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AND THE CINEMA 1897 - 1962

by Sean J. O'Leary

A Thesis Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Master of Arts in Writing Degree of The Graduate School at Rowan University June 22, 2005

Approved by -G4; --

/l Dr. Diane Peirod Date Approved ( ,2 c

005 Sean J. O'Leary

Dedicated to my father, Jack O'Leary, who sat me down to watch Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in The Hound of the Baskervilles at an impressionable age. He'd be just proud as hell.

Also dedicated to my mother, Joanne O'leary, whose faith in me never fails.



AND THE CINEMA 1897 - 1962

2004/2005 Dr. Diane Penrod Master of Arts in Writing This examination of the Le Theatre du Grand-Guignol was intended to identify key reasons for the theater's success from its inception in 1897 and eventual demise in 1962 and to identify significant similarities and differences between the theater and the cinema in the treatment of the graphically violent or macabre subject matter during roughly the same period. Two commonly recited reasons for the demise of the Grand-Guignol involving (a) flagging interest in the theater's violent drama in the years following World War II and (b) competition from cinema were discovered to be inadequate as they did not take into account the internal problems and bad business decisions made by a series of directors in the years leading up to the theater's closing and the lack of any direct competition from the cinema in the presentation of the same sort of material until the late 1950s when the Grand-Guignol performance style had been sufficiently eroded from the aforementioned problems in the theater's management. The Grand-Guignol's influence on post-WWII horror cinema was acknowledged and further areas for study were identified in the potential influence of the Grand-Guignol on realist cinema after World War II such as Italian Neo-Realism and French Cinema Verite.


I certainly could not have completed this work without the guidance and mentorship of Dr. Joseph Bierman. Thanks, Joe, for slogging through all of this and always returning with suggestions both helpful and insightful.

Many thanks also to my family and friends, who were a bottomless source of support and encouragement, even when I was whining too much to deserve it.

I owe everyone a beer.


Preface Chapter 1: Introduction to Le Th6dtre du Grand-Guignol and the Cinema The Birth of Le The6tre du Grand-Guignol Development of the Successful Grand-Guignol Style The Legacy of the Grand-Guignol in Horror Cinema The End of the Grand-Guignol Chapter 2: Review of Literature Reasons for the Closing of Le Thdatre du Grand-Guignol The Horrors of War Surviving through two world wars Violent times and violent imagery Competition with Cinema Further Analysis Chapter 3: Le Th6etre du Grand-Guignol 1897 - 1962 Oscar M6t6nier: Early Career and the Naturalist Movement On the Bill at the Grand-Guignol Dramas: Moeurspopulaire andfait divers Comedies: Rosseries and farces Focusing the bill at the Grand-Guignol M6tenier's Shock Tactics and Publicity Stunts

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Max Maurey Creates the Playhouse of Horror Public relations and publicity stunts Andre de Lorde, the "Prince of Terror" Paul Ratineau Light and Sound Acting style at the Grand-Guignol The Grand-Guignol Style in Place Through World War I into the Golden Age Exporting the Grand-Guignol Style Changes of Management and Style (1928 - 1962) Chapter 4: Cinema and the Grand-Guignol The Birth of Cinema in Paris Films of the Fantastic The Influence of German Cinema Content Controls and the World Market through the Wars Hammer Film Studios Chapter 5: The End ofLe The6tre du Grand-Guignol The Successful Grand-Guignol Style The Dismantling of the Grand-Guignol Style Inadequate Theories of the Decline Areas for Future Study References

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I think I was about 15 or 16 years old when I first heard the term "GrandGuignol." I was into horror films back then, as I am now, and I was reading an article about George Romero, the filmmaker behind Night of the Living Dead (still one of my favorite films, Martin, and Dawn of the Dead. I wasn't quite sure what it meant at the time, but if it had anything to do with Romero's movies, I thought it must be good. I came to learn that Grand-Guignol was a term used in reference to any depiction of shocking or gratuitous violence or gore, which was characteristic of many of the films I was watching back then. As I slowly acquired information about the Grand-Guignol (this was long before the internet made a wealth of information on any obscure reference instantly available) from various literary sources, I learned that there was once a theater in Paris named Le Theatre du Grand-Guignol and the kinds of plays that were staged there were much like the kinds of over-the-top horror movies I liked. An evening at the Grand-Guignol involved eye-gouging, disembowelment, forcible amputation, and buckets of blood being spilled on the theatre floor, all to the delight of the patrons, in some cases just before they passed out. Of course,'the onstage gore and violence were fake, but the similarities between the Grand-Guignol and the movies I liked to watch intrigued me. In the years to come, I learned that the Grand-Guignol was founded during the nineteenth century, in 1897. As I continued my film studies in college, this date gained a new significance for me. Just two years earlier, in 1895, the cinema was born in Paris. I

was also surprised to learn just how long the theater was in operation. The GrandGuignol closed up shop far into the twentieth century, in 1962. Besides being shocked at the longevity of this genre theater, the date stood out to me as being quite close to the advent of the violent horror film. I did some checking and I realized that, indeed, Hammer Studios in England had released their first two graphically violent horror films, The Curse ofFrankensteinand HorrorofDraculain the late 1950s, just a few years before the closing of the Grand-Guignol. I wondered if the arrival of Hammer's films, which I loved as a kid when I would catch them on television on somber weekends throughout October, had anything directly to do with the demise of the Grand-Guignol. I had read about the filmmakers who were influenced by the Grand-Guignol for years. As the history of the theater unfolded for me alongside the history of cinema, I wondered what connections there were, if any, over the years. Why did it take until the 1960s for this kind of film to appear if Parisian theater-goers had been enjoying this kind of entertainment practically since the dawn of cinema itself? What you are about to read is an examination of the history of the Grand-Guignol as it grew-up alongside the cinema and an investigation into the treatment of horror in both venues. That's the academic part of it. What you are about to read is also an appreciation. I have been simultaneously repelled and attracted to horror films and all kinds of macabre things since as long as I can remember. Yes, I've been called weird, even morbid, but that's ok. Deep down, I knew what I was watching or reading had value, despite discouragement from those in charge of my formal education.

In seventh grade, my literature class was assigned to write a short fictional story, which would be read and evaluated by some school board big-wig for an undisclosed reason (my generation was subjected to numerous education experiments.) I wrote an admittedly ridiculous story in the first person about my encounter with some kind of hideous demon. As I remember, it was titled "Angel of Death." God help me, I was actually interested to see what this school board person had to say. When I received the story a week later, her appraisal of it was scrawled across the top in red pen: "You are not Poe." Thanks, lady. I entreated one of my high school literature teachers to introduce H.P. Lovecraft into the curriculum (this was after being tortured for the better half of a semester with The Scarlet Letter.) She scoffed. I found a like-minded individual in high school and we became great friends. We were in the same Health class together and, when the class was studying forms of mental illness (centered around a screening of the Sally Field film Sybil) we decided to try to reach out to our teacher, Mrs. Byrne, and share a little of what we thought was interesting and germane to the subject. We gave her a videotape of George Romero's film Martin, in which the title character, a young man, is convinced by his family that he is actually an ancient vampire and the family shame. Martin drinks blood, but, lacking any actual supernatural powers, he does so by drugging women and slitting their wrists with a razor blade. It's gruesome, I know, but I thought it was an interesting study of how a person's perception of his or herself can be determined by what others believe about them. Mrs. Byrne thought it was, "Sick, sick, sick." She handed it back and told us she turned it off after 20 minutes. So much for sharing.

Sure, horror movies and horror fiction and the like can be downright awful, deserving of the derision heaped upon it by your parents, your teachers, and anyone else looking over your shoulder. Why should this type of entertainment be impervious to the kind of exploitation found throughout the arts? However, few other genres are defined by their worst elements as are horror, science-fiction, and fantasy. The worst of it is schlock, but the best of it explores the same fears and anxieties as the most respected literary fiction. It's about encapsulating and confronting our fears. It's about life and death. It's about the unknown. If you enjoy the macabre, the strange, the horrific ... If you think there's value in it beyond a cheap thrill, I hope that while you're reading this, you feel there are others who are like-minded.

