14jul2009: About a month ago I spent the weekend with my old friend Christy. On the left, he poses with a hand-crafted Ghanian movie poster. It's part of his private collection of cool art.
Last week, some friends and I went for a hike at Yaddo, an enormous garden near Saratoga Springs. On the right, there's a picture of a statue there. 'Christalan' (identified on the pedastal) stands in a grove on one side of the rose garden. Prowling around the internet, I learn that Christalan was a character from a poem written by one of Yaddo's original owners. The source does not explain why he has the letters GRVE engraved on his shirt. Regardless, neither his name nor his mysterious emblem are visible in this grainy photograph.
Last night, the same friends and I gathered together for a cult movie night. We watched Clue, Real Genius, and Harold&Maud - none of which I had seen previously. Good times.
One may wonder whether these movies are legitimately cult movies. Having thought about it a bit, I think that the concept amounts to this: A cult movie is one which one must be able to quote, or at least make allusions to, in order to be a member of a subculture or social circle. A cult film need not be an obscure, arthouse pictures that only it's subculture knows about. But it can't be so mainstream that everyone can quote it; Casablanca, for example. The real puzzle is whether Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom counts as a cult movie.