's Sleep".
Weiss had assigned Wood to make a low-budget pseudo-documentary intended to exploit public fascination still swirling around Christine Jorgensen's recent sex-change operation, and instead Wood delievers and over-budget and incomprehensible slice of skewered surrealism with lots of horror movie hokum dumped in for good measure. The film, "Glenn or Glenda", is as personally felt as it is ineptly constructed. The pic is released in April and soon sinks into oblivion despite sales to some foreign territories. Had Wood crafted a slightly more professional piece of exploitation fodder, the world would never know of him. --Jack Stevenson via http://hjem.get2net.dk/jack_stevenson/cult.htm [Nov 2005]
- Addicted: The Myth & Menace of Drugs in Film (2000) - Jack Stevenson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
America’s War on Drugs has been raging for years, long before George Bush the Elder set off on his self-righteous crusade and long after his son, George W. Bush — a reputed coke snorter in his early days — took over the seat kept warm by his father. And while efforts to curb both narcotic usage and purchase have been met by only half-assed measures resulting in countless arrests of (mostly minority) petty dealers and knee-jerk Three Strikes legislation that spells certain doom for addicts who can’t kick — most notably as the bill’s author, Bill Simon, rides a different white horse to a recent victory in the California Republican primary — a deep consideration of the other Practice That Dare Not Speak Its Name as a social, financial, and physiological dependency is waylaid by more trenchant lip service leading to crackdowns on people that really don’t matter: the addicts themselves.
So thank the opium poppy that Jack Stevenson has cobbled together his fun-loving look at junkies and hypocrites that is Addicted. Far from being a dense, scholarly (read: impregnable) look at the way drug use and abuse on the silver screen (and elsewhere) has been connected to social practice and prejudice especially in its first breakneck tear through film history, "Highway to Hell: The Myth and Menace of Drugs in American Cinema" Addicted is more of a tongue-in-cheek romp, presenting most drug cinema in the era of production code as exploitation cinema at its finest. And while the book features other writers, Stevenson is its ringmaster and its star, his biting sense of humor peeking out from the parentheses at every turn. --SCOTT THILL in http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/36/addicted.html
From Renton's cold turkey hell in Trainspotting to the narcotic excesses of Duke and Gonzo in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, and way back to Thomas Edison's 1894 Opium Joint, editor Jack Stevenson presents an all-encompassing look at one of the most confrontational and experimental corners of film-making: Drug Cinema. An edited collection of highly charged essays, Addicted presents a general overview of the interchange between drugs and cinema before touching on: * Specific genres such as Blaxploitation, SF/Horror and the Underground * Key films including Performance, Scarface, Kids and Bringing Out the Dead * Foreign language films, presenting highlights from a body of work that remains largely overlooked. Visually loaded with dozens of eye-opening images, Addicted is an indispensable guide to an area of cinema which has traditionally enable film-makers to realise their most lurid, surrealistic, or complex visions. --amazon.co.uk
- Fleshpot: Cinema's Myth Makers & Taboo Breakers (2002) - Jack Stevenson (Editor) [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
With contributions from experts and cult film personalities worldwide—including Kenneth Anger and George Kuchar—Fleshpot -covers the sex education film, the secret history of American gay cinema, radical Japanese sci-fi porn, the British hardcore underground, and many other steamy subjects.
"Jack Stevenson is a brilliant filth scholar - he's obsessive, funny, and knows more about obscure, dirty movies than anyone alive" —John Waters
"What with porn's post-Boogie Nights cult status, most of us have forgotten the decidedly extreme activities on which the porn industry was founded in the late sixties. Between Eurotrash and the phenomenon of 'proper' journalists, you'd think that life in porn was a box of chocolates. So Jack Stevenson's new history of the genre, Fleshpot, is especially timely... It's not for the faint hearted - but better than a night in with Channel 5 'erotica', for sure." --Arena
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