Mipcom to screen snippets from 'Midnight Movies'

MUMBAI: Midnight Movies, the 80-minute documentary tribute to cult films, has completed principal photography and begins posting in Hollywood this October.

The announcement came in from International Broadcast Communications (IBC) founder and president, Jon Helmrich, who is handling international licensing of the film. Helmrich and IBC will have footage available for screening at MIPCOM.

Midnight Movies based on Stuart Samuel's book of the same title, has earned a commitment to air on a major US pay movie channel early next year. Combining original interviews with the directors, stars, producers, writers, cinematographers and exhibitors that were the driving forces behind such cult classics as Rocky Horror Picture Show, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Night of the Living Dead, the producer and director Samuels examines the mindset of the people most intimately involved in these productions.

Samuels also attempts to explain the elements that contribute to a film's cult status while challenging the profile of the typical cult filmgoer. Including selected clips from the films and rare footage of the fans who attend the late screenings, Midnight Movies rejoices in the campy, flamboyant and sensational films that continue to draw fans to the cinema, albeit for midnight screenings, some 20 to 30 years after their original release, informs the media reports.

Samuels said, "These films became ritualised moments of film viewing and forged a relationship with the audience that is completely locked into the time period of the '70s. These films were all made by a singular individual outside of the traditional Hollywood system, for very little money and failed initially on a commercial level, but were reborn when they were screened at midnight."

Helmrich states, "This project is unique in that the cult films of the '70s led to the mainstream films of today, especially for such directors as John Waters and David Lynch. We would not had Moulin Rouge without Rocky Horror or Blair Witch without Night of the Living Dead. What was once cult has become, in fact, mainstream today."

After interviewing Samuels about Midnight Movies, noted film critic Roger Ebert wrote, "Movies like these are why people at film festivals are always talking, talking, talking. What should they think about them, and why? What have they learned about human nature from movie characters set free from the rigid requirements of genre? Some directors choose to work outside the safe area favored by that man who goes to the movies to be entertained. No wonder they end up making Midnight Movies. I've always thought the most interesting people stay up late."

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