Festival focuses on the fevered fantasies of 3 B-movie masters

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Festival focuses on the fevered fantasies of 3 B-movie masters


Detective John S. Bottomly (Henry Fonda), right, interrogates Albert DeSalvo (Tony Curtis), believed to be the Boston Strangler, in a still from Richard Fleischer’s 1968 B-movie “The Boston Strangler.” Provided by Korea Association of Cinematheques

The shadowy strangers, creepy creatures and not-so-silent screams that belong to the B-movie genre are not well-known among moviegoers in Korea, but some of Seoul’s most active cineasts hope to change that with a festival dedicated to three B-movie masters.

The festival organized by the Korea Association of Cinematheques, “Three faces of the Bs: Richard O Fleischer, Roger Corman and Terence Fischer,” will screen 19 films by the legendary directors and runs at the Seoul Art Cinema in Insa-dong, central Seoul, from April 9 to May 8.

The B-movie was born during Hollywood’s Golden Age in the ’30s and ’40s as the second, less expensive part of a double feature. It reached its height during the postwar period when driving was in and drive-ins became popular. Back then, B-movies veered toward the sensational with lots of dark and scary moments. Today, the B-movie is a low-budget film that is somewhere between art house and noir while still retaining its experimental edge.

“All three filmmakers managed to generate positive publicity for B-movies in the 1950s,” said Kim Sung-wook, the program director of the Seoul Art Cinema. “Each of them managed to create entertaining yet outlandish low-budget films.”

For B-movie beginners, Kim recommends “The Boston Strangler” and “House of Usher.”

“The Boston Strangler” (1968), directed by Richard Fleischer, is based on a true story about 13 women living in the same apartment who were suffocated to death by the serial killer Albert DeSalvo (Tony Curtis), who came to be known as the Boston Strangler. The police investigation, led by chief detective John S. Bottomly (Henry Fonda), raises the compelling question that decorated the film’s poster: Why did 13 women willingly open their doors to the Boston Strangler? The film, which takes the form of a suspenseful semi-documentary, follows the story from the scene of the crime to the apprehension and confession of DeSalvo. For his portrayal of DeSalvo, Curtis won a Golden Globe for best actor in a drama in 1969.

“House of Usher” (1960) was director Roger Corman’s first horror film based on an Edgar Allan Poe story. It features Philip Winthrop, who travels to the House of Usher to meet his fiancee, Madeline Usher. But when he arrives, he must confront Madeline’s corpse-like brother Roderick, who has buried Madeline alive.

Corman’s success with the movie led him to film other stories by Poe. His films are said to have inspired prominent contemporary filmmakers and actors like Francis Ford Coppola and Jack Nicholson.

*The festival is from April 9 to May 8 at the Seoul Art Cinema. Go to Jongno 3-ga Station, line No. 3, exit 5. Tickets are 6,000 won ($5.48) for adults, 5,000 won for students and 4,000 won for seniors. For more, call (02) 741-9782 or visit www.cinematheque.seoul.kr.

By Chang Hye-won Contributing writer [estyle@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [연합]
할리우드 저예산 B급영화 기획전

서울아트시네마서 한달간 'B영화의 위대한 거장 3인전'개최
할리우드 저예산 B급 영화의 거장들을 조명하는 기획전이 열린다.

한국시네마테크협의회는 다음 달 9일부터 5월8일까지 한 달간 'B영화의 위대한 거장 3인전'을 서울 종로구 낙원동 서울아트시네마에서 개최한다.

B급영화는 1930-40년대 관객 감소를 우려한 미국 스튜디오들이 한 번에 두 편의 작품을 볼 수 있는 동시상영을 기획하면서 나온 용어다.

유명한 감독과 배우들을 고용해 만든 A급 영화와 대조되는 영화로, 퇴물 스타나 신인 배우를 기용해 만든 저예산 영화를 의미한다.

이번에 소개되는 리처드 플레이셔, 로저 코먼, 테렌스 피셔 감독은 고전 할리우드의 B급 영화의 대표주자. 이들이 만든 19편의 영화를 볼 수 있는 흔치 않은 기회다.

서구사회의 도덕적 불안과 공포를 날카롭게 묘사한 것으로 정평이 높은 플레이셔 감독의 영화 가운데에는 '해저 2만리'(1950), '강박충동'(1959), '보스턴 교살자'(1968) 등 9편의 영화가 관객들과 만난다.

'B급영화의 제왕'이라는 별칭을 가진 로저 코먼 감독 작품 중에는 '어셔가의 몰락'(1960), '저승과 진자'(1961) 등 4편의 영화가, 테렌스 피셔 감독의 작품 가운데는 '프랑켄슈타인의 저주'(1957), '늑대인간의 저주'(1960) 등 6편이 상영된다.
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