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Vampires Exam III


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what is blaxploitation by definition?
1970s: combination of “black” and “exploitation” to signify how many films were made, featuring primarily black actors and soul and funk soundtracks, to target primarily African-American audiences
What was the publics take on movies that fell under the genre of blackploitation?
criticized by civil-rights leaders for their use of stereotypes but the films did address the great demand for afrocentric entertainment.
What were the topicalities of movies classified as blackploitation?
-pimps and pushers
-knockout whores
-corrupt cops
-colorful ghetto garb
-approving drug and sex scenes -cartoon like violence
-classic soulful scores
-touches of Black Nationalism
why has Prince Mamuwalde come to see Count Dracula in "Blacula?"
African slave trade
why does Prince Mamuwalde kill himself in the end?
his beloved has been staked
What distinguishes Dr. Gordon from Van Helsing?
-he is a medical man closely associated with the police
-he is very sexualized unlike Van Helsing
Who is the target of Blackploitation films? What role do these films play in society
-young, African-American audience
-have a commercial appeal but the task of getting a message out
-theme of social protest thrown in and Blacula is the charismatic figure around whom this protest coheres
How do we see blackploitation in films like "Blacula?"
-females sexed up (sex appeal)
-soundtrack (soul and funk)
-stereotype of Drac as animalistic
-social appeal
-genre of blackploitation
-intersting aesthetics
-image of Blacula as masculine
How is the lesbian vampire more than simple a negative stereotype according to Weiss?
-complex and ambigious figure
-image of death and desire
-focus for repressed fantasies
-operated in sexual rather than supernatural realm
Describe the typical more romantic lesbian vampire film
-gothic themes and imagery
-large, empty castles and dark, romantic landscape
-mysterious, artistocratic figure arrives early in the film
-small budget
How Carmilla as a lesbian vampire portrayed?
a sympathetic portrayal in which Carmilla acts out of compulsion and love rather than malice towards her female victims
How does the movie "The Vampire Lovers" differ from the book Carmilla it is based on?
-novel is a sub-basment lesbian classic
-movie is intended for male audience w/ muted expression of lesbianism, not sympathetic
-moive's reworked into a male pornographic fantasy
How does the "Vampires Lovers" influence films portraying lesbian vampires?
-establishes narrative formula for subsequent films
-define genre by fully exploiting the pornographic value of the relationship bwt the vampire and her victim
According the Weiss what does the appeal of lesbian vampire films rest upon?
-men’s insecurity in early 1970s
-women demanding sexual pleasure in sex and even leaving men for lesbianism made them feel that their dominant social position was being threatened
-male movie for a male’s audience: aesthetics of porno
-in the end, man's anxieties are quelled through the female vampire’s ultimate destruction.
Whys is the female vamp attractive?
-she symbolizes active sexual desire, something which men may fantasize about safely in the cinema even while being threatened with it at home.
Portrayal of lesbian vampire: coded as masculine or feminine?
-sexaully active but still coded as feminine
-feminine and aggressive making her fufill male fantasies but scare patriarchy
What stereotype does the lesbian vampire fill?
-fits stereotype of white, feminie heterosexual woman
-doubly disturbing b/c she appears normal by society’s standards for women and at same time is not
-feminity contributes to insecurity b/c she is not visually identifiably as either lesbian or vampire
How does the lesbian vampire break down boundaries?
-breaks down boundary between the male 'I' and the femal 'not-I'
-appears to be excessively 'feminine' but contradicts and confounds femininity through anxious attention focused on her mouth
How do we see the return of vagina dentate with the lesbian vampire
-the penetrating woman, the vagina with teeth
-focuse on the mouth which betrays the feminine appearance
-lesbian vampires have the ability to penetrate, do not need men
What is the narrative material formula with vampire films presented by Christopher Craft in Weiss' article?
“natural order:” vampire arrives, disturbs, then middle section of narrative is entertainment and sexual titillation, finally vampire is destroyed and natural order reaffirmed
How is the formula for lesbian vampire films different from Craft's vampire film formula?
