1. The Kitsch presentation; this is a non-threatening opportunity for the 2nd year students to lead a session for the first year in advance of the Theme Day on the Offensive. Don't even think of taking the day off - a roster will be taken. At the meeting today, we will be looking for ideas and opportunities. We are looking for entertainment and education ;
It would be a good opportunity to work in groups, say 4 at 10 minutes each with a concluding discussion. Individuals who don't want to perform can contribute objects or music ( ie the Worst Songs in the World). The Library is well stocked on books on kitsch
A valuable text could be Susan Sontag's "Notes on Camp", from Elizabeth Hardwick intro., A Susan Sontag Reader Penguin Harmondsworth, 1983, pp.105-119; while Camp may not be KITSCH, the following observations might be useful
The Lunchtime Film, a selection of kitsch items. 1. Fantasia, the Beethoven Pastoral Symphony sequence, an embarrassing hymn of praise to a suspiciously Arayan physical ideal, with too many babies' botties for comfort. Disney was the only major Hollywood figure to welcome the German film-maker Leni Riefenstahl (Hitler's favourite, The Triumph of the Will, Olympiad etc) .
2. Signs of the Times, a monumental 4 documentary analysis of people's philosophies of decor and accessory; here the woman in love with roses and ornaments from the local market; the couple who pursue the historical style with tiles from B&H and a mirror from MFI. Just when you thought taste is impossible to define....
3. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, dir. Russ Meyer, 1970 an exploitation skin flick, the Carrie Nations, an all girl group, playing at a Senior Prom, the disapproving parents, the lingering looks, a middle aged American film director's image of what the teenagers might think is groovy music, before he gets around to the clinches and cleavages. "A film whose total idiotic, monstrous badness raises it to the pitch of near irresistible entertainment." Alexander Walker.
4. Barbie, a documentary in the Forty Minute series on the rise and rise of the Barbie doll, with the explanations from Marketing Folk, collectors, media analysts and other celebrants of the shallow.
5. 42nd Street, dir. Lloyd Bacon chor.. Busby Berkeley, 1933, "Shuffle off to Buffalo" the coy spectacle of the Honeymoon night on the Pullman sleeper with voyeuristic fruit eating chorus girls and menial porters.
6. Jeff Koons, the Puppy at Arolsen, the construction of a monumental floral puppy in the grounds of a german schloss, with critical responses to Koons success, Robert Hughes on the construction of the career; Koons ends with a statement as to how much he wants the leading role.
7. Merbabies, a Disney Silly Symphony with again an excess of teeny buttocks and swelling bubbly shapes.
8. Li'l Abner And last.....the Cornpone day meeting and celebration from Li'l Abner, Norman Panama and Melvyn Frank 1959, Stubby Kaye ("Don't whap that child") explains all to a dumb child in Al Kapp's Dogpatch, an invented settlement set in deepest America and originally a strip comic, here filmed with utter disregard for reality; see the wonderful blue trees, and daisy Mae's pin-up dresses.
And next week,all students will be expected to attend and contribute.