Chapter 1 Introduction to Le Th6atre du Grand-Guignol and the Cinema

The Birth ofLe Thddtre du Grand-Guignol In 1897, French playwright Oscar M6t6nier purchased a 230-seat theater in Paris and christened it "Le Th6&tre du Grand-Guignol." Although named after a popular French puppet character, "Guignol," what the theater offered was anything but "kid stuff." Inaugurated as a theater dedicated to the presentation of original avant-garde plays in the Naturalist vein, M6t6nier's primary interest, the Grand-Guignol quickly evolved into a unique, influential, and highly successful venue for nightly displays of such shocking violence and horror that the theater employed a physician to treat sickened theatergoers. The onstage gore was fake, though quite realistic and convincing. The four or five short plays performed each night contained such harrowing acts as eye-gouging with fingers or knitting needles, acid throwing, amputation, strangulation, scalping, and immolation. Le Th6atre du Grand-Guignol was the original shock theater, and despite several management changes over the years, M6t6nier's brainchild kept its doors open for more than six decades. Development of the Successful Grand-GuignolStyle M6t6nier, after serving on the police force in Paris in some of the roughest districts, began to write fiction and short plays based on his experiences and sympathies with the working class among whom he spent his days and nights. His frank portraits of

the poor families, prostitutes, and criminals inhabiting Parisian districts like La Pigalle defined Met6nier as a dramatist in the Naturalist mode, an avant-gardemovement which championed the plight of the working class while challenging the socially accepted notions of morality of the time. Although Mdt6nier was committed to the Naturalist movement, he drew his inspiration from thefait divers which were short news items about lurid crimes and scandals reserved for the front and back pages of papers like Le PetitJournaland Le Petit Parisien(Hand & Wilson, 2002). In addition to his choice of subject matter, Met6nier's mode of presentation leaned much more toward the lurid and sensationalistic than what theatergoers could find in the more respectable playhouses of Paris or even in the other avant-gardevenues. Met6nier would often arrive at the theater dressed in black and accompanied by two bodyguards. He would announce to the gathering crowd that a terrible crime had just been committed and supply them choice details to pique their morbid curiosity (Deak, 1974). M6t6nier's approach was tantamount to a carnival barker's come-on, gathering the passing crowd and titillating them with a few tempting samples of the kind of entertainment to be found inside. After the brief announcement, Met&nier would enter the theater, followed by his bodyguards and, hopefully, a good portion of the crowd. After M6t6nier transferred directorship of the Grand-Guignol to Max Maurey in 1898, thefait divers quickly evolved into the type of graphically violent horror play that became the theater's hallmark. The successful transformation of the Grand-Guignol under Maurey from Naturalist venue to "playhouse of horror" (Deak, 1974) was due to several important factors. First, Maurey was a master of public relations who amplified

M@tenier's sensational publicity stunts, encouraging the Grand-Guignol's shocking reputation in the press and on the streets of Paris. It was Maurey's shrewd public relations savvy that enshrined the Grand-Guignol as a brand. Second, the man who earned the nickname "Prince of Terror," Andre de Lorde, was added to the Grand-Guignol's payroll and began producing short, one-act horror plays that would become some of the theater's most popular. De Lorde was the foundation upon which lay the Grand-Guignol's reputation and he continued to produce new work for the theater until his death in 1933. De Lorde's horror plays were so popular and so successful for the Grand-Guignol they were revived at the theater well into the 1950s. The third most important factor in the development and long-term success of the Grand-Guignol was the work of stage technician Paul Ratineau, who was responsible for devising the many chillingly realistic special effects featured during the performances. Ratineau's simple, yet very effective and realistic special effects allowed actors to manipulate the devices while maintaining the intensity of their performance and hiding the artifice from the audience. Since the theater was very small, only 230 seats, concealing the workings of Ratineau's special effects wasn't easy, but the convincing effects were achieved through the skill of the actors and the masterful control the director and technicians exerted over the mise en scone, or the arrangement of objects on stage. Lighting control techniques were used to shroud parts of the stage in darkness, drawing the audience's attention to the places where it was desired. Sets were designed and arranged to best facilitate the performance of the effects at the right moment and other techniques involving the use of

offstage sounds or specific blocking, or choreography, of actors' movements were used to misdirect the audience's attention at crucial moments. Paul Ratineau was also the man to devise many of the offstage sound effects used to heighten the realism of a scene. His work in this area was a crucial influence on the later art of foley, the technique of recording special sound effects for motion pictures. The Grand-Guignol style was delivered within an ingenious format termed a douche dcossaise, or a "hot and cold shower" (Deak, 1974, p. 37) of alternating one-act farces and horror plays. This format was borrowed from the Th6&tre Libre, M&t6nier's former outlet for Naturalist drama. The douche icossaiseallowed a theater director to gauge which plays were the most popular and which pieces weren't working or had run their course. Unsuccessful pieces could be removed and have new work substituted in its place. Also, the format allowed for the integration of revivals along with new work, relieving the pressure, somewhat, of having to produce entirely new work on a regular basis. Under Maurey's direction, the Grand-Guignol adapted this successful format into a delivery vehicle for its shocking horror plays, building and relieving tension over the course of an evening until the biggest shock reserved for the final piece. Within the first few years of the twentieth century, the carefully constructed Grand-Guignol brand, consisting of the image developed through Maurey's ingenious publicity stunts and public relations efforts and refinement of the house style through the work of playwright Andre de Lorde and the groundbreaking effects of stage technician Paul Ratineau, was established. The Grand-Guignol style proved successful and the theater was enjoying the beginning of a prosperity that would last for more than 60 years and through two world wars. Its most lasting and well-acknowledged legacy would be on

the development horror in cinema (Hand & Wilson, 2002; Gordon & Pierron, 2000). What is surprising is that the Grand-Guignol and the cinema co-existed for nearly 60 years before elements of the Grand-Guignol style began to appear on the screen. The Grand-Guignoland the Cinema The Grand-Guignol also grew up alongside another spectacularly popular art and entertainment form that had its origins in Paris, the cinema, and upon which the GrandGuignol had its most lasting influence. What is surprising is that it took cinema nearly the entire lifetime of the Grand-Guignol to begin to present material in an identifiable GrandGuignol style. Although horror cinema after World War II evolves from the GrandGuignol (Gordon & Pierron, 2000), the cinematic treatment of horror for the previous half century was decidedly tame. It wasn't until the 1950s that the world saw the emergence of the graphically violent horror film, most notably with The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and HorrorofDracula(1958) from Hammer Studios in England. Two years before the founding of Le Th6dtre du Grand-Guignol, cinema was inaugurated in Paris. Auguste and Louis Lumiere presented a collection of short oneminute motion pictures in December 1895, an event generally regarded as the first public exhibition of such material to a paying audience. Cinema and the Grand-Guignol enjoyed occasional interplay in the first half of the twentieth century. The most significant early example of crossover was the influence of German Expressionist cinema on the Grand-Guignol, with the theater presenting a very successful adaptation of Robert Wiene's The Cabinet ofDr. Caligariin 1925 and the integration into the Grand-Guignol of the melodramatic acting style then very popular in silent film and German Expressionist films in particular. For the most part, though,

cinema and the Grand-Guignol were neighbors in the artistic neighborhood. Each acknowledged the other's existence, interacting occasionally with varying degrees of success, but mostly the Grand-Guignol and cinema, particularly horror cinema, evolved separately. For almost 60 years the twain never seemed to meet in any significant way. Horror cinema was sometimes shocking and suggestive, but rarely, if ever, was it graphic in its depiction of violence. It wasn't until the late 1950s and 1960s that horror film producers in other countries (primarily Hammer Studios in England and a variety of major and independent studios in the United States) began to adopt the practices and techniques that were Le Th6atre du Grand-Guignol's stock in trade for many decades. The choice of a new adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankensteinfor Hammer's bloody baptism is not insignificant. The tale had been adapted several times over the years in the early days of silent film. Thomas Edison tried his hand in 1910 with a severely shortened and censored version in which he supplied a happy ending. A few years later, a small, New York-based production company released A Life Without A Soul (1915), which portrayed the Monster as simply a man in a black suit and supplied a happy ending in the form of one of the first "thank goodness it was only a dream" cliches. Coupled with the equally successful HorrorofDraculamade in the same year, Hammer inaugurated their new era with new adaptations of Frankensteinand Dracula, respectively. These two novels enjoyed extremely successful adaptations on the stage in Great Britain before being optioned by Universal Studios in America in 1931. The releases of Draculaand Frankensteinin 1931 were great successes for Universal,