-lesbian vampire and mortal man compete for possesion of a woman (bisexual triangle)
-man = good
-female vampire = evil
How does the lesbian vampire get her victims?
-seduces them rather than attacks them
-doesn't seek to destroy victimes (positive attribute) but rather make them accomplices
-seduction suggests complicity on part of victim, indicating relationship is mutually desirable to an extent
"The Hunger"
-lesbian vampire again
-aristicratic appeal
-HIV relation?
How is lesbian vampirism different in "The Hunger?"
-David Bowie = feminine
-not as pornographic (plot w/ acting)
What do we get from Miriam in the "The Hunger" about vampirism?
-extends back to ancient Egypt
-her vicitms promised immortality die
-vampirism has a fundamental blood flaw that results in a intriagating relationship
How is Miriam's character from "The Hunger" based on Elizabeth Bathory?
-aristrocractic youth who retains her beauty by feeding on others
How is the blood flaw in "The Hunger" played out in the movie
-HIV and concern over blood being a fatal problem
-Sarah’s metamorphosis (post-vamping) into a sweaty, pale junkie type character
How is the blood flaw in "The Hunger" linked with AIDS? What is the problem with this though?
-indiagnoisable blood diseas
-monkey tie
-BUT AIDS wasn't an epidemic yet in 1983 so maybe was syphillias instead
How does "The Hunger", like many vampire narratives, rely on notions of evolution?
-on the Darwinian principle of survival of the predator who is strongest/fittest
-on the continuity/analogy between humans and monkeys
-on the general concept of development and degeneration via life stages
How does Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire casts its protagonist Louis?
-"sensitive man", moral seeker of truth
-not keen on taking human life
What is the historical cataclysm that predates the novel Interview with the Vampire by two years and figures in its culture?
-French Revolution (1789-99)
what is the significance of the French Revolution to the novel Interview...?
-end of Feudalism in France
-creation of social and moral vacuum in France
-yielded to spiritual questioning
-church subjugated to state, dechristianization of France
in novel
-New Orleans is the daughter of France
what sets Interview with the Vampire apart from other vampire works?
-confessional tone from the vampire’s point of view, reflecting existentialism (1st person)
-focuses primarily on homoerotic desire (turn to men for answers)
-humanizes vampirism by casting it in terms of psychological and topical problems (philosophy)
What is existentialism?
-human life has a set of pre-existing underlying themes, such as anxiety, dread, freedom, fear of death, etc. and these experiences are primary, they cannot be reduced to or explained by some scientific explanation.
-humans are thrown into this condition, into this existence. -existence comes before essence, you encounter these themes and it forms your essence
What is existentialism opposed to?
-rationalism or positivism
-we're subjects in an indifferent world
-the natural world does not provide meaning, meaning can be created, however provisionally and unstably, by human being’s actions.
What is a vampire to Louis?
-higher plane of existence than humanity (look back and down on humanity)
-he becomes a vampire to overcome all that’s human, too human
-being a vampire allows Louis to see what is most precious in human life (how human life is sacred and should be guarded)
At what point does Loius start searching for the exceptional being (go on a spiritual search)?
-when his brother dies
From who does Louis crave contact? Why does Louis crave contact?
-craves contact from Babette
-craves someone to show him what to do and show him meaning
Describe the fallen angel theme in Interview with the Vampire. Relate this to vampires.
-angels are capable of both good and evil
—vampires are capable of hatred and love leaving them detached, isolated
-this calls to mind the cycle of n.p.disorder = they crave close contact
Why can Louis not have Babette?
-to possess her is impossible because to touch her means to bring death to her
-vampire’s quandary the same
What does Louis want to understand about death and contact?
-wants to understand the nature of his contact
-understand death in stages, thus why he starts with animals -wants to merge with death and with his victim.
How are Louis and Lestat different from each other?
Lestat: kills, takes pleasure from torture, sadistic
Louis: craves contact, empathetic w/ victims, finds death a mystery and enjoys the mystery of it
What is vampirism for Lestat?
