USA | 1968 | Fiction
Presented by : Presented by Introduced by Rob Schmidt Barracano - filmmaker and film teacher.
Ticketing Note: a ticket to this film gets you free entry to the screening (8:00pm, BB): Birth of the Living Dead
The quintessential zombie movie, George A. Romero’s first film gave rise to myriad imitators, sequels, and remakes, and reanimated the horror genre. The 28-year-old Romero employed unpolished sound, harsh lighting, hand-held cameras, and non-professional actors, which gave the film a documentary feel, making the terror more realistic. With no budget for complicated dolly-track shots, Romero conveyed movement through editing—via the rapid succession of static shots. One of the key innovations of the film, and a key factor in the film’s realism, is the relocation of the monsters from some far-off land right into middle-American backyards. The monsters are now everyday people and the film’s protagonists can’t escape back into the “normal” world. Released at a time when disillusionment was running rampant in the country—spurred by the Vietnam War and the recent assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and JFK—Americans identified with the film’s most shocking suggestion: death is random. No one dies for the greater good. Instead, people die to feed faceless, ordinary America. A metaphor for societal anxiety, the sight of America literally devouring itself and the representation of the desecration of the wholesome American family were “reflections of social hysteria” (J. Hoberman) and served as a release for the country’s repressed trauma.