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Profs and Pints presents: “Encountering European Horror,” a look at the European film movements, directors, and studios that produced creepy, campy, and must-watch horror movies, with Kylos Brannon, who teaches a course on masters of European Cinema as an assistant professor of communications at American University.
[Church Hall, where this event is being staged, follows all C.D.C. and Washington D.C. guidelines regarding public health, and D.C. currently requires anyone indoors at a restaurant or bar to wear a mask except while eating or drinking. The venue reserves the right to modify all rules to align with current and future regulations and best practices to maintain a safe and fun environment. In addition to bar service, it provides contactless ordering and hand sanitizer at all tables.]
Horror-film buffs: Prepare to savor some imported treats as part of your Halloween haul.
Come take in snippets of European horror classics that influenced filmmaking around the world and gain a deep understanding auteurs and movements that brought them to life. Your guide on this cinematic tour is Professor Kylos Brannon, who regularly teaches about European horror as a Halloween-season treat for his film students. And there won’t be a bad seat in this venue, Georgetown’s Church Hall, where big screens line the room.
We’ll start by looking at the profound long-term influence of the German Expressionism of the Weimar Period, in which directors such as Fritz Lang and F.W. Murnau bold new techniques to disorient us and let us see through the eyes of madmen and vampires in films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu. You’ll learn how the innovations of that time would be reflected in the works of Tim Burton and Giuermo Del Toro and can be seen in some of the favorite movie character of our own era.
We’ll then look at the huge impact of England’s Hammer film studio, which from the mid-1950s through mid-1970s cranked out low-budget movies about classic monsters. Its recipe for producing cult classics involved gaining easy access to grand manors and castles and benefitting from a labor pool of classically trained American actors, such as Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, who could be hired cheap.
From there, we’ll look at Italian horror films, focusing heavily on the genre known as giallo, which combined suspense, intense violence, and eroticism and paved the way for later slasher films.
Finally, Professor Brannon will discuss an assortment of other pivotal European horror films worth a place on our must-watch list, including the Italian film Suspiria. involving murder and a supernatural conspiracy at a dance academy, the bone-chilling Spanish gothic horror film The Orphanage, and the Swedish film Let the Right One In, which graphically shows what happens to school bullies who pick on someone who has a vampire on their side.
Fans of horror films will end up able to turn their Netflix queue into a grab bag of imported goodies to savor this Halloween and in months and years to come. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, or $13 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)