-for him the vampire nature is to kill
-they can have a hand in the divine plan and strike like the hand of God
-this is the greatest experience for him (pride of the demon)
Contrast Louis take on being a vampire from Lestat's?
-wants to merge with and have empathy for his victims
-the vampire nature is a mystery for him, it is ignorance, the gap in knowledge that rents the world asunder, and is a great torment to him.
What give Louis release from the torment he experiences as a vampire?
-know, one way or the other, to whom he belongs, even if that means to Satan.
-interrupt this in-between heaven & hell condition he's in
-the unattainable is rest eternal, it is eternity that man has lost and that is beyond the reach of vampires as well
What gender metamorphosis avaiable to the 1970's culture did Rice model the vampire's transformation on?
-the story of successful dieting
-novel contains all the signal features of the diet narrative: characters preoccupied with hunger, food, and manipulation of their bodies
Who does Rice dissociate from her novel? How is this done?
-community of vampires is populated by men and children only
-community is purged of all signs of women's sexuality
-aviodance of even human women characters in novel
What does Rice make the vampire's body represent?
-represent a type of polymorphousness and androgyny founded on the disappearance of the markers of sexual and reproductive difference
Why are women avoided in Rice's novel?
-they pose a problem to Rice's gender-free ideal with their sexuality
-this is seen when the constantly feminized Louis has to vamp Madeleine meaning he must enjoy her sexually which he admits he desire he w/ a man's pride
-Rice gets rid of women to avoid these problems
How does Rice's lack of women characters replicate one of the central fantasies of dieting?
-projection of an androgynous body
-dieting extremist (anorexia nervosa) want the body Rice imagines that is purged of the signs of being a women
-also related to another desire of complusive slimmers to not just revise the body but disown it (body vanishes or disappears)
What is the dieting narrative of the 1970's the is reiterated in the Virginia slim ads, "Lady Oracle," and "Scruples?"
heroine begins story as an overweight, unhappy individual and through rigorous dieting sheds her unwanted flesh and discovers both personal empowerment and an abrupt proliferation of social options
What does Interview accentuate about the dieting idea of the womanly body?
-symbolic focus of hunger
-less you eat and the more thin and immaterial you become, the hungrier you get and the more you long for the state of feminine fullness and bodily plentitude that eating represents
How is the feminine body reascribed in other areas of Interview?
-praise to motherhood that accompanies Louis's rebirth
-hears the night as chorus of women beckoning him to their breasts
-discovers since infancy the special pleasure of sucking nourishement
-scene were women literally form the meals on which the vampires feast
-identify femininity as an object of hunger and a thing that fufils
Describe the scene in the Vampires Theatre where the girl is on stage. How is this relevant to Tomc's article about consumption?
-girls' an unreachable, distant object of a hunger that Louis is unable to satisfy
-her attraction is proportional to her unavaibility which crescendos the moment the girl disappears as a physical entity
-in the next scene the androgyne order is reestablished
How is Louis's refusal to eat framed as a metaphysical and moral issue
-feeding means killing and Louis associated killing w/ damnations so..
-wants to keep his soul and body morally pure
-refusal of food also resembles vigil to keep from gainin weight (diet of small animals is similiar to diet of celery)
-when he does indulge craving he describe is as a sin, gorging
What is the fate of Rice's androgynes at the end of the novel?
-all are engage in acts of self-destruction
How is Claudia related to the absence of feminity?
-her body lack feminity
-spend novel searching for mother she lost and mature body she's been barred
-as soon as she gets mother she dies and nothing is left of her (body vanishes)
How do the men engage in self-destruction by the end of the novel?
-Lestat: gorging Lestat deprives himself of food and starves on alleycats
-Armand: vanishes like the old vampires who leave nothing of their bodies when they die
-Louis: succumbs to cravings for humans and the more he eats the emptier he feels til he thinks of himself as nothing
How are Rice's later novels different from Interview?
-vampires of new feature that when they become anciet enough they no longer need nourishment to survive
-abandons hunger as central component of vampires life
What does Rice's manipulation of appetite show about dieting and 1970's culture?
