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"Lovecraft Country" - new HBO series, from the minds of JJ Abrams, Jordan Peele, others

Papa

Banned
So confident in your opinion that you couldn’t even quote me to let me know that you responded. Just quietly sneak in a reply and hope I don’t check the thread again. Good for you.
 

DKehoe

Member
For anyone interested in this sort of thing about Lovecraft you might want to check out this video essay about someone reconciling their enjoyment of Lovecraft’s work with the realisation how much of a horrible person he was.

 
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Papa

Banned
Matt... That makes no sense and isn't what it is.

Maybe to you, but that’s not my problem.

You don’t think that naming a story about Jim Crow era racism after Lovecraft is a deliberate attempt to reassociate his name? Please, that’s incredibly naive.
 

IntentionalPun

Ask me about my wife's perfect butthole
Maybe to you, but that’s not my problem.

You don’t think that naming a story about Jim Crow era racism after Lovecraft is a deliberate attempt to reassociate his name? Please, that’s incredibly naive.

It literally is:

- A story about a guy who was a huge sci-fi/horror fan, including a fan of Lovecraft
- They go to the real town in MA called Ardham, which Lovecraft famously renamed Arkham for his stories
- The story then becomes, well, Lovecraftian horror
- The horror is based on segregation, something Lovecraft ardently supported in his writings

Is it a deliberate attempt to talk about Lovecraft's racism?

Yeah I'd assume that's a big part of it... the author is also a huge fan of Lovecraft, who struggled with the fact he was a fan of a huge racist.. and he wove that into a Lovecraftian horror story.

What exactly is being "re-associated" here to Lovecraft? Everything in this story is already associated with him.

If anything ignoring his racism would be erasure.

Papa Papa
Papa Papa
Papa Papa
Papa Papa
<3
 

Papa

Banned
It literally is:

- A story about a guy who was a huge sci-fi/horror fan, including a fan of Lovecraft
- They go to the real town in MA called Ardham, which Lovecraft famously renamed Arkham for his stories
- The story then becomes, well, Lovecraftian horror
- The horror is based on segregation, something Lovecraft ardently supported in his writings

Is it a deliberate attempt to talk about Lovecraft's racism?

Yeah I'd assume that's a big part of it... the author is also a huge fan of Lovecraft, who struggled with the fact he was a fan of a huge racist.. and he wove that into a Lovecraftian horror story.

What exactly is being "re-associated" here to Lovecraft? Everything in this story is already associated with him.

If anything ignoring his racism would be erasure.

Papa Papa
Papa Papa
Papa Papa
Papa Papa
<3

You’ve proved my point, genius. Lovecraft is no longer beloved American author but now virulent racist whose sins need to be absolved by others taking creative liberties on his behalf. Dishonestly and dismissively framing it as “the author is also a huge fan of Lovecraft, who struggled with the fact he was a fan of a huge racist.. and he wove that into a Lovecraftian horror story” doesn’t help your case. Any such slimy replacement effort can be handwaved by attributing it to some kind of innocent moral struggle. Fuck off, I know what you’re doing.
 

IntentionalPun

Ask me about my wife's perfect butthole
You’ve proved my point, genius. Lovecraft is no longer beloved American author but now virulent racist whose sins need to be absolved by others taking creative liberties on his behalf. Dishonestly and dismissively framing it as “the author is also a huge fan of Lovecraft, who struggled with the fact he was a fan of a huge racist.. and he wove that into a Lovecraftian horror story” doesn’t help your case. Any such slimy replacement effort can be handwaved by attributing it to some kind of innocent moral struggle. Fuck off, I know what you’re doing.
Dude get a grip.

"now a virulent racist"?

He's always been a virulent racist. Anyone who actually knows anything about literature knows that. And how in the world was I being dishonest there?
 
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Papa

Banned
Dude get a grip.

"now a virulent racist"?

He's always been a virulent racist. Anyone who actually knows anything about literature knows that. And how in the world was I being dishonest there?

Maybe he was. But that’s now all he is if the ideologues get their way.
 
And here I sit on my lofty perch... who think people who thought most of humanity were less than animals 100 years ago (and felt the need to use their influence as a writer to espouse these views, influence legislation, etc.) were pieces of shit.. my "anti-racism" monocle.

How did Lovecraft influence legislation? He was mostly unknown aside from a sparse number of published stories, and his friends group all were much more progressive (for the time) than him, which is why there is an obvious growth in him through his writings.

