Friday, September 18, 2009

following up

So that Zombie Symposium I went to last weekend was pretty awesome! I snapped a few pictures with my phone's camera (which you can follow the adventures of at Twitpic/grammarmonkey):

The intrepid panel: Stan Woodard, Diane Diakite, Andrea Wood, and Laszlo Xalieri.

Stan was the panel leader. Diane's discussion was about Haitian and West African religious beliefs about and social purposes for zombification (fascinating stuff, I really hope she publishes a book about this). Andrea covered the American pop culturization of these zombie traditions through a mixing of sensationalized Caribbean travel brochures and Western stories of the undead in Hollywood, and Laszlo talked about natural occurrences of zombification in insects, network technology, business, and etc. (if you buy him coffee or beer, he'll be glad to expound on these further). I missed the films & boozin' legs of the day 'cause I had some serious sitting around on my butt to do that evening.


TheLadysRevenge said...

I really like how the screen in that last pic is Zombie Children. Zombie babies are great! We should get more of them. There's just something creepy and wrong and hysterical (in the crazy sense, not the funny sense) about them that combines to make something so horrible it's wonderful for entertainment purposes.

I apparently have a lot to say about zombie children. I will stop now. Oh, but I would love to know what they're were talking about there!

the grammar monkey said...

That was the last slide from Dr. Wood's presentation -- she was talking generally about social themes that tend to appear in zombie media, and about the use of children as symbols of hope/hopelessness in particular.

She was specifically pointing out the differences in how Francie's pregnancy in Romero's Dawn of the Dead played out versus Luda's pregnancy in Snyder's remake, and saying that these days, for a bunch of social/polictical/economic reasons, zombie movies are more nihilistic.

the grammar monkey said...

But yes! Zombification is sorta an ultimate tainting -- so zombie children are terrifically hopeless.

I love zombified kids in movies. Kids are scary to begin with! And zombie babies -- BIRTHING a zombie baby -- just add in extra layers of fear about pregnancy/childbirth/parenting. When teacup zombies show up it's just, y'know, "oh, oh we are proper fucked."

TheLadysRevenge said...

That's a pretty great comparison. I always find it fascinating how zombies (and horror flicks in general) reflect society and how that commentary changes over the years.

Kids are totally scary! Birthing is scary. The birthing of zombie babies is extra horrible. The process that is supposed to create life and continue society instead is itself a source of death and terror.

Like you said, Proper Fucked!