-path of vampire from tortured anorexic to guiltless consumer
-relationship between dieting and women's liberation
-as women entered work force they needed a body that signified productivity in workplace rather than reproductivity and nurturance
What does Claudia's famine to womanly plentitude results in?
-tragic over-development of inner self
-diminative shape filled her w/ rage, pain, and suffering which are the elements that constitute Louis's claim to humanity
-ironically he finds her devoid of humanity
How is the theme of individuation incorported into "Dieting and Damnation?"
-individuation is central to anorexia
-individuation was part of 1970's dieting advice which insists on the power, independence, and self-esteem available to those who discipline their bodies
Compare the ideas of 1960 and 1970 about women's bodies
1960's: thinnes associated with littl-girlishness and "daddy's girl", fashion was baby-doll dresses and mary-janes
1970's: thinnes associated with ambition, strength, and self-control, idea of "make it own your own", fashion was pin-striped suits and heel loafers
How is vampirims represented in "The Hunger?"
-glamour, trendiness, eroticism, and appeal to 80's youth
-done throuhg casting, music, set design, and medical element (Sarah's research on sleep and human longevity)
How is Mariam connect with AIDS in "The Hunger?"
beautiful, sexy invisibly infected individual who dresses in leather and goes to night clubs to infect victims of both sexes
Where is the connection between vampirism and an undiagnosiable blood disease made in "The Hunger?"
-when Sarah tests her blood after being infected and finds out that her blood is clinically tainted
-something foreign is in her veins waging war and transforming her own celld rapidly
What is the resemblence to AIDS in "The Hunger?"
-New York nightclubs and leather bars, anonymous sex w/ invisibly infected partners, transmitted and undiagnosable blood diseases, connection to lethal viruses afflicting the monkeys, and same sex-sexuality
How would the "Lost Boys" be described?
-militantly heterosexual and pro-family
-boys-coming-of-age films (emergent manhood)
-no mention of AIDS crisis
What figures are evoked in "The Lost Boys?"
-boy-rebels James Dean and Jim Morrison
-motorcycles chicken games and black leather
How does the American Family ideological construct fit into "The Lost Boys?"
-good family of Grandpa, Lucy, and Sam is offset by vampires of Max, David, etc.
-vampires are dysfunctional family
-moral tale of happy family
How are vampires portrayed in "The Lost Boys?" How is this different from previous portrayals?
-vampires are dysfunctional families who collectivelt constitute threat (un-American "anti-family")
-previously envisioned as sophisticated, sexy, lone predators, individualistics who deem people disposable
How is sex downplayed in "The Lost Boys?"
-vamps are zapped of seductive image
-Mike's lurred by sweet girls Star is not yet a complete vamp
-Star is primarily maternal, preoccupied w/ Laddie
Is vampirism a choice in "The Lost Boys?"
-personal choice that is reversible
-like AIDS vampirism is a lifestyle choice where vamp is curable and if not deserving of death
-Michael only needs head vamp Max to be killed so he's freed of transitory vampirism
-envision a middle zone of not quite vampire in which can resist feeding
Where is disturbing heterosexual relations seen in "The Lost Boys?"
-in the demonic families that smack of incest
-demonic sibilings desire Michael sexually
-this is why Mike rejects vamp family for his healty one
What componets of vampire mythology is missing from "The Lost Boys?"
-homoeroticism, predatory individualism
-permanent mortal danger
-allure of immortality and eternal youth
-dangerous attractiveness of the vampire
What do vampire families offer in "The Lost Boys" and "Near Dark?"
-migrant homelessness
-relentless "fun time" that seems almost boringly repetitive
-empty enactment of rebellion from a non-existent authority
What does Marx's imply capital's uncontrollable lust for accumulation?
-it will be it's undoing
-the vampiric hunger of capital will culminate in a paroxysm of self-consuming destruction
Describe th vampiric relationship between capital and laboror
-it involves a libidinal investment, an erotic complicity
-capitalist-vampire makes willing accomplices of its laborer-victim by soliciting their desire with seducive promises (perpetual youth)
How have we come to live a space consumed by the imager of commerce?