essentially pulling the studio from the brink of financial ruin in the worst year of the Great Depression (Skal, 2001). What separated the new Hammer Studios adaptations of this material from the previous Universal films and, in the case of Frankenstein, earlier versions by Edison and others, was the identifiable influence of the Grand-Guignol style. Particularly noticeable was the frank and shocking sexuality mingled with the horror and the incorporation of many of the techniques used to perform the violent special effects with even more shocking realism. The Legacy of the Grand-Guignolin HorrorCinema The practical special effects developed by the Grand-Guignol team are perhaps the theater's most lasting and obvious contribution to the cinema. Many of the techniques and apparati devised were kept secret by the theater's craftspeople, including its famous recipe for fake blood (Hand and Wilson, 2002, p. 58). Supposedly, the theater used a concoction that would flow freely, but congeal within a few minutes, leaving a scab-like residue. Other techniques were well-known, including a pair of eyeballs produced by a local candy shop. The ersatz organs had to be non-toxic because after they were gouged out of the victim, they were consumed by two other inmates of the insane asylum in which the play was set. Many of the more common techniques were ingenious in their simplicity, but no less effective for it. Knives concealed tubing and a syringe for pumping fake blood when dragged across a victim's neck or other body parts, for instance. Such practical effects, easily employed on the set by a skillful actor was not only convincing from all angles on

the stage, but worked for the cinema's ability to control the viewer's experience through changing camera angles, including close-ups, but also formed the foundation of the special effects industry. For decades, the horrors of the screen were decidedly tame and graphic depictions of violence were nonexistent. As more explicit horror film began to appear in the 1950s and '60s, horror filmmakers found the techniques developed at the Grand-Guignol to be invaluable for displaying the violent effect without destroying the realism. As this new mode of horror cinema gained in popularity, the Grand-Guignol style became more important to horror film producers in a variety of countries. Italian filmmakers such as Mario Bava would find an avenue for expression in this genre they termed giallo (Silver and Ursini, p. 161) with films like Black Sabbath (1963), Blood and Black Lace (1964), and Twitch of the Death Nerve (1971). American films like George Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968) used many of the practical bloodletting and dismemberment effects popularized in the GrandGuignol plays. The horrific on-screen cannibalism prompted rumors that the filmmakers used black and white film instead of color to soften viewers' feelings of repulsion. In actuality, the choice of film stock was purely an economic decision. The film was released to theaters "Not Rated," which limited its audience strictly to those over the age of 18. Romero and company increased and amplified the gore for the full-color sequel Dawn of the Dead in 1978, which was released with an "R" rating, suggesting a growing tolerance of audiences to this kind of material little more than a decade later.

The tradition continued throughout the 1970s with films like Halloween (1978), which spawned the moder "slasher" genre, and Fridaythe 13th (1980), which was the first and most notorious of the "dead teenager" films of the late 1970s and 1980s in which body count and ingenuity in method of dispatch were more important, and often more interesting, than a nearly nonexistent storyline. The Grand-GuignolandRealism Cinema Verite, or "cinema of truth" became the new mode of production by those adventurous filmmakers yearning to free themselves of studio artifice and find expression in frank images of the world and people around them. The movement began in Paris, of course, in the 1950s. The style quickly caught on in other countries, most notably the United States in the early 1960s. Stephen Mamber, in his book Cinema Verite in America: Studies in Uncontrolled Documentary (1974), defined the cinema verite style as when: The filmmaker attempts to eliminate as much as possible the barriers between subject and audience. These barriers are technical (large crews, studio sets, tripod-mounted equipment, special lights, costumes, and makeup), procedural (scripting, acting, directing), and structural (standard editing devices, traditional forms of melodrama, suspense, etc.) Cinema Verite is a practical working method based upon a faith in unmanipulated reality, a refusal to tamper with life as it presents itself (p. 4). While M6t6nier's Naturalism shared some of the same goals as Cinema Verite, some elements of this definition seem to stand in stark contrast to the Grand-Guignol, which was steeped in melodramatic tradition and relied heavily on manipulation, both of

the audience's perception of events with stage trickery and practical effects as well as the clever concealment of actions and effects with clever lighting designs. But the GrandGuignol's genesis was in Oscar Mdtdnier's interest in the "common people" and his desire to stage plays in the Naturalist tradition (Gerould, 1984). Upon closer inspection, the Verite movement shared a great deal with the spirit of the Grand-Guignol, as did the Italian Neo-realism movement in post-World War II Italy. Verite films featured mostly handheld camera work, sometimes shaky, but organically so, motivated by the audience's understanding of point of view or immersion in the moment, unconcerned with the invisibility of technique or the filmmaking process. Very long takes were common, allowing a scene to play out to its natural conclusion with very little interference from editing, and almost always completely diegetic sound, that is, any sound directly motivated by what the audience sees in the frame or understands is part of the natural environment of the characters (e.g., we see someone cooking dinner so we hear the water in the pot boiling, perhaps a radio on in the background instead of any voice-over narration or music placed on the soundtrack in post-production). Such conventions were common in the Grand-Guignol. One peculiarity, due in part to the small size of the performance space, but also very much in line with the Naturalist sensibilities of Mdt6nier and his successors was the absence of an orchestra or any non-diegetic sound. The advent of the Cinema Verite movement came at what is commonly understood as the end of the age of the Grand-Guignol. Perhaps the spirit of the GrandGuignol was not dismissed or put out to pasture as a relic, but rather recast as a new movement of Naturalist cinema.

The Grand-Guignol, after all, was not born as a "theater of horrors," (Hand and Wilson, 2002, p. 12) but was cast in that role by the theater's second manager, Max Maurey. Perhaps the outer shell of the Grand-Guignol, the blood and guts, were not the foremost attraction, although, they were certainly the most obvious. The same could be said for those shocking and violent films from Hammer Studios that started the cinematic Guignol trend and for the best of the films that followed in that tradition. While explicit displays of violence may be the most sensational aspect of the Grand-Gignol, is that the limit of its legacy or can other traces be found in the Naturalist cinema of the Verite movement, Italian Neo-realism, and even today in modern reality television? While many reality-based programs on television are highly sensationalistic in their presentation, the core of their interest lies in seeing "regular" people engaged in hardship and, sometimes, overcoming it. Also, the ability of reality television to show modern societal elites, celebrities, as people with just as many or more problems than the average viewer reflects the Naturalist theater's desire to portray the daily life and moral complexity of the common people. The End of the Grand-Guignol As stated earlier, while the influence of the Grand-Guignol on the emerging violent horror films of the late 1950s and early 1960s is obvious in terms of content and, more specifically, technique, the transition of the Guignol style from the stage to the screen is more complex than has been previously suggested. The style did not simply pick up where it left off, as the world had been exposed to the Grand-Guignol through several traveling tours and, for the most part, rejected it, at least at the time. Time, then, is part of the answer, but it, too, is more complex than what has been suggested.

Appreciation and desire for the Grand-Guignol surpasses an easily association with times of war and peace, as it has seen and continues through all of it, both on the stage and on the screen. It seems that the Guignol style emerges and succeeds because of forces and factors other than the most obvious. Generating a plausible and satisfying understanding of the decline of the GrandGuignol and the rise of the violent horror film during this period is partly hampered by the historical reluctance on the part of critical elites of the period to treat the horror genre with any amount of seriousness or respect as a viable form of adult artistic expression. Horror, like other genre forms such as science-fiction or fantasy, was traditionally dismissed, if not maligned, by many film scholars and the general public. While enjoyed occasionally as "light" entertainment, horror cinema was not usually afforded the same degree of respect or "importance" as more straight dramatic work or even comedy through the first half of the twentieth century. Some of these attitudes are changing in scholarly circles, with respect to horror films produced in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s, due primarily to a reassessment of the subtexts in these films, sometimes as films representing a counter-culture. A critical re-examination of horror cinema can be found in works such as The Philosophy of Horror(1990) by Noell Carroll or Cynthia Freeland's The Naked and the Undead (2000). The Grand-Guignol suffered the same sort of dismissal because of its subject matter and its appeal to what was perceived to be working-class people, although social elites could enjoy its offerings from the safe distance of intellectual interest in the lower classes.

Such a prejudice leads to the simplistic explanation of the subject at hand. The tradition of the Grand-Guignol did not simply come to an end when it was time to grow up and picked up when another society felt it was time to play. While many producers of horror cinema would point to an admiration of the Grand-Guignol style and indicate its influence, such as Hammer Studios' Executive Producer Michael Carreras, Tobe Hooper, director of The Texas ChainsawMassacre (1974), and George Romero, director of Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978), it must be understood as something more that a simple transition or a migration of the art form from one place to another. The next chapter will examine the two most common reasons cited for the demise of the Grand-Guignol and why they are insufficient in light of the appearance of the violent horror film during roughly the same period.