For anyone interested in this sort of thing about Lovecraft you might want to check out this video essay about someone reconciling their enjoyment of Lovecraft’s work with the realisation how much of a horrible person he was.


He wasn't a horrible person - most of his views came from a sheltered upbringing, and as he was exposed to other writers (who all seemed to genuinely enjoy his company and communication) he grew beyond it.
 
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That would be cool, within a month of seeing It Follows for the first time I had two separate nightmares involving the concept. I love that rotating shot in the campus where the characters are just getting the one guy's home address and there's this person always getting closer to them each time the camera comes back around to them but they drive off before the person gets within reaching distance of them. The movie doesn't draw particular attention to the walking person and it might have just been an ordinary person, but it's that uncertainty that makes it even more unsettling.

The little detail I appreciate is how the "curse" can come back to you even if you've passed it on. Too often in horror it feels that sort of "curse" is either passed on and that's the end of it, or when it does come back it's not really fully explained how it did making it feel cheap. Here, we get a clear explanation of how passing the "curse" to someone else doesn't guarantee your safety and you'll live your entire life feeling unsafe. Truly creepy.

Did you see Under the Silver Lake? I haven't seen it but I've heard mixed reactions about it.

It's a shame we didn't get more cool horror stuff from the people who did the shorts on V/H/S. There was some that kinda missed but there were some really innovative and clever horror stories in those films.

I know they did a full feature film called Siren that was based on the "I Like you" short.

 

DKehoe

Member
He wasn't a horrible person - most of his views came from a sheltered upbringing, and as he was exposed to other writers (who all seemed to genuinely enjoy his company and communication) he grew beyond it.

That’s fair. Maybe horrible is too strong a term to use. It’s not like (as far as I’m aware) he ever actively hurt anyone in a serious way. And like you said, it’s not like he was an influential voice at the time. Maybe it’s better to say that he was a strange man who for a large portion of his life held views that many people now strongly disagree with. But as people point out about him, those views seemed to influence the works that people love so much. And that’s kind of what the video is about. You seem to know a decent amount about him so I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on it if you get a chance to watch it.
 

IntentionalPun

Ask me about my wife's perfect butthole
How did Lovecraft influence legislation? He was mostly unknown aside from a sparse number of published stories, and his friends group all were much more progressive (for the time) than him, which is why there is an obvious growth in him through his writings.
He had his own journal/newspaper that he published and wrote for; and was fairly extensively published in newspapers and other jorunals. Many of his essays were about the importance of keeping segregation,etc. (along with his short stories, random things like being a writing critic, etc.) Although some argue he wasn't supporting LITERAL segregation I think that's pretty fucking debatable from what I remember reading (like 20 years ago in college lol)
 
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That’s fair. Maybe horrible is too strong a term to use. It’s not like (as far as I’m aware) he ever actively hurt anyone in a serious way. And like you said, it’s not like he was an influential voice at the time. Maybe it’s better to say that he was a strange man who for a large portion of his life held views that many people now strongly disagree with. But as people point out about him, those views seemed to influence the works that people love so much. And that’s kind of what the video is about. You seem to know a decent amount about him so I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on it if you get a chance to watch it.

I'll watch when I get a chance. My overall view of Lovecraft is that he grew away from his xenophobic views as he wrote - in his later stories, the villains are generally white Europeans involved in ancient sorcery rather than "swarthy sailors" or cannibalistic Inuits or other minorities, and he humanizes and roots the alien and otherwordly. The only later story which explicitly contains that race prejudice is "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", and all of that view is expressed by a character who is made out to be an asshole (the bus ticketer), and as we come to find out everything racist that character said was ironically wrong, and the shadow was from the greed of sailors who exploited Southeast Asian islanders.

He had his own journal/newspaper that he published and wrote for; and was fairly extensively published in newspapers and other jorunals. Many of his essays were about the importance of keeping segregation,etc. (along with his short stories, random things like being a writing critic, etc.)

I'm not talking about his influence on fiction here.

And he still did not have an significant influence. Again, he died in obscurity - if Derleth and Wandrei had not put forward an effort after Lovecraft's death to preserve his stories he would have been forgotten almost entirely.
 
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IntentionalPun

Ask me about my wife's perfect butthole
And he still did not have an significant influence. Again, he died in obscurity - if Derleth and Wandrei had not put forward an effort after Lovecraft's death to preserve his stories he would have been forgotten almost entirely.
Not gonna disagree; but to create a magazine is to attempt to influence people as a writer. How many racists created their own magazine at least in part to espouse their racist views in the 1920s?