-shopping centers and urban malls built everywhere
-feelings are mass produced and distributed in the shops, theatres, and food centres of shopping malls
How is consumerism enfeebling and empowering?
-enfeeblement because the vampiric regime has usurped the autonomy of individual experience (zombie-like consumption)
-empowerment because consumption becomes the sole driving motivation; consumer controls market (army of consuming mall rats)
What added pleasure of 'reading agaisnt the grain' add according to Latham?
-pleasure of resistance
-saying 'no' to the structures of power which ask us to consume them uncritically and in highly circumscribed ways
How has consumerism provided empowerment specifically to females?
-able to enter a typically male space
-have an active female gaze
-but still economically dependent on men
What is proletarian shopping? Who are they? What are they doing? What are they not doing?
-consumption of images and space instead of commodities
-oppositional cultural practice
-not buying, not part of consumerism
-mall rats that are a speed bump to consumerism
-loiter, don't respect, and drive away other customers
Where is the vampire located in "The Lost Boys?"
-within adolescents subculture
-this identifies youth as a dominant sphere of consumption
What roles does the baby boom play in consumerism and consumption?
-an expansion of consumption
-baby boomers became the first generation of children isolated by bussiness as an identifiable market
-juvenile market
How is the idea of "kid bussiness" linked with vampirism?
-kid bussiness vampirizes youthful leisure
-create a person who's not a kid anymore but not really an adolescent or adult
-almost create a supernaturally transfigured being that devours everything in its path
How are teenagers "educated in consumption" according to Kowinski?
-through the rise of a distinctive mall culture
-mall festivites such as multiplexes and parents using the mall as a babysitting service have contributed to this culture
What is the result of educating teenagers in consumption?
-premature sophitication of youth and the juvenilization of society
-"adult-like child, and child-like adult"
-contemporary consumer, like a vampire, is trapped in a stasis of perpetual youth
What is the rallying point of mall youth culture? What fears does this give rise to? What has is grown to become?
-video arcade
-potential sites for drug deals
-visceral absorption in games is a kind of addiction, vampiric hunger
-major contermporary medium of socialization through consumption that doesn't have to be give up with adolescence
What types of analysis does the essay "Consuming Youth" remark upon?
-an empirical youth culture of consumption
-a libidinal impulse to consume youth through images and commodities
-a general cultural obsession
What can the modern vampire be according to "Consuming Youth" by Latham?
-a youthful consumer, a consumer of youth, or a figure consumed by a mythology of youth
-any one or all three
How is "The Hunger" a work of consumer vampirism?
-has stars Bowie and Catherine Deneuve who are stars famous for marketing consumer objects to youth, maintaining a perpetual youthful appearance, and evoking dream of eternal youth in their persons and product messages
How do "The Hunger" and "The Lost Boys" compare as works of consumer vampirism?
The Hunger: analysis at the level of form
Lost Boys: analysis at the level of story, forgrounds contemporary youth culture
What does Max from the "The Lost Boys" represent?
-beyond threat as usurper the incarnate power of consumer culture itself with his video story vending mass fantasy to all of Santa Carla
-stands in for MTV and its consumer youth culture which is proven by the appearance and lifestyle of his vampire family (music video style cave with Jim Morrison poster)
"The Lost Boys"
-style, glamour dominant to vamp
-horror plus comedy (vamps look like bats when sleeping, eating scene on beach)
-rebellious, bad kids
-the monster is consumer youth culture
How are teens empowered as consumers? How is this seen in "The Lost Boys?"
-they have a domain of desire and decision
-central site of assertion of empowered independence is boardwalk
-adults look more lost on boardwalk than any of the boys or girls
How is consumerism seen in "The Lost Boys?" Who is being consumed?
-literal consumption of people as food
-authority is consumed (adults, ie the security guard)
Who is the biggest consuming market?
-youth: they consume everything
What is consumption? Who creates it?
-about desire and satisfaction of it
-created by capitalist companies who promote producst and we buy them

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