House of Usher

Serietitel: Devil’s Advocates
Auteur: Evert Jan van Leeuwen
Uitgeverij: Auteur Publishing
Jaar van uitgave: 2019
ISBN13: 9781911325604
ISBN e-book: 9781911325611
Taal: Engels
Omvang: 94 pagina’s
Bindwijze: Ingenaaid
Afmetingen: 135 x 190 x 5 mm
Gewicht: 110 gram

House of Usher (1960) enjoys a high standing among cinephiles, despite being the product of Roger Corman’s AIP exploitation studio. But while the impact and cult status of Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe cycle is often discussed in histories of gothic, horror, and exploitation cinema, this Devil’s Advocate is the first extended analysis and critical discussion published to date that explores specifically the aesthetic appeal of Corman’s influential first Poe picture.

Evert van Leeuwen explores the underlying narrative structure borrowed from Poe’s original story and shows how closely Richard Matheson’s script followed Poe’s theory of short fiction. He goes on to explore the formal techniques of allegory and symbolism employed to represent the house as a monster before focusing on Corman’s imagery, showing how the use of specific camera angles, lenses, colours, and sound effects create and sustain the simultaneously morbid and beautiful atmosphere of Gothic decay. Finally, he situates horror icon Vincent Price’s performance as Roderick Usher in the contexts of the nineteenth-century Romantic misfit and the post-war counter-cultural anti-hero, two closely related cultural identities.

Evert Jan van Leeuwen teaches English-language literature and culture at Leiden University. His research area is the history of Gothic, horror and science fiction. He has pubished articles on Gothic Euro-westerns in Bright Lights Film Journal, haunted houses in Studies in Gothic Fiction, and the celebrity afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe in the volume Celebrity Authorship and Afterlives in English and American Literature.

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