Like I get that a lot more people were racist.. this was more common. I fail to see the problem with saying it's a piece of shit thing to do to create a magazine and publish racist articles in the 1920s.

Relative to say.. someone who didn't hold those views.. which was also.. common then.

He was also incredibly creative and created some awesome shit; and I will continue to enjoy that awesome shit and the extensive influences it had.. and it should still influence writers/film makers. I have no problem consuming people's work who I find had something despicable about them.
 
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Not gonna disagree; but to create a magazine is to attempt to influence people as a writer. How many racists created their own magazine at least in part to espouse their racist views in the 1920s?

Like I get that a lot more people were racist.. this was more common. I fail to see the problem with saying it's a piece of shit thing to do to create a magazine and publish racist articles in the 1920s.

Relative to say.. someone who didn't hold those views.. which was also.. common then.

It is an attempt, but we can also see the growth in his character during his short life in his writings and the hypocritical way he acted as well (e.g. he married a Jewish women). I value the growth he showed, and clearly his literary circle of friends (who did not share his views) valued him above those views as well. He was a damaged man who started to grow beyond it but died before he could.
 

Papa

Banned
I'll watch when I get a chance. My overall view of Lovecraft is that he grew away from his xenophobic views as he wrote - in his later stories, the villains are generally white Europeans involved in ancient sorcery rather than "swarthy sailors" or cannibalistic Inuits or other minorities, and he humanizes and roots the alien and otherwordly. The only later story which explicitly contains that race prejudice is "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", and all of that view is expressed by a character who is made out to be an asshole (the bus ticketer), and as we come to find out everything racist that character said was ironically wrong, and the shadow was from the greed of sailors who exploited Southeast Asian islanders.



And he still did not have an significant influence. Again, he died in obscurity - if Derleth and Wandrei had not put forward an effort after Lovecraft's death to preserve his stories he would have been forgotten almost entirely.

Yeah but

He’s a racist
 

Ornlu

Banned
I dig Jordan Peele. Dude's sharp witted, well spoken, and he digs horror movies. I heard his Twilight Zone remake was fairly bland and that's a bummer. Still, it's nice to see a Mad TV alum staying relevant.

I never got around to watching Us. Didnt Chris Rock want to direct a Saw movie or something after that came out though? Lmfao



 

oagboghi2

Member
You could also read Get Out as a critique against psychotherapy and cults. It doesn't only have to be about racism.
Dude, I like the guy too, but let's not lie to ourselves Get out was 100% about race.

I mean, when you hear about people talking about the sunken place or whatever . Are they talking about Jim Jones or white people?
 
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Don't hate me but I've actually never seen any of the Candyman movies.

If you enjoy horror movies then you owe it to yourself. Part 1 is the best. The other 2 are basically just cash grabs.

Make sure it's at night with a good sound system. Tony Todd is criminally underrated. The character is up there with the best movie "monsters" ever. To me, he's the best.
 

Papa

Banned
What kind of stories would you rather he write, produce, etc?

Original stories that don’t pander to black victimhood, or any victimhood for that matter. I mean look at the latest rumour about remaking Scarface with a black actor. If something has to be remade with a black actor, why not Shaft or Blade or any of the other multitude of great and original black characters that are out there? The only reason for the repeal and replace tactic is to overwrite stories and, by extension, cultures you think are problematic (fuck this word).
 

DeafTourette

Older than air but younger than the foundations of the earth
If you enjoy horror movies then you owe it to yourself. Part 1 is the best. The other 2 are basically just cash grabs.

Make sure it's at night with a good sound system. Tony Todd is criminally underrated. The character is up there with the best movie "monsters" ever. To me, he's the best.

Todd is a legend IMO. One of the most haunting portrayals I've ever seen him perform was as an elderly Jake Sisko on Deep Space Nine. You could see all the pain and regret and love in his eyes and hear it in his voice. That was one of the best episodes EVER of Star Trek.

I'll watch it either tonight or tomorrow night if it's on one of the streaming services I have.
 
I'll admit that I'm extra salty about him remaking Candyman, which is one of my absolute favorites.

Candyman already had heavy themes of racism in it though. (at least the first one)

Candyman's entire origin story of how he came to be happened solely because of racism. I actually really don't get it how people can like Candyman and not Get Out, the two films take a very similar approach when it comes to social commentary. They are way more alike then most people realize.
 
