The West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s movie series will continue on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2005with two showings at 1 and 4 p.m. at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The film series is free and open to the public.
The first film, Signs, Cures & Witchery, (2001, 57 minutes) is a documentary film which examines specific aspects of Appalachian oral tradition and folklore that have been drawn from the German culture. These traditions merged in the New World with Anglo/Celtic influences. Signs, Cures & Witchery opens a window into our past, revealing the courage, resourcefulness and humor of people whose survival depended on their ability to read signs, cure their own ills, and find explanations for life’s mysteries. The film, produced by the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis and Elkins College, is an invaluable aid to all who have an interest in religion, psychology, folklore, metaphysical, regional, gender and ethnic studies.
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935, 75 minutes) is James Whale’s wild gothic concoction, which is generally acknowledged as the best film in the Frankenstein series. This macabre, satirical film is considered one of the greatest horror films of all time–a spectacular, bizarre, high-camp, excessive and surrealistic film. It reunited Colin Clive (Dr. Frankenstein) and Boris Karloff (the monster) and introduces Elsa Lanchester as the monster’s bride, whose lightning-bolt hair and reptilian movements put her into the horror-movie pantheon, despite being on screen for only a few minutes. In Bride, we finally get to see the humanity of the monster. Seeking friendship, he is met only with fear and screams until, drawn by the sound of violin music, he comes across the home of a blind hermit who befriends him and teaches him to speak. The laboratory scene in which Dr. Frankenstein creates a mate for the monster is one of the most spectacular climaxes in the cinematic history of the horror genre.
The film series will continue next month on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 1 and 4 p.m. with the Native American documentary, Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, which tells the story of the Mohawk Nation’s confrontation with the Canadian Government at the Mercier Bridge. For more information about the free film series or other events at the Cultural Center, call (304) 558-0162.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.