John Carpenter and the Beauty of Horror at CU Boulder
One of my favorite aspects of CU Boulder is IFS; the International Film Series which takes place each year with a fresh round of movies to be viewed on a professionally sized screening theatre. There is indeed something to be said for watching movies on ‘the big-screen’ as opposed to viewing them privately on individually sized devices such as a phone or computer. The collective experience of seeing a film can prove far more important than one would ever imagine. As a personal example, I imagine that, throughout my lifetime, I have viewed the film ‘Psycho’ by Alfred Hitchcock well over twenty times. However, I just recently viewed the film among an audience of my peers in a movie theatre setting at CU Boulder. I could hardly believe how fresh the film was, I could hardly believe how many details I noticed while watching it in that setting. Viewing horror among others appears to create a shared experience that cannot quite be achieved while watching it on a Mac on one’s own. Horror is a unique genre, especially in film. Despite the reputation that horror has garnered, if given the respect that it deserves, horror can prove to be one of the most artistic and creative film styles.
Horror as a genre has had an unfortunate history of disrespect from the elitist film critic who does not acknowledge the validity of horror as an art form; this is the reality of popular films and the scorn that they face from supposed film judges. Even ‘Psycho,’ which is now considered to be one of the more significant films made to date, was demolished by many critics at the time of its release. While film theory and film criticism should not be disregarded completely, they should be taken with a hefty grain of salt. One of the ways a person can view horror as it was meant to be viewed and with the admiration that it deserves if through IFS. As organized by associate professor Sabrina Negri, a personal teacher of mine, IFS is currently screening a program focusing on John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing.’ This film will also feature an introduction from Professor Negri herself. This screening will be a special one, as it offers a different perspective to horror and John Carpenter’s work than might be expected in a university setting. The fact is, it may take some time for a person to train themselves out of the boxed-in perception of popular films and the horror genre as a whole that has been hammered into them. Carpenter’s work is often not regarded as the canonically important work that it should be within film theory and criticism, and IFS seeks to remedy this.
As a student, it is vitally important to understand that some forms of art will not always be taken seriously in the college learning experience. That is why this type of program at CU Boulder is so essential to appreciate. The screening of Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ will be shown on February 20th at 7:30 in Muenzinger Auditorium. Regarding pricing, it is vastly important to remember that CU Boulder students get into IFS screenings for free. If not a CU Boulder student, a person can always get into an IFS screening without paying on a person’s birthday. The pricing beyond this stands as; $8 for general admission, $7 with a UCB student ID, and $7 for senior citizens. If one brings a bicycle helmet in with them when they are paying, they will get a dollar off of the ticket price. If one believes that they are interested in any of the other screenings offered at IFS, then they may purchase a $50 punch card which can be redeemed for attending ten films. It is important to remember that, by attending John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ at IFS, there will be an introduction by Professor Negri which will be genuinely educational and highly fascinating. I hope that I have convinced at least a few of you readers out there to attend this screening at IFS. This type of program is what makes CU Boulder special. So, please, support it. Attending this screening may give one a new perspective on popular horror and the beauty of this underappreciated art form.