Chapter 2 Review of Literature

When the Grand-Guignol ultimately closed its doors in 1962, two reasons were most often cited as the reasons for the theater's demise. In this chapter, those reasons will be explored in terms of their inadequacy of explaining the decline of the Grand-Guignol especially in light of its decades-long success. From that point, the discussion will move on to a more detailed exploration of the history of the Grand-Guignol and the evolution of its most obvious heir, horror cinema, in an attempt to construct a more satisfying and realistic explanation for the demise of the Grand-Guignol and the rise of the graphically violent horror film around the same period. Reasonsfor the Closing ofLe Theatre du Grand-Guignol In 1962, Le Th6&tre du Grand-Guignol closed its doors forever. Two factors are most often cited as the primary reasons for the decline and eventual failure of the theater. First, the horrors experienced by patrons of the Grand-Guignol during World War II severely dampened the thrill of seeing similar tortures played out onstage. Hand and Wilson (2002) encapsulate this feeling as they explain that "after the horrors of the Nazi genocide, there was no place for theatrical, stylized horror in a modem society" (p. 24). The second reason most often proffered is that, ultimately, the Grand-Guignol could no longer compete with cinema and was made irrelevant with the appearance of graphically violent horror films.

While the impact of cinema and two world wars may have been factors in the GrandGuignol's decline, they provide simplistic and unsatisfying explanations at best when inspecting more closely the success of horror cinema and decline of the Grand-Guignol. At worst, these explanations are completely contradictory. The Horrors of War Surviving through two world wars. In an interview just after the theater's closing, Charles Nonon, the last director of the Grand-Guignol said, "We could never compete with Buchenwald. Before the war, everyone believed that what happened on stage was purely imaginary; now we know that these things - and worse - are possible" (Pierron, 1996, p. 3). There is little doubt that the years of occupation suffered by the French during World War II were traumatic, but could the carnage seen in northern France during World War I have been so much less devastating? Nonon's comment seems to reflect his genuine concern that the horrors of World War II would adversely affect turnout for the Grand-Guignol's artificial violence. However, Nonon must have been aware of the horrors of the previous World War and the new heights of popularity achieved by the theater in the years that immediately followed, despite a similar concern voiced by director Max Maurey at the time. Maurey, the man who took over directorship of the Grand-Guignol from its founder, Oscar M6t6nier, worried that the trauma of the impending First World War would adversely affect attendance at the theater The Grand-Guignol had prospered under Maurey's stewardship, which took place during a time of relative peace and prosperity in Paris. In what seems a preemptive move to avoid failure, Maurey quit the theater and

handed over control to his successors, Camille Choisy and Charles Zibell. (Hand & Wilson, 2002, p. 16). Maurey's fears about a fading audience proved to be unfounded as the period following the end of the First World War saw the Grand-Guignol become "the most popular theater in Paris" (Pierron, 1995, p. 1383) and "one of the three main theatrical and tourist attractions alongside La Comidie-Franqaise Les Folies Bergeres" (Hand & Wilson, 2002, p. 17). It was during World War I and in the years immediately after that the Grand-Guignol built on its growing success and soared to its legendary status. Hand and Wilson (2002) support this idea, contradicting their earlier statement by saying, "the First World War had produced carnage on a scale never before witnessed in modem Europe and yet the form had prospered and became more popular in the years that followed" (p: 25). Although the Grand-Guignol prospered after the First World War, by the 1950s, audiences simply weren't turning out as they had in the past. When the Grand-Guignol eventually closed in 1962, an echo of Maurey's old fears was heard. Theater critic Rene Barjavel fluently expressed this view: Our mothers fainted at Andre de Lorde's plays. Our young cousins 'have a bit of a laugh' at them, as they say nowadays ... our fathers allowed themselves to think these horrible things only happened in the theatre ... but recently ... I am reminded of the local woman who, during an air raid, had the head of her neighbor land in her lap. I am reminded of Buchenwald, of Hiroshima, of Katyn. And of all the future Hiroshimas. It

seems that the Grand-Guignol can be nothing more to us than a mere diversion (1948, p. 23). The horrors of World War II explanation seems as unsatisfactory and inconsistent with reality as laying the blame on the horrors of the First World War. The theater continued its success through the Nazi occupation, even becoming a favorite haunt of Hermann Goering. If the horrid realities of World War II were to have a dampening effect on the general public's enthusiasm for the Grand-Guignol, it is unlikely the theater would have continued to operate for another 17 years after the liberation of Paris. Violent times and violent imagery. There is a troubling contradiction between the supposed distaste for violent imagery brought about by the horrors of war and the long success of the Grand-Guignol through World War II. While Barjavel's argument is, as Hand & Wilson (2002) state, "eloquent and convincing" (p. 25), it provides an answer that is all too easy and insufficient. There does not exist an easily expressed correlation between times of war and the public's appetite for violent art or entertainment. The Grand-Guignol flourished and grew in popularity throughout the devastation and aftermath of the previous World War (Hand & Wilson, 2002, p. 17). As other societies outside France experienced similar horrors, the aversion-response proffered to explain the closing of the Grand-Guignol was likewise insufficient to explain the rise of violent cinematic imagery in those countries. In Japan, the horrors of the war, specifically the atomic bomb, devastated large numbers of the populace, portions of the landscape, and brought about the nation's most

demoralizing defeat. However, post-WWII Japan saw the emergence of a popular cinematic phenomenon like Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla, 1954) and its many sequels still being produced 50 years later. In the United States, American cinema experienced what would arguably be considered its most violent and blood-soaked period during the Vietnam War and in the years immediately following. The Vietnam War, while not fought on the American mainland, was the first war to bring its daily grisly images to the American public via television, yet American audiences patronized such graphically violent films as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre(1974) and Dawn of the Dead (1978). Like the GrandGuignol, the American horror films of the Vietnam era are characterized by a tendency to "[push] the human subject into monstrosity, extrapolating, as it were, la bete humaine into le monstre humain" (Hand and Wilson, 2000, x). In the few short years following the trauma experienced by Americans from the attacks on September 11, 2001, there appeared in the cinema modem remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre(2003) and Dawn of the Dead (2004) with exponentially more graphic depictions of violence than appeared in the original versions. This post-9/1 1 period in America also saw Hollywood remakes of Japanese horror films such as The Ring (2002), The Grudge (2004), and Dark Water (2005) become immensely popular as well as original films such as House of1000 Corpses (2003) which harkened back to the American horror films of the 1970s and 1980s. It does not immediately follow, as these examples suggest, that violent times breed an aversion to violent art and entertainment.

Competition with Cinema The second major factor most often cited as the reason for the demise of the Grand-Guignol is the rise in popularity of the cinema (Hand and Wilson, 2002). The cinema, according to Hand & Wilson (2000), "offered pitiless journeys into the bete humaine with all the advantages of close-ups and location shooting" (p. 275). Cinema may have had the benefit of presenting the Grand-Guignol style with "all the advantages of editing and location shooting (Hand & Wilson, 2002, p. 25), but it was not the technique of editing that led to the downfall of the Grand-Guignol. More complex storytelling involving editing techniques had existed since the early part of the century with Edwin S. Porter's The Great Train Robbery (1903) as a famous early example. And editing, after all, is an artifice, not a technique used to heighten realism. The argument that cinematic storytelling techniques, whether in the form of editing, close-ups, sound, or a realistic style of presentation is ultimately weak. Many of these techniques have existed alongside the popularity of the Grand-Guignol for decades. Some techniques, such as certain special effects used to heighten realism had been pioneered by Grand-Guignol technicians. . Many others blamed the popularity of the cinema and its enhanced realism for vanishing audiences (Pierron, 1995), even though the two forms had grown up side by side. Hand & Wilson (2002) point out that, during this time, cinema "achieved hitherto unknown heights of realism and became the entertainment of choice for an increasing proportion of society" (p. 22). Arguing for the superiority of cinema over the GrandGuignol, Hand & Wilson (2002) state, "Cinema had already established that it could

