A cult following is a group of fans who are highly dedicated to a specific area of pop culture. A film, book, band, or video game, among other things, will be said to have a cult following when it has a small but very passionate fan base. A common component of cult followings is the emotional attachment fans have with the object of the cult following, often identifying themselves and other fans as members of a community.
Cult followings are also commonly associated with niche markets. Cult media are often associated with underground culture, and are considered too eccentric, bizarre, controversial or anti-establishment to be appreciated by the general public.read more »
‘Phantom of the Paradise‘ is a 1974 American musical film written and directed by Brian De Palma. The story is a loosely adapted mixture of ‘The Phantom of the Opera,’ ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray,’ and ‘Faust.’
It was panned by critics and failed at the box office, but has since acquired a cult following. Its music was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.
David Lynch (b. 1946) is an American filmmaker known for his surrealist films. He has developed his own unique cinematic style, which has been dubbed ‘Lynchian,’ characterized by dream imagery and meticulous sound design. The surreal, and in many cases, violent, elements contained within his films have been known to ‘disturb, offend or mystify’ audiences.
His work often exposes dark undercurrents in seemingly mundane people and places: ‘My childhood was elegant homes, tree-lined streets, the milkman, building backyard forts, droning airplanes, blue skies, picket fences, green grass, cherry trees. Middle America as it’s supposed to be. But on the cherry tree there’s this pitch oozing out – some black, some yellow, and millions of red ants crawling all over it. I discovered that if one looks a little closer at this beautiful world, there are always red ants underneath. Because I grew up in a perfect world, other things were a contrast.’
Brandon Bird (b. 1980) is an artist. He attended University of California, Santa Cruz and was an artist-in-residence from 2004-2006 at Risley Residential College at Cornell University. His most common medium is oil paints on canvas, but works in a number of genres, including pen and ink and digital mediums. He has a significant cult following for his tendency to paint figures from history and popular culture such as Christopher Walken, Chuck Norris, and Abraham Lincoln, in absurd situations. He is a regular contributor to ‘The Believer’ (an American literary magazine that also covers other arts and general culture). He has also done work for ‘Las Vegas Weekly’ and rock band, The Aquabats.
He has also organized four ‘weird art shows’: ‘Law & Order: These Are Their Stories’ consisted solely of paintings inspired by ‘Law & Order’ and featured art by Bird and contemporaries such as Michael Kupperman, Jason Polan, and Kate Beaton; ‘The Norton Anthology’ was a group of portraits of Edward Norton; the western-themed ‘Days of Boom and Bust: New Art from the Gold Rush,’ and an earlier Law & Order-themed show, ‘Artistic Intent’ in 2003. In 2004, Bird’s Law & Order-inspired coloring book, ‘Law & Order: An Adventure to Color!,’ was presented to the show’s star, Jerry Orbach, on ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien.’
Guerrilla filmmaking refers to a form of independent filmmaking characterized by low budgets, skeleton crews, and simple props using whatever is available. Often scenes are shot quickly in real locations without any warning, and without obtaining permission from the owners of the locations.
Guerrilla filmmaking is usually done by independent filmmakers because they don’t have the budget to get permits, rent out locations, or build expensive sets. Larger and more ‘mainstream’ film studios tend to avoid guerrilla filmmaking tactics because of the risk of being sued, fined or having their reputation damaged due to negative PR exposure.read more »
The term box office bomb or flop generally refers to a film that is viewed as highly unsuccessful or unprofitable during its theatrical run, sometimes preceding hype regarding its production, cost, or marketing efforts. Not all films that fail to earn back their estimated costs during their theatrical runs are bombs, and the label is generally applied to films that miss earnings projections by a wide margin, particularly when they are very expensive to produce, and sometimes in conjunction with middling or poor reviews (though critical reception has nothing to do with box office performance). A film can be box office bomb, even though international distribution, sales to television syndication, and home video releases often mean some films that are considered flops in North America eventually make a profit for their studios.
‘Waterworld’ is an example of a movie that does not appear on lists of box office bombs, despite enormous budget overruns, because the film broke even after making huge revenues from foreign box office, rentals, pay-per-view fees, cable outlays, and other revenue streams that exist independently of the North American theatrical system. ‘Head,’ a 1968 film featuring The Monkees was a flop that became profitable for its studio years later when its cult film status led to its sale to Rhino Entertainment and its re-release in various video formats. The popularity and profitability of DVD and Blu-ray sales has added further opportunities for films to recoup losses and eventually become profitable, leading to doubts over the significance of US domestic grosses as a predictor of a film’s overall success.
A technology evangelist is a person who attempts to build a critical mass of support for a given technology in order to establish it as a technical standard in a market that is subject to network effects (when such effects are present, the value of a product or service is dependent on the number of others using it).
Professional technology evangelists are often employed by firms which seek to establish their proprietary technologies as de facto standards or to participate in setting non-proprietary open standards. Non-professional technology evangelists may act out of altruism or self-interest (e.g., to gain the benefits of early adoption or the network effect).read more »
Fishing with John is a 1991 television series conceived, directed by and starring actor and musician John Lurie, which earned a cult following. On the surface, the series resembles a standard travel or fishing show: in each episode, Lurie takes a famous guest on a fishing expedition.
Since Lurie has no expert knowledge of fishing, the interest is in the interaction between Lurie and his guests, all of whom are his friends. Nothing particularly unusual actually happens, but the show is edited and narrated in a way to suggest that Lurie and his guest are involved in dramatic and even supernatural adventures. Guests included Jim Jarmusch, Matt Dillon, Tom Waits, Willem Dafoe, and Dennis Hopper. Each episode has voice-over narration by Robb Webb, which is sometimes bizarre and off-topic. The soundtrack is by Lurie, with several guest performers.
And Now for Something Completely Different is a film spin-off from the television comedy series ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ featuring favorite sketches from the first two seasons. The title was used as a catchphrase in the television show. The film, released in 1971, consists of 90 minutes of the best sketches seen in the first two series of the television show. The sketches were remade on film without an audience, and were intended for an American audience which had not yet seen the series. The announcer (John Cleese) uses the phrase ‘and now for something completely different’ several times during the film, in situations such as being roasted on a spit and lying on top of the desk in a small, pink bikini.
This was the Pythons’ first feature film, of sketches re-shot on an extremely low budget (and often slightly edited) for cinema release. Some famous sketches included are: the ‘Dead Parrot’ sketch, ‘The Lumberjack Song,’ ‘Upperclass Twits,’ ‘Hell’s Grannies,’ and the ‘Nudge Nudge’ sketch. Financed by Playboy’s UK executive Victor Lownes, it was intended as a way of breaking Monty Python in America, and although it was ultimately unsuccessful in this, the film did good business in the UK. The group did not consider the film a success, but it enjoys a cult following today.
The Ren & Stimpy Show, often simply referred to as Ren & Stimpy, is an American animated television series, created by Canadian animator John Kricfalusi for Nickelodeon. The series focuses on the titular characters: Ren Höek, a psychotic chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a good-natured, dimwitted cat. The show premiered in 1991, on the same day as the debut of ‘Rugrats’ and ‘Doug,’ the three of which comprised the original Nicktoons. The show ran for five seasons on the network.
Throughout its run, the show was controversial for its off-color humor, black comedy, toilet humor, sexual innuendo, and violence, all of which contributed to the production staff’s altercations with Nickelodeon’s Standards and Practices department. The show developed a cult following during and after its run. It was pioneering for satirical animated shows like ‘Beavis and Butt-head’ and ‘South Park.’read more »