A Curious Invitation present London Month of the Dead
The Art of Gothic with Bryony Dixon and Victoria Nelson
Sunday 30th October at 3:30 pm

BFI curator BRYONY DIXON explores the ghostly world of Gothic silent film - a haunted place stalked by vampires, phantoms and tormented monsters, mad scientists and the living dead - reflecting our deepest fears back at us. Ghost stories of premature burial, spectral brides and whispered in the long winter nights were the basis for early films. Her talk will reveal how the archetypes of Gothic horror and romance transmuted from literary and pictorial sources into moving images and why silents are inherently spooky – remember, in silent film no one can hear you scream!

More than two hundred and fifty years after its debut as a literary shock genre, the dynamic, ever-expanding Gothic has finally invaded the mainstream. Author VICTORIA NELSON will reveals how its tentacles are wrapped around so many pop culture products and lifestyles that Maurice Lévy has dubbed the phenomenon “a spreading process and imperialist conquest of the whole human experience.”

A striking feature of the twenty-first century Gothic resurgence is its role in a gamut of alternative lifestyle and spiritual practices that draw their scripture directly from individual works of horror, sci fi, and fantasy fiction. These new movements are part of a larger trend away from organised religion to private and individual spiritual practices. Nelson's talk will explore the new “bright” Gothick in its various forms-- and the radical theology that asserts that if we want to get to heaven, monsters and demigoddesses can show us it is right here on earth.

Tickets £12 including a gin cocktail. Please click here to buy.

Victoria Nelson
Victoria is a writer and independent scholar who teaches in Goddard College's MFA creative writing program and the University of California, Berkeley Rhetoric Department. Her books include The Secret Life of Puppets, a study of the supernatural grotesque in Western culture, and Gothicka, about 21st century Gothic subgenres and the spiritual groups they have inspired, as well as two books of stories and a memoir. She is currently in London on a Guggenheim fellowship working on the third book in the Harvard trilogy, on allegory old and new.

Bryony Dixon
Bryony has researched and written on many aspects of early and silent film and co-directs the annual British Silent Film Festival, as well as programming for a variety of film festivals and events worldwide. She has given papers at academic conferences on film and organised the first International Charles Chaplin Conference in 2005 as part of the BFI’s Chaplin Project.

She has been lead curator on a number of the BFI’s recent film restorations, including Underground (1928), Wonderful London (1924), The Great White Silence (1924) and all nine surviving Hitchcock silent films. She is the author of 100 Silent Films (BFI Screen Guides, 2011).


The Venue - Bromptoon Cemetery