Candyman already had heavy themes of racism in it though. (at least the first one)

Candyman's entire origin story of how he came to be happened solely because of racism. I actually really don't get it how people can like Candyman and not Get Out, the two films take a very similar approach when it comes to social commentary. They are way more alike then most people realize.

Candyman is far more subtle about it and it's not the main focus. Not even close.
 
Candyman is far more subtle about it and it's not the main focus. Not even close.

I'll agree that it's more subtle but the entire plot is about Helen visiting the poor section of Chicago while researching the Candyman. The projects of Chicago are the main backdrop. Cabrini-Green in Chicago was an actual real place that used to exist where they filmed.

It's basically the same as Chris visiting the white affluent neighborhood in Get Out but in reverse.
 
I'll agree that it's more subtle but the entire plot is about Helen visiting the poor section of Chicago while researching the Candyman. The projects of Chicago are the main backdrop. Cabrini-Green in Chicago was an actual real place that used to exist where they filmed.

It's basically the same as Chris visiting the white affluent neighborhood in Get Out but in reverse.

The setting was one of the best things about it. Just because a large portion of it took place in a poor, black neighborhood doesn't mean it was a politically charged, preachy woke movie.
 
For anyone interested in this sort of thing about Lovecraft you might want to check out this video essay about someone reconciling their enjoyment of Lovecraft’s work with the realisation how much of a horrible person he was.

Love craft should be held to the standards of his time, not of today. We should all be self loathing cunts coming from shit stock of our elders if we hold the past up to the present.
 

DKehoe

Member
Love craft should be held to the standards of his time, not of today. We should all be self loathing cunts coming from shit stock of our elders if we hold the past up to the present.

I think there can be a place for re-examining things that isn’t just screeching about it being cancelled, acting like it no longer exists and thinking people are evil for liking it. Art isn’t just a static thing. What we take away from it changes as we, as people and as a society, do.
 

kittoo

Cretinously credulous
Looked interesting until the monsters honestly
Dont know how much they are going for the monsters angle in the TV series, but in the book there really arent many at all. In fact, they are almost non-existent. Maybe 10 pages in the whole book. They are so non-existent that the author forgets about them as the book ends, and there is no resolution about the monsters. Their story is just left hanging.
Most of the book is about racism faced by blacks during the Jim Crow era. If thats your thing, you may like it. If not, then you will hate it cause there is not a single good white person and not a single bad black person in the book. Its pretty black and white (pun intended) in that regard.
 
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Papa

Banned
I think there can be a place for re-examining things that isn’t just screeching about it being cancelled, acting like it no longer exists and thinking people are evil for liking it. Art isn’t just a static thing. What we take away from it changes as we, as people and as a society, do.

That would only work if it were agreed that the past would be left in the past and judged by the moral standards of the time. That’s not what the cult wants, and I suspect you know as well as I do that it’s nothing more than wishful thinking on your behalf. In spite of the platitudes and rhetoric, I don’t believe the goal to be critical analysis of the past to improve the future; I believe it to be cultural erasure with a misguided eye for an eye approach.
 

DKehoe

Member
That would only work if it were agreed that the past would be left in the past and judged by the moral standards of the time. That’s not what the cult wants, and I suspect you know as well as I do that it’s nothing more than wishful thinking on your behalf. In spite of the platitudes and rhetoric, I don’t believe the goal to be critical analysis of the past to improve the future; I believe it to be cultural erasure with a misguided eye for an eye approach.

I’ve not read the book so I don’t know the approach it takes (from what people have said here it does sound pretty heavy handed). Lovecraft is a highly influential writer and his xenophobia directly influenced his work. Unlike with other artists that makes it a little trickier to separate his views from his work You can’t really put Lovecraft’s racism to the side when reading his stories because on some level that’s what he’s frequently writing about. I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to take a step back and look at these things. If you take the subtext and make it text then it’s a way to explore what is being said with these ideas and the impact they have. Again, that doesn’t mean throwing everything Lovecraft ever did in the bin. No doubt there’s a group of people like that but that doesn’t mean that’s what all works that are critical of Lovecraft want to achieve. If someone has gone to the effort of writing a piece of work that uses those elements they probably have a love of those works. It’s much easier to just tweet #CancelLovecraft if you don’t actually connect with his work. Someone like Alan Moore has done a lot of work using the tools Lovecraft created to reconcile loving and being influenced Lovecraft’s work while also rejecting views he held. Often with these things it’s not a condemnation of Lovecraft as a person as such, it’s a reflection on the way his work connects with that person. “Someone in the 1930s had racist views” is less interesting than considering how we then interact with the ideas he put forward and the way in which the stuff we like is intertwined with things we don’t and to what extent you can separate the two. It’s not all a puritanical culture war.
 