present horror more realistically that the theatre and so the Grand-Guignol retreated increasingly into its stylized conventions of performance" (p. 25). This heightened realism may have been one component of the success of horror cinema, although the most successful genre efforts from Hammer Studios drew upon more gothic visual influences not at all like the contemporary realism evident in most Grand-Guignol offerings. French films such as Henri-Georges Clouzot's Les Diaboliques (1954) and Georges Franju's Les Yeux sans visage were more directly identifiable decendents of the Grand-Guignol in that they were, as Hand & Wilson (2002) said, "remorseless slices of possible horror" (p. 25). New developments in cinema technology, such as the advent of sound in movies and the rise in popularity of American horror films from Universal Studios such as Dracula (1931) and Frankenstein (1931) were said to have been too much competition for the Grand-Guignol. However, the Universal horror films did not share the character of Grand-Guignol productions. There had been other horror films before Universal entered the market and the Grand-Guignol had competed successfully with them. A severe impediment to the display of violent imagery in horror films was the self-censorship employed by American film producers. After a Supreme Court decision in 1915 against the Mutual Film Corporation declared that motion pictures were not afforded First Amendment protection, the motion picture industry feared federal regulation and tightly controlled motion picture content. Any film meant for mainstream consumption was prohibited from including anything sexually frank or graphically violent. When the Hays Production Code was adopted in 1930, controls were even tighter. It wasn't until the Supreme Court overturned their decision in 1952 that controls

were relaxed and film producers began to test the boundaries of what the public would find acceptable (Bohn & Stromgren, 1987). Of course, the Hays Code governed only Hollywood films, but the majority of popular films in European movie theaters were from Hollywood. Also, if a foreign producer wanted to export motion picture product to the American market, the code had to be observed. The German Expressionist films of the post-World War I years were closer in theme and character to the plays of the Grand-Guignol and could have presented a greater threat, forcing audiences to decide between two similar entertainments. The GrandGuignol not only competed with German horror cinema, but staged successful adaptations of German Expressionistic films such as the aforementioned Cabinet of Dr. Caligari(1919). The era of the talkies and especially the popularity of the Universal horror films like Draculaand Frankenstein,according to Hand & Wilson (2002), signaled a new era of cinema and threatened the success of the Grand-Guignol. But these offerings, while popular, were far removed from what was being offered, and still popular at the GrandGuignol. If there were any true competition between the cinema and the Grand-Guignol, surely the decade following World War II would have presented a troubling addition to the fight: television. Cinema felt such pressure from the public's growing interest in television that it began offering films in wider aspect ratios, such as Cinemascope, presenting an impressively large image one could not get on a diminutive, and monochrome, television screen.

It is true that some of these innovations could have hurt the Grand-Guignol as the public satisfied their curiosity for the new technology, but stating the theater's inability to compete with cinema seems incomplete and glib. After all, could the cinema have been competing for so many years with just one theater, the Grand-Guignol? Theater still exists after the advent of cinema, even after the demise of the Grand-Guignol. Another avant-gardetheater was opened in the very theater in which the Grand-Guignol operated. The suggestion that the popularity cinema forced the closure of the Grand-Guignol ignores the impact of cinema on other theaters around France and around the world. Les FoliesBergtres is still in existence, as is La Comidie-FranQaise despite the popularity of cinema. What occurred in 1962 was the closure of one specific theater, not the death of theater as a whole. This explanation is as unsatisfactory as blaming the effects of World War II on the Grand-Guignol's decline. It seems silly to suggest that the Grand-Guignol suddenly couldn't compete with the cinema even though it had been doing so quite successfully for more than 60 years. Cinema was birthed in Paris in 1895, two years before Oscar Matenier's inauguration of the Grand-Guignol. With a two-year head start, could it have taken 65 years for the cinema to overcome the Grand-Guignol if there were truly an ongoing competition for the attention of the general public? The fact is the cinema and the Grand-Guignol co-existed during this time quite successfully, with the GrandGuignol adopting several practices and conventions of the early silent cinema, like the melodramatic acting style and certain aesthetics of German Expressionist films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari(1919), The Golem (1920), and Nosferatu (1922)

FurtherAnalysis Supposedly, the Grand-Guignol couldn't compete with cinema, yet it did so, quite successfully, for more than half a century. And if the general public was so war weary and tired of displays of gratuitous violence, then the cinema should not have had much luck with that subject matter either in the years after the Hays Production Code was lifted. Granted, the emergence of the violent horror film is most striking and significant in countries other than France, most notably Great Britain whose Hammer Studios was at the forefront of the celluloid bloodbath, but France had its successes too. Georges Franju's Le Yeux sans visage is a recognized classic of the horror genre, in which ghastly scenes of surgical horrors are played out quite graphically. The fact that Le Theatre du Grand-Guignol staged an unsuccessful adaptation of Franju's film underscores the idea that the decline of the Grand-Guignol is not a simple matter of taste. There was certainly a relationship between the Grand-Guignol and cinema over the decades, but it was not a contentious one. Cinema was not a usurper of the GrandGuignol style, but an inheritor, exemplified by the success of Hammer Studios in Britain (Hand & Wilson, 2002). If Parisian audiences were war-weary and no longer wanted to view scenes of graphic violence, English audiences who had suffered through the Battle of Britain had no qualms supporting the Hammer horrors of the 1950s and 1960s. After co-existing for so many years with the cinema, with television for a brief period, and surpassing dozens of competing "blood and thunder" theaters contrived in the Guignol's own image, the reasons for the demise of the Grand-Guignol must be more complex than any of the most popular reasons previously discussed. In fact, both reasons cited seem to suggest a rejection of the Grand-Guignol style when exactly the opposite is

true. Audiences cannot be simultaneously turned-off by such violent imagery while demanding more realism and close-ups of it from the cinema. The fact is, the GrandGuignol style was as popular as ever and had eventually been adopted by filmmakers for reasons more complex that an historic shyness from graphic depictions of sex and violence. In that regard, the death of the Grand-Guignol is the death of a single theater, not of a particular performance style. The inadequacy of these vague, sometimes contradictory, overarching social theories suggest that a more detailed examination of the history and the success of the Grand-Guignol and its relationship to the horror cinema may yield a better understanding of the factors at play as the death of the theater coincided with the advent of the graphically violent horror film. The next few chapters will present in greater detail the history of Le Th6atre du Grand-Guignol, the evolution of the Grand-Guignol style, and the circumstances surrounding the theater's closing. Additionally, the rise of cinema and the factors affecting the presentation of similar subject matter leading up to the appearance of the graphically violent horror film in the late-1950s will be explored.

Chapter 3 Le Th6atre du Grand-Guignol 1897 - 1962

Oscar Mdtinier: Early Career and the NaturalistMovement From 1883 to 1889, Oscar M6t6nier, the man who would found the sensational Th6Mtre du Grand-Guignol, was employed as a low-level secretary to the French police commissioner. Known as a chien de commissaire or "commisioner's dog," it was M6t6nier's duty, among other things, to spend the last moments with a prisoner condemned to death (Pierron, 1996). M6t6nier worked in some 34 different metropolitan police districts, including the notoriously rough La Roquette district (Gerould, 1984). It was during these years that he came into very close and personal contact with the "common" people, the working class, whose attitudes and struggles he would champion in his later dramatic work. M&6tnier resigned in 1889 and began his journalistic research and reportage of the same segment of society. He contributed regularly to the sensationalistic papers Gil Bias and Journal.His former interaction with this segment of French society gave him an ear for argot, French slang, and he was considered one of the best authorities on the subject (Deak, 1974). M6t6nier had already gained some recognition for a book of short stories based on his experiences in the Parisian underworld entitled Flesh (Deak, 1974) when he met Andre Antoine, founder of the Th6atre Libre, a playhouse dedicated to presenting works

of the burgeoning Naturalist movement, which perfectly characterized M6ttnier's interests and work. Daniel Gerould, in his article Oscar Meitnier and Comedie Rosse: From the Thidtre Libre to the GrandGuignol (1984) describes the Naturalist movement in drama. The Naturalists defended their preference for the most brutal aspects of life by arguing that the essential relationships between man and society could be more vividly revealed in primitive characters and sordid situations than when disguised by wealth, complex psychology, and hypocritical pretense (p. 16). M6tenier joined Antoine's Th6dtre Libre in 1887 as a playwright and immediately produced a series of plays that attracted the attention and ire of censors and critics. During the second performance at the Th6atre Libre, Antoine presented M6t6nier's play Enfamilie (At Home), which was adapted from his own short story. In the play, M6t6nier places "a drunken family gathering of shady characters: the father, a receiver of stolen goods; the daughter, a prostitute; and the son, a pimp who recounts in lurid detail the execution by guillotine of a criminal friend" (Gerould, 1984, p. 16). The play was declared "an offense to morals" (Gerould, 1984, p. 16) and the French authorities outlawed its presentation. Of course, challenging and even offending the traditional morals of Parisian society was exactly the goal of Mdt6nier, Antoine and their Naturalist collaborators. In a lecture in Brussels in 1891, M6t6nier pronounced his and his fellow Naturalists' disdain for traditional concepts of morality.

