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What was the last legit timeless cult classic?


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2 hours ago, Chosty said:

I know the definition of 'cult classic' has evolved over time, but that's one evolution too far in my book. My general rule of thumb is: would Alex Cox show this as part of Moviedrome*? Yes = cult classic. No = not a cult classic.

 

 

*RIP

 

 

 

Dammit, I miss Moviedrome!! I wish BBC2 would ask him to present a new season. Last I heard he was teaching in the US. :(

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From a cursory skim read, I think people might want to agree what the definition of a cult classic is in the first place before offering up films which might make the cut. Cult implies a non-mainstream success so probably needs to be a box office failure to qualify, classic implies it's actually worth devotion over a long span of time.

 

The cult part is easy enough to find, the classic requirement is much more divisive.

 

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1 hour ago, sandman said:

 

I don't think (personally) that any movie that has mega box office can be considered "cult". That's why a lot of the suggestions here strike me as a bit daft. ESOTSM is a good call as are  A field in England (a bit too early to tell though) , Four Lions and Wolf Creek. Anything that wins awards doesn't count either IMHO

 

Four Lions won awards but of course a film can win awards and still achieve cult status. Whilst defining a cult film is, to some extent, a bit of a tricky exercise to rule out a movie for receiving acclaim is pretty nonsensical. You'd only be left with the 'so bad it must be good' category of cult movies and that would be no fun.

 

I didn't say mega box office I said big grossing as, almost by definition, a big box office film will not typically be a cult film. For me,  a cult movie is typically one that does not do too well at the box office (although maybe as well as it's producers and distributors may have expected) but which accumulates fans as the years go on by word of mouth, home release(s), festival screenings, retrospectives, etc. They can often go on to be achieve commercial success without blowing up the box office on release. And there is nothing wrong with that. 

 

 

 

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Cult Films are those which have a loyal and dedicated fanbase outside of the mainstream. Dedicated and loyal can be defined as being able to recite the dialogue, go to conventions and midnight screenings, get tattoos etc.  

 

They can still be big budget Hollywood blockbusters and attain cult status. Predator is a cult film. 

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13 minutes ago, kerraig UK said:

Cult Films are those which have a loyal and dedicated fanbase outside of the mainstream. Dedicated and loyal can be defined as being able to recite the dialogue, go to conventions and midnight screenings, get tattoos etc.  

 

They can still be big budget Hollywood blockbusters and attain cult status. Predator is a cult film. 

 

Yeah, and you could even include Star Wars using that definition as the most devoted SW fans are surely cultish in their dedication. 

 

I guess cult encompasses  a broad spectrum that, for example, may range from smallish direct to video hippy commune type affairs such as The Manson Family and David Berg's Children of God all the way up to box office smashes such as Christianity. It's not necessarily the number of followers it is, as you say, their devotion..

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I don't really rate the chances of movies that seem to "go cult" right after their release. Drive is a great movie, iconic, and with the sort of vernacular that teenagers should by rights be discovering and emulating but it's so far in the cultural foreground that it probably has its own Simpsons couch gag. Donnie Darko went through that cycle already, going from cinema oddity to home movie star to nonentity in about the time it took the studio to wake up to its popularity and put out an explanatory Director's Cut. If either of those is to be a cult movie it'll have to be rediscovered further down the line. 

 

(I would've put money on Primer becoming a cult movie a few years ago but nobody seems to give a crap about it any more either.)

 

Then there are a lot of films that co-opt the cult movie look but are too much of a cultural reference point to go cult, like Kill Bill which was marketed absolutely to death. Or most of Tarantino's output for that matter.

 

And there's plenty of genre and exploitation films that could be culty but don't have enough texture to stick around, like Eden Lake. Nobody's going to be reappraising that as a classic, even if it does speak to the social anxieties of the time it was made.

 

I think it's also useful to differentiate cult films in the sense of niche films that pick up a strong and evangelistic fanbase, and cult films in the sense of outrageous movies that people turn into quasi-ironic performance art like Rocky Horror or The Room.

 

Going by the films that I constantly name drop to people, and which have the kind of discreteness and strong visual sense that all cult movies seem to need, I think the following are likely to blossom into cult pictures:

 

Buried is probably the best thing Ryan Reynolds will ever appear in

Ex Machina is the perfect robot movie for our times

Under the Skin rewards the audience the more they lean into it.

 

Time will be kind to each of those.

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49 minutes ago, Mike S said:

 

Yeah, and you could even include Star Wars using that definition as the most devoted SW fans are surely cultish in their dedication. 

 

I guess cult encompasses  a broad spectrum that, for example, may range from smallish direct to video hippy commune type affairs such as The Manson Family and David Berg's Children of God all the way up to box office smashes such as Christianity. It's not necessarily the number of followers it is, as you say, their devotion..

 

If you have that number of followers, I don't think you can qualify as a cult by definition. Christianity started off as a cult, nobody sane is going to claim it is one today so if Star Wars is a cult classic, all bets are off, just open the doors to every film ever made. Unless I've misread your reply...


 

Quote

 

10.of, for, or attracting a small group of devotees:

a cult movie.

 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, mushashi said:

 

If you have that number of followers, I don't think you can qualify as a cult by definition. Christianity started off as a cult, nobody sane is going to claim it is one today so if Star Wars is a cult classic, all bets are off, just open the doors to every film ever made. Unless I've misread your reply...


 

 

 

 

 

 

I was just stretching a metaphor for my own amusement really.  

 

That said,  within a large film fan base/theological alignment I would suggest that smaller  hardcore sub-sects/cults can,  and do,  exist. Maybe the ultra dedicated Star Wars fan's relation to the broader  Star Wars audience  is better compared to the follower of ISIL's brand of fanatical devotion relative to that of Islam?  :)

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Chosty said:

Belleville Rendezvous is a good one.

 

A few suggestions I don't think have been made yet:

Wolf Creek

Dead Man's Shoes

A Field in England

Napoleon Dynamite

Universal Soldier: Regeneration

 

And of course:

 

oh-hi-mark-o.gif

 

Pos'd for Napoleon Dynamite. That was gonna be my shout. Surprised nobody suggested it sooner.

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The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears

Banshee Chapter

Berberian Sound Studio

Pontypool

Would You Rather?

Housebound

Arcane Sorcerer

The Sacrement

Wet Hot American Summer

Fantastic Mr. Fox

The Innkeepers

Lake Mungo

Pan's Labyrinth

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With regards to the thread title/question, who is it that defines a cult classic? The 00's were suffocated with endless shows fawning over previous decades or bestest comedies or best films in whatever category, with the order defined squarely by what would look good in an particular order edited a certain way, but now it's 2016 and everyone stopped buying magazines or watching telly, with Film4 showing RED for the third time in a week at a primetime slot.

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The Life Aquatic comes to mind, but I don't know if it qualifies. It seems rather underappreciated to me, despite (or maybe because of, and suffering by comparison) it being a Wes Anderson film. Doesn't seem to have the highest critical rating and I don't think it was a massive success at the box office, yet I think it has a dedicated little following out there.

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