I'll give it a shot I think. I'm skeptical that Lovecraft themes ever really translate that well to any kind of visual medium. Its hard to do the unknowable, unimaginable cosmic horror thing unless you just never show anything. I actually think season one of True Detective did about as good of a job as you can do. They could've leaned into it a little more.

And I can't help but raise my eyebrows with the racism of white America angle. That shit is so played out at this point. But whatever. Keep squeezing out the last drops I guess.
 

DKehoe

Member
I'll give it a shot I think. I'm skeptical that Lovecraft themes ever really translate that well to any kind of visual medium. Its hard to do the unknowable, unimaginable cosmic horror thing unless you just never show anything. I actually think season one of True Detective did about as good of a job as you can do. They could've leaned into it a little more.

And I can't help but raise my eyebrows with the racism of white America angle. That shit is so played out at this point. But whatever. Keep squeezing out the last drops I guess.

Yeh I always think his work is tricky to translate to a visual medium. If the eldritch horror is such that you can’t even look upon it without going mad then it’s a problem when you actually have to show that to your audience rather than just letting their imagination kick in like you can with a book. I like how True Detective did it where the characters just sort of skirted around the edge of it and you got the impression there was this darker presence just below the surface.
 

Furlong

Banned
Lovecraft is a highly influential writer and his xenophobia directly influenced his work. Unlike with other artists that makes it a little trickier to separate his views from his work.

Sounds like Hollywood need to start hiring more racists to write their scripts.
 
Yeh I always think his work is tricky to translate to a visual medium. If the eldritch horror is such that you can’t even look upon it without going mad then it’s a problem when you actually have to show that to your audience rather than just letting their imagination kick in like you can with a book. I like how True Detective did it where the characters just sort of skirted around the edge of it and you got the impression there was this darker presence just below the surface.
I think season 3 had a time travel plot around then main character that was told by the time jumps. It isn’t explicit but I take it as implicit. And the key w as the demintia of him at an older age.

but that is how I chose to take it in. I’ve been accused of books and movies having better plots in my mind than the author intended tho...
 
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I think season 3 had a time travel plot around then main character that was told by the time jumps. It isn’t explicit but I take it as implicit. And the key w as the demintia of him at an older age.

but that is how I chose to take it in. I’ve been accused of books and movies having better plots in my mind than the author intended tho...

Season One just had the overwhelming sense of foreboding and the sort of subtle visuals that kind of made you question whether Rust was just losing it or there was something supernatural going on. That's kind of the key to doing Lovecraft right I think. It needs to be kept plausible that the characters might be going crazy. It allows for a sense of dread and lets the audience use their imagination. If you start just showing of monsters and completely leaving reality, it can fall apart really quick.

The Thing managed to do it ok because it kept you engaged trying to figure out who was a replicant. Plus the original's effects are legendary. In the Mouth of Madness does all right by explicitly making you think the main character is just insane, but I prefer True Detective's subtlety.
 

DKehoe

Member
I think season 3 had a time travel plot around then main character that was told by the time jumps. It isn’t explicit but I take it as implicit. And the key w as the demintia of him at an older age.

but that is how I chose to take it in. I’ve been accused of books and movies having better plots in my mind than the author intended tho...

Nothing wrong with that. I think sometimes the best plots are ones that intentionally leave you with that room to interpret them and let you think “was that what I think it was?” without providing definitive answers.
 
W

Whataborman

Unconfirmed Member
Season One just had the overwhelming sense of foreboding and the sort of subtle visuals that kind of made you question whether Rust was just losing it or there was something supernatural going on. That's kind of the key to doing Lovecraft right I think. It needs to be kept plausible that the characters might be going crazy. It allows for a sense of dread and lets the audience use their imagination. If you start just showing of monsters and completely leaving reality, it can fall apart really quick.

The Thing managed to do it ok because it kept you engaged trying to figure out who was a replicant. Plus the original's effects are legendary. In the Mouth of Madness does all right by explicitly making you think the main character is just insane, but I prefer True Detective's subtlety.


True Detective is much closer to Thomas Ligotti than Lovecraft. Still "cosmic horror" but much more grounded in reality than Lovecraft.
 
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