In the strict sense of the word, virtue is a myth, and that is why our books
appear bitter. .. because they are true. After all, morality is only a

convention that is relative and modifiable according to the climate, epoch and latitude. In our case, in Paris, each class of society has its own particular morality (Gerould, 1984, p. 17). In addition to challenging the values of their society, the Naturalists sought to break the restrictive boundaries of traditional dramatic structure and form. The
playwrights of the Thedtre Libre "... rejected the old theatrical formulas and devices such

as clever plots, carefully prepared climaxes, and tidy, definitive endings in favor of simplicity of action, a 'slice of life"' (Gerould, 1984, p. 16). Of great importance to M6t6nier and the other playwrights at the Thb6tre Libre was the preservation of verisimilitude... to present their characters objectively, without comment or criticism and, of course, without any imposition of traditional mores or values. This obsession with presenting the "truth" went beyond mere reportage. At times, it might have been difficult to determine where the drama ended and where reality began. For the production of Met6nier's one-act play, La Casserole (Stool Pigeon), some of the actors were more familiar with the subject matter than in previous productions. According to Daniel Gerould (1984), "... a real strongman, Leo Will, played the strongman's role and lifted real weights, and the extras representing the criminals in the background were authentic underworld figures with long police records" (p. 16). It can be said that, at times, the Naturalists' devotion to verisimilitude often caused confusion between where the characters ended and where the audience began. The

naturalist movement was a theater for the working class, about the working class, and very often comprised of the working class. That the Naturalist movement would eventually gain widespread mainstream acceptance in the guise of the Grand-Guignol is surprising given the anti-bourgeoise and anti-establishment viewpoint of its practitioners. By the early 1890s, the novelty of the Theitre Libre's Naturalist productions began to wane, and in 1894, believing he had accomplished what he had set out to do, Andre Antoine closed the theater. Daniel Gerould (1984) stated, "The Naturalist impetus in drama had set out to destroy all formulas, yet eventually became a formula itself" (p. 17). Perhaps Naturalism ceased to be a novelty, but its proliferation was only beginning. While the "techniques and motifs" (Gerould, 1984, p. 17) of Naturalism may have moved beyond the avant-garde,"the picturesque aspects and character types of proletarian life - bums, unemployed workingmen, poor girls forced to solicit on the street - became the subjects of popular entertainment for the working classes" (Gerould, 1984, p. 18). Unwilling to abandon his interests in the working classes after the departure of Andre Antoine and the closing of the Th6&tre Libre, M6t6nier purchased a small theater, formerly a chapel, and in 1897 inaugurated Le Thdetre du Grand-Guignol. On the Bill at the Grand-Guignol In the beginning, the Grand-Guignol was simply a continuation of the work M6t6nier was doing at the Th6Ctre Libre. M6t6nier's inaugural bill for the Grand-Guignol followed the strategy of Antoine's Thiatre Libre: a series of seven one-act plays was performed consisting of slice-of-life dramas and comedies. In fact, much of the talent

from Antoine's Naturalist theater was ported to the Grand-Guignol. In its first season, seven playwrights whose work was produced at the Grand-Guignol had their work previously staged in the Theatre Libre (Deak, 1974). The strategy of presenting a series of short one-act plays of various genres and topics was common among little theaters in Paris at the time. The concept of presenting a variety of subjects as opposed to one, single, full-length work, was economic. The theaters wanted to have something for everyone in order to attract the widest variety of patrons possible (Deak 1974). The one-acts generally lasted about a quarter of an hour and their brevity made it easier to replace unpopular segments with new ones in the hope of fine-tuning the program. Presenting a series of diverse, fifteen to twenty-minute one-acts also meant that a theater did not have to present two-plus hours of original content. Revivals could be interspersed with new work. The strategy was as ingenious as it was economical. Dramas:Moeurs populaire andfait divers. In the early years of the Grand-Guignol, two types of plays were presented: oneact dramas in the Naturalist mode and short comedies. Of the dramas, there were two distinct genres: Moeurs populaire (popular manners) andfait divers (news items). "Moeurspopulaireswere short one-act scenes from everyday life, without an apparent dramatic event.-They were static, undramatic slices-of-life, their topic - and real interest - the manners and mores of the lowest strata of society" (Deak, 1974, p. 35). Faitdivers were "short news items usually involving violent crime, gory and colorful illustrations of which often graced the front and back pages of Le Petite Journaland Le Petite Parisien" (Hand & Wilson, 2002, p. 8).

Frantisek Deak, in his 1974 article Thjdtre du Grand Guignol for The Drama Review, describes the presentation of the fait divers as "... brief, without introduction or comment, and concerned nameless victims. The one-act play of thefait divers genre was a theatrical equivalent of these journalistic items. The plays were brief, sharp, with one sensational event of shocking impact" (p. 36). Met6nier's attraction to thesefait divers was natural. They presented the brutal reality of his subjects as he witnessed it during his time as a police secretary and reporter and also because their dismissive presentation in the newspapers of the day underscored society's low regard for the underclass. The subject matter was exactly what M6t6nier sought to present in his theater and in doing so, he could show the lives of the underclass as something worthy of drama in stark contrast to how they were presented in the popular press. Of course, M6tenier's plays drawn from thefait divers were sensationalistic and often contained a concluding scene of shocking violence. After Met&nier's departure, these one-acts inspired by thefait divers were identified by Metenier's successor Max Maurey as the most popular and easily exploitable elements of the Grand-Guignol program. Under Maurey's direction, thefait divers would evolve into the horror plays for which the Theatre du Grand-Guignol would become famous and upon which the theater would maintain its reputation and popularity through two world wars. Comedies: Rosseries andfarces. The comic plays presented at the Grand-Guignol would not evolve into a style particular to the Grand-Guignol as did thefait divers. There were two genres of comedies presented at the Grand-Guignol which followed M6tenier from the Th6atre Libre. The

Rosserie was a cynical play in which the central vice triumphed over the characters (Deak, 1974). More popular were the farces, which became the dominant comic form presented at the Grand-Guignol after rosseriesfell out of vogue with Naturalism as an avant-gardeform (Deak, 1974). Focusingthe bill at the Grand-Guignol. As the Faitdivers evolved into the horror play, the alternation of horror and farce became of paramount importance to the success of Grand-Guignol bill. Stripping away the local tradition of presenting a variety of genres during an evening, the Grand-Guignol focused on a careful construction of increasing suspense. As the tension increased with each successive horror play, the farces were interspersed as a bit of a relief. In this way, the Grand-Guignol players could control the audience's anxiety, building it up, relieving a little, build on that and so on until the big fright in the final play. It was an ingenious and skillful model for controlled tension. Deak (1974) explains the construction of an evening's entertainment. The alternation of plays of extreme horror with farces - appropriately termed douche icossaise, a hot-and-cold shower - became intentional, regular, and carefully planned. The evening was usually composed in the following way: first, light horror drama; second, a comedy; third, another horror drama; fourth, comedy; fifth, the chief horror drama of the evening; sixth, a comedy. Sometimes, the evening consisted of fewer or more plays of one act, but the comedies and horror plays were always alternated, and both the horror and comedy intensified as the evening continued" (p. 37).

