Wilmer: Keep on riding me and they’re gonna be picking iron out of your liver.
Spade: [laughs] The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
It is fun to a be a fan and enjoy a collective of people who like the same thing. Mostly there are big one’s like sports teams or of a television show like American Idol.
But then there are the fringe guys. For the longest time, the fringe guys kind of stayed hidden and didn’t publicly embrace their love for some of the odd things in pop culture. This is why we give something a “cult” status; because many hid their hearts.
Today it is more overtly celebrated. No one looks down on you if you are an avid Enya fan or play Dungeons and Dragons. It is much more accepted. Some cultist things are lovers of Film Noir or comic books or a narrow niche in history like Country Swing.
And then the oddest of all are Cult Classics. A pretty strange title.
My adventuresome sister and I attended a showing of The Big Lebowski this past weekend. I knew of the film and it was her first exposure. Nice big audience! What is fun about being surrounded by these solid fans is that they already love the movie and anticipate moments in the film.
Way back in the early 1980s, I attended the midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It showed every Friday night at midnight and, I think, we all know of the odd things that the audience expressed during the film.
The Big Lebowski and the Rocky Horror Picture Show are established main-stream cult classics. This sort of suggests that it is conflicted with it’s cult status, right? Same with movies like Young Frankenstein or the Monty Python stuff that draws a very wide crowd but is comfy with it’s cult classic status. There somehow is no conflict.
Our event was hosted by Turner Classic Movies. It was very well attended and we had a very good time. Next week is South Pacific which as never been labeled as a cult anything. I think that there will be a very different and much smaller crowd.
If you get the chance, attend one of these events. The fun of the movie is amplified by the crowd!