Gothic Minimalism: An Oxymoron?

A Gothic church converted into a modern home with minimalist furnishings

“Minimalism” has been a huge buzzword as of late, and is poised to become one of the biggest trends of 2015. I have to admit, I find myself increasingly attracted to the idea of minimalism; not because Continue reading

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Gothic Films in the Criterion Collection

The Criterion Collection was founded to distribute “important classic and contemporary films.” So which Gothic films has the prestigious distributer deemed “important”? Let’s take a look at some of the Gothically-leaning films in the Collection (and also admire the awesome DVD cover art that’s created for each film). You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that there are actually quite a few of these films– so many that I only have room to feature films from the first halve of the 20th Century (next half will come later). Enjoy!

The Phantom Carriage, 1921. Dir. Victor Sjöström (Sweden).

CCPhantom Carriage

The last person to die on New Year’s Eve before the clock strikes twelve is doomed to take the reins of Death’s chariot and work tirelessly collecting fresh souls for the next year. Continue reading

A Roundup of Gothic Film Festivals in 2015

Every year there are more genre film festivals starting up and, it seems, even more shutting down. There is no permanent list of horror and gothic-themed film festivals due to this turnover rate, so I’ve compiled this list of festivals with definite event dates for 2015. Whether you’re planning to submit a film or attend the festival as a spectator, I hope this helps you navigate some of the gothic and horror film festivals this year!

Screen shot 2015-01-27 at 10.44.02 AM Continue reading

Witches and wicked bodies

Witches Engraving

Agostino Veneziano, The Witches’ Rout (The Carcass). Engraving, c. 1520.

As much as it pains me to write about all of these amazing gothically-tinged exhibits opening in the UK, I have to share this one. From the British Museum’s event page:

“This exhibition will examine the portrayal of witches and witchcraft in art from the Renaissance to the end of the 19th century… Efforts to understand and interpret seemingly malevolent deeds – as well apportion blame for them and elicit confessions through hideous acts of torture – have had a place in society since classical antiquity and Biblical times. … The majority of those accused and punished for witchcraft, especially since the Reformation, have been women. They are shown as monstrous hags with devil-worshipping followers. They represent an inversion of a well-ordered society and the natural world.

Ooooh. Find out more about the exhibit, which runs until January 11, here.

Women in the Gothic Tradition: Two New Exhibits Highlight Women’s roles

Mourning group

Earlier this week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute opened their first fall exhibition in seven years. The theme that would warrant such a rare event? Mourning Attire. The exhibit, “Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire”,  displays about 30 ensembles dating from 1815 – 1915. It is a reminder of just how much the contemporary Gothic aesthetic owes to Victorian mourning attire and the women who wore it. Continue reading

A Gothic Time Capsule

Screen shot 2014-10-09 at 12.22.40 PM

My goodness. The British Library is truly a treasure trove for lovers of the Gothic. I’ve already written about their new exhibition (Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination) running from October 3 to January 20. But their treasures are not limited to those who can visit the library in person. The website of the British Library contains scans of early–if not original–editions of Gothic novels, including a 1765 edition of The Castle of Otranto, an 1831 edition of Frankenstein (with a preface written by Mary Shelley on the infamous origins of the novel), and an 1891 edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Here is a glimpse at some of the beautiful scans the website has to offer:

Screen shot 2014-10-09 at 11.47.23 AM Continue reading

Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination

‘Terror and Wonder’ by Dave McKean, 2014

‘Terror and Wonder’ by Dave McKean, 2014

It seems there has been a resurgence of interest in the Gothic Tradition as of late– and the UK is leading the way. The British Film Institute focused on Gothic film last year (as I wrote about here), and starting today, The British Library opens a massive exhibit on the Gothic Tradition: “Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination“.

Continue reading