|Bruegel’s The Way to Calvary|
When we hear the term “cult film,” the first thing that comes to mind is something along the lines of an old John Waters film, Plan 9 From Outer Space, or perhaps the quintessential cult film Rocky Horror Picture Show. So when we hear that Martha Marcy May Marlene is a “cult film,” the first question we may ask is, “Do I have to stay up until midnight to see it?” and/or “What did I do with those old fishnet stockings?”
What makes people join cults and, perhaps more importantly, why do they (usually) stay, often to live in ways that are at odds with conventional morality—or even legality? Why do cult members give themselves over so willingly to their leaders (if Jim Jones comes to mind, well, he should)? I have never been a member of a cult, so it is only through movies such as Martha Marcy May Marlenethat I can get some idea. But as unusual (or horrific) the cult’s actions may seem to us as outsiders, think about how our normal activities may seem to someone who has been so conditioned by a cult. What is “normal” anyway?
Welcome to the new official blog of the Saratoga Film Forum, the community organization dedicated to bringing a wide variety of quality films to downtown Saratoga Springs, New York. The Film Forum screens the best alternative, indie, arthouse, foreign, animated, documentary, and classic films Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 pm, and Sundays at 3:00 pm at the Saratoga County Arts Center at 320 Broadway, with additional “classic” films screenings at the Spring Street Gallery, 110 Spring Street. We also schedule special events throughout the year. To stay up-to-date on the latest happenings at the Film Forum, sign up for our mailing list here, and/or find us on Facebook.
One of the hallmarks of the “offline” Saratoga Film Forum is its sense of being just what its name says, a “forum” where film aficionados can gather and not just watch movies but discuss and debate them, as well. Thus, the purpose of this blog is to offer something a bit different than the usual review or promotional blurb. Here, we will be commenting on the movies we are currently showing, going behind the scenes, looking at some of the larger, overarching themes, placing a film in the broader context of film history, and so on. We encourage movie lovers to comment on any post and share their views—but please be civil.
Thanks for reading—and we’ll see you at The Film Forum.