When cult movies—films with a passionate fanbase and oft-quoted dialogue—are discussed in academic settings, works such as “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” or The Big Lebowski” are frequently used as examples, says Kristen J. Warner, an associate professor in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at the College of Arts and Sciences. Movies with predominately Black casts and their own sustained, zealous fanbases aren’t often considered to be a part of the cult canon.
“Black cult media exists,” says Warner, “and should be recognized and included in the cult film conversations.”
Students can take a deeper dive into cult cinema by enrolling in Black Cult Media (PMA 4403), an online three-credit course that will be offered for the first time during Cornell’s Winter Session, Jan. 2-19.
The School of Continuing Education (SCE), which offers Winter Session, asked Dr. Warner to give some insight into what students can expect from taking her course this winter.
What is your definition of a cult film?
Cult films are those that, either by nature of the film style or format, live on through the communities that love them and do all types of labor to showcase that love. Black cult films aren't necessarily different from traditional cult; however, because films with predominantly Black audiences aren't often...Read the Q&A at Cornell SCE news.