Mdtenier's Shock Tactics and Publicity Stuns Deak (1974) suggests that while Mdt6nier was decidedly a playwright in the Naturalist mode, he "tended more toward shock and thrill than slice-of-life drama" (p. 36). It would be difficult to seriously threaten Met6nier's credibility as a Naturalist playwright, but Deak's assertion brings to light Metenier's other motivation as a theater owner. In order to continue his work, in any mode, he must have paying customers if he didn't want his Grand-Guignol to join Antoine's Th6atre Libre in the history books. It may have been in the Thdetre Libre that M6tdnier first observed the sensational techniques used by Antoine to sell-out a performance. It was during a production of Met6nier's own shockingly violent La Casserole(Stool-Pigeon) that Antoine "warned the spectators that those of delicate sensibilities should leave before the beginning of StoolPigeon, scheduled last, which would start at 12:30 a.m. Because of the advance publicity, Metenier's 30-minute drama played to a packed house and enjoyed great popular success" (Gerould, 1984, p. 16). To promote his Grand-Guignol productions, Deak (1974) claims M6tenier "always arrived at the theater dressed in black, followed by two bodyguards, to tell the audience in shocking detail about some horrible crime that had just been committed" (p. 36). The crime described was an attention-getter, designed to pique the morbid curiosity of passers-by and turn them into paying customers. Met6nier's theatrics outside the theater were condemned by local authorities, but that only encouraged Metdnier and added to the effectiveness of his public relations technique. To defend his actions and also to further publicize the Grand-Guignol,

M6t6nier distributed a weekly newsletter called Le Grand Guignol,Journal Hebdomdaire.M6tenier published the newsletter until February 1898, when he handed over directorship of the theater to Max Maurey (Deak, 1974). It is unclear why M6t6nier handed over directorship of the theater after just two years. Hand & Wilson (2002) discuss several theories, the most likely being that he quit the theater due to ill health. Max Maurey Creates the Playhouse of Horror As Max Maurey entered the picture, the Grand-Guignol, although highly successful, had not yet adopted the form for which it would become a legend. Hand & Wilson (2002) explain,
... the theatre that Max Maurey inherited was not a theatre of horror per

se, but a successful house of naturalism, dedicated to the true-to-life representation of a society dehumanized by capitalism and bourgeois morality. Although M6tenier founded and named the theatre, critics agree that it is really after his departure that his successor, Maurey, identified the potential success of the theatre and developed it away from being a Thedtre Libre imitation into being its own unique, successful - and ultimately legendary - venue and genre (p. 5). It was under Maurey's direction that thefait divers made the jump from slice-ofbrutal-life to the horror play, but not immediately. For a time, Maurey continued to offer a similar bill as had M6t6nier, sometimes even including revivals of M&t6nier's earlier work. Around the turn of the century, according to Deak (1974), is when the shift to horror began. Says Deak (1974),

The difference between naturalist works and the early horror play is a very fine one. One can only say that at the moment when naturalism lost its esthetic novelty, and shocking, brutal events were separated from the slice-of-life philosophy, becoming both end and means, the first step toward the new genre was accomplished (p. 36). Public relationsandpublicity stunts. Maurey continued public relations for the theater which had become so important to spreading and maintaining the theater's growing legend. He began to publicize the theater as a "playhouse of horror" and encouraged rumors that patrons routinely fainted during performances (Deak, 1974). According to Deak (1974), Maurey "added a house doctor to the paid staff of the theater" (p. 37) and it was said he even occasionally hired people to sit in the audience and faint, ensuring sensational word-of-mouth. In describing the effectiveness of Maurey's publicity efforts on audience perception, Hand & Wilson (2002) state, Maurey's great publicity success was to convince his audience - and some critics and commentators - that the Grand-Guignol was a theatre of physical violence where blood flowed by the bucketful and the horror was so intense that audiences would flee the auditorium or lose consciousness. He achieved this through a range of production techniques, alongside a mastery of public relations, whilst also shrouding everything in a kind of exotic secrecy, so creating a believable folklore around the Grand-Guignol (p. 12).

The publicity stunts and public relations efforts by Maurey served to build the legend of the Grand-Guignol. More than advertising a specific film or play, the frequent use of publicity stunts helps to build name recognition and to define a particular brand of entertainment. The Grand-Guignol's longevity suggests that its series of one-act plays didn't disappoint audiences, but Maurey's publicity stunts certainly helped promote the Grand-Guignol brand image and, since the theater began to draw audiences from outside the immediate district and in light of its status as tourist attraction after the turn of the century, it is probable that patrons began responding to the Grand-Guignol brand perhaps as much as to the specific productions. Andre de Lorde, the "Prince of Terror." An important part of the transition from Naturalist theater to playhouse of horror was the addition of playwright Andre de Lorde, who became known as the GrandGuignol's "Prince of Terror." Deak (1974) states the importance of de Lorde's work as adding "important elements of suspense, as the anticipation of horror became as important as the horrors themselves" (p. 36). De Lorde understood the importance of creating a tension that would last until the final moment of the piece, a defining characteristic of Grand-Guignol productions. To bathe the audience in shock and gratuitous violence with6ut a careful progression and heightening of tension would rob the play of its impact. Instead, de Lorde strived to "create an atmosphere, an ambiance, to suggest to the audience, little-bylittle, that something dreadful is going to happen. Murder, suicide, and torment seen on the stage are less frightening than the anticipation of that torture, suicide, or murder" (Deak, 1974, p. 36).

De Lorde's nickname and reputation were easy for Maurey to exploit in his public relations efforts, and they were deserved. De Lorde penned over 100 horror plays during his tenure at the Grand-Guignol, which lasted more than 30 years. He was the most popular writer associated with the theater and provided the Grand-Guignol with new, high-quality material around which to stage their horrors from the turn of the century until his death in 1933. After his death, de Lorde's plays would be included in the GrandGuignol's repertoire as late as the 1950s (Hand & Wilson, 2002). Paul Ratineau. The final piece of the puzzle in the transformation of the theater was the pioneering work of stage manager Paul Ratineau. It was Maurey's desire that all of the violence on stage look as real and convincing as possible. Ratineau was the man responsible for all of the stage trickery required to pull it off convincingly. Ratineau combined traditional props and stage trickery with some truly ingenious techniques. Most of the effects devised by Ratineau were closely guarded secrets and their mystery added to the Grand-Guignol's legend. The fake blood used at the theater was famous and a source of great debate because it was said to actually congeal and scab over like real blood. Blood that wasn't needed to flow was made from currant jelly, while the hemoglobin packs concealed in an actor's mouth would be bitten, expelling blood at the appropriate time, such as after a gunshot in the back. Retractable knives had been used in the theater for ages, but Ratineau constructed one with a soft, hollow handle. He would fill the handle with blood and the actor would squeeze it while applying the blade to the flesh of a hapless victim (Deak, 1974).

Many of Ratineau's techniques formed the basis for practical effects used in theater and motion pictures today. Cinematic close-ups are as unforgiving as the small theater space at the Grand-Guignol. Any trace of artifice and the realism of a scene is destroyed. Ratineau's special effects techniques were designed to be performed by actors in real time as the audience watched. Of equal importance is Ratineau's contribution to the area of practical sound effects, called "foley" in the motion picture industry. Ratineau recognized that ...the sound of a storm, wind, rain, a train - and at the same time were an important agent in creating atmosphere - tolling bells, frightening noises from the furniture, creaking doors and windows. Since recorded sound did not exist, Ratineau, the skillful stage manager of Grand Guignol had to invent ways of making sounds (Deak, 1974, p. 40). Light and Sound Besides sound, lighting and strict control of mise en scone, an obsession of Maurey's, were of great importance to ensuring the verisimilitude of a scene of horror and to maintaining the atmosphere of suspense audiences expected. As Deak (1974) states, "The theatre of horror is the theatre of extreme situations and emotions. To manipulate the spectators' emotions required an extraordinary precision in rendering those emotions onstage" (p. 39). The Guignol's most famous actress, Paula Maxa, describes the importance of the Guignol's lighting design to the success of a performance. The most important thing is to create an atmosphere. A certain kind of light is indispensable. It is necessary to have illumination filled with

shadows. It is paradoxical, but it is like that... some red or green in the corer, and the eye will see mystery everywhere. From the moment the curtain goes up, it is necessary that the audience be shocked and that it cannot see the d6cor completely - that it is already looking for something to happen. In that case, the audience has its mind turned toward something that it does not yet see, but that it is trying to see (Deak, 1974, p. 40). Adding to the difficulty of pulling off these effects and maintaining a carefullyconstructed mood was the size of the theater, only twenty feet by twenty feet (Deak, 1974, p. 39), and the fact that actors had to perform Ratineau's effects without the audience seeing what they were manipulating and while remaining in character, sometimes in concert with other actors. Much of this was accomplished through the careful use of lighting to leave much of the stage in darkness. As Deak (1974) said, imperfections in scenery and special effects techniques could be concealed and the illusion remains unspoiled. The use of light and shadow to draw the eye wasn't unique to the Grand-Guignol. It can be seen in countless paintings by the old masters, but the Grand-Guignol used it to conceal elements of the special effects that were not meant to be seen or to hide any possible imperfections that would spoil the realism of the moment. Acting style at the Grand-Guignol. Under Maurey's tight control, styles of acting were also altered to suit the subject matter. While maintaining naturalistic acting for verisimilitude, Maurey also added elements of melodrama, popular at the time in silent films, to emphasize the moments of horror (Deak, 1974).

Naturalism, a dour, pessimistic movement, and melodrama, a sentimental, highly emotional, and ultimately optimistic movement may at first seem incompatible, treating the same material in very different ways (Hand & Wilson, 2002). Melodrama "produced plays of sentimental and sermonizing morality in a world where the righteous who suffered misery and poverty were rewarded in Heaven" (Hand & Wilson, 2002, p. 8) whereas "Naturalism was a far more radical doctrine, in which bourgeois society was blamed for the brutalization of humankind" (Hand & Wilson, 2002, p. 8). Maurey incorporated melodrama into the Grand-Guignol's acting style to heighten the emotion of the more sensationalistic elements while keeping Naturalism as the guiding principle for the characters and situations. The Grand-GuignolStyle in Place With the Grand-Guignol style firmly in place within the first decade of the twentieth century, Maurey had taken the seed planted by Met6nier and transformed it into a highly successful venue for a type of entertainment that would one day bear the theater's name. Oscar M6t6nier and Max Maurey were the "architects of the GrandGuignol" (Hand & Wilson, 2002, p. 17) and the man who took over directorship from Maurey, Camille Choisy, would enjoy managing the theater throughout what is known as its "golden age" (Hand & Wilson, 2002, p. 17) between the two World Wars. Ironically, Choisy would inherit the theater due to Maurey's fears of its impending failure due to the onset of the First World War. Through World War I into the Golden Age Within the first year of World War I, Max Maurey left the Grand-Guignol and handed over directorship to Camille Choisy, formerly an actor in "second-rate

melodramas" (Hand & Wilson, 2002, p. 17), and his financial partner Charles Zibell. As Maurey continued the work of his predecessor and intensified the offerings of the GrandGuignol, so did Choisy. Camille Choisy enjoyed strict control of mise en scone the way Maurey did and made the sensational elements of a Grand-Guignol performance his primary interest. Choisy's secretary, Camillo Antona-Traversi, wrote, "Where my director excelled was in the mise en scone. Nothing made him happier than to invent new tricks to make the audience shiver" (Deak, 1974, p. 38). Choisy's primary focus was enhancing the already successful Grand-Guignol formulas concretized by Max Maurey. It seems he was experimenting with what was already in place, enhancing the most successful elements. Deak (1974) writes that "Choisy did not hesitate to intensify the horrors presented on stage, nor to order plays according to the timeliness of certain topics. Spectacular mise en scone and the use of light and sound effects were, under his directorship, carried further than ever before" (p. 38). While Choisy did not alter the established GrandGuignol style, he recognized the successful elements and did his best to accentuate them. For example, as melodrama, already introduced into the Grand-Guignol style by Maurey, enjoyed increased popularity in German Expressionist films after World War I, Choisy furthered the theater's incorporation of the acting style. Choisy is credited with maintaining the theater's popularity through the difficult years of 1914-1918, when the horrors of World War I were played out primarily in the fields of northern France (Hand & Wilson, 2002). It was during Choisy's stewardship, however, that a mostly unsuccessful, yet possibly influential and far-reaching series of attempts to export the Grand-Guignol performance style took place. Though the attempts

at export were largely unsuccessful, it does suggest that the Grand-Guignol was prosperous enough after World War I that Choisy was optimistic about an attempt to mount an international tour. Exporting the Grand-GuignolStyle In 1908, Maurey made an attempt to take the French Grand-Guignol company on a tour outside Paris, to London, but the export experiment met with little success (Hand & Wilson, 2002). Choisy made a second attempt in 1923. The Parisian Grand-Guignol troupe visited New York and played at the Frolic Theater for almost ten weeks. This attempt was similarly unsuccessful and Deak (1974) blames the failure of the attempt on "the language difficulties, cultural differences, and rather mild horror repertory" (P. 39). Later, a third attempt was made in 1926 by American George Renavent, who founded the American Grand Guignol, Inc. at the Grove Street Theater (Deak, 1974). Unfortunately, this incarnation of the Grand-Guignol was just as unsuccessful as past attempts and it did not last beyond its first season. Several other attempts were made to establish Grand-Guignol theater in Canada, England, and Italy, but most were just as unsuccessful as in the United States. The London incarnation of the Grand-Guignol ran for two years with a heavily censored repertoire, offering mostly "poisonings, strangulations and the like" (Hand & Wilson, 2002, p. 20). The company finally sealed its doom when they presented an eyeballgouging during a production of Andre de Lorde's The Old Women. Extra pressure was put on the theater by the local censor after the performance and, within a year, the company was forced to close up shop.

French theater troupes did not fare very well in general in the United States through the 1930s, with many of them garnering very harsh criticism. Theater critic Alexander Woollcott summed up the problem of French theater in America saying, "French production in New York during the last ten years has swung from the appalling through the superb and back to the mediocre without at any time achieving the popular" (Keating, 1959, p. 123). According to Keating (1959), this assessment was accurate and the criticism well-deserved as the "commercially-produced plays were of most uneven quality" (p. 123). However, Keating credits the French touring companies of the 1920s and 30s with disseminating French culture throughout the United States as their New York productions were seen by thousands of tourists from across the country (Keating, 1953). The failure of the Grand-Guignol style outside Paris has lead Hand & Wilson (2002) to suggest that the theater was "so inextricably linked to Paris ... to the theatre building itself, as well as the unique experience the whole theatrical event provided" (p. 20) that the attempts at export were bound to be futile. They also suggest that the only successful attempt to stage the Grand-Guignol abroad came when local troupes adapted the Grand-Guignol stytle to their own regional culture (Hand & Wilson, 2002). However, these experiments didn't last very much longer than tours by the Parisian troupe. The London incarnation lasted only two years and offered the same sort of watered down material, albeit by order of the local censors, that proved unsuccessful on the New York stage. It seems more likely that what audiences abroad got was not entirely the GrandGuignol whose legend was spreading far and wide at the time. Perhaps if foreign audiences had gotten a taste of that particularly Parisian Grand-Guignol, the tours and

local incarnations may have been more of a success. There may have been concerns over censorship or worries that audiences abroad would be offended, but it seems clear that the Grand-Guignol had its teeth removed for export. Changes of Managementand Style (1928 - 1962) Choisy's involvement with the theater ended when his partner, Zibell, sold his stake to Jack Jouvin. Choisy and Jouvin's relationship was intensely unfriendly and Choisy eventually left the theater in 1928 (Hand & Wilson, 2002), leaving Jouvin in complete control of the theater's direction. Upon Choisy's departure, Jouvin initiated the first major change in the GrandGuignol style since Maurey, replacing "physical violence with psychological and sexual menace" (Gordon, 1997, p. 28). He continued his alterations, perhaps attempting to leave his mark on the theater in the same way his predecessors had. Jouvin attempted to unite each evening's schedule of plays by theme or authorship and decreased the amount of work by Andre de Lorde that was staged. Like the attempts to export a watered-down version of the Grand-Guignol, Jouvin's alteration of a significant aspect of the notorious Grand-Guignol style may have been a fatal move. Of course, the theater was still popular and would not close until more than 30 years later, but Jouvin's directorship saw the beginning of a pattern of questionable alterations and a series of management changes that ultimately led to abandonment of the carefully constructed Grand-Guignol built by M6t6nier and Maurey at the turn of the century.

Hand & Wilson (2002) point out that, while the blame cannot rest solely on Jouvin's shoulders, "it is true that it was under Jouvin's stewardship that the GrandGuignol began its slow and irreversible decline" (p. 21). Resident Guignol actress Paula Maxa, however, lays the blame strictly on Jouvin, claiming that "the Grand-Guignol began its decline because of Jouvin's insistence on retaining control over all aspects of production, rather than any lack of ability or abandonment of traditional Grand-Guignol values on his part" (Hand & Wilson, 2002, p. 22). Granted, Maxa and Jouvin had a tempestuous relationship resulting in Maxa's departure from the Grand-Guignol for a time and an attempt to start her own avant-garde theater. That venture was unsuccessful and she returned to the Grand-Guignol soon after. Hand & Wilson (2002) describe the post-Jouvin Grand-Guignol: Jouvin relinquished ownership of the theatre in 1938, but it was not until February of the following year that Eva Berkson, an Englishwoman, staged her first season. Berkson was in charge for little more than a year before the fall of Paris forced her to flee to England. As a result, Choisy returned once more to the Grand-Guignol. Following the liberation in 1944 the Grand-Guignol closed down until Berkson returned in 1946 to reclaim her theatre. The [Grand-Guignol] now set into a pattern of decline which only seemed to accelerate with time. In 1951 Berkson brought in Charles Nonon as an administrator and retired the following year, fleeing to England again... this time escaping spiraling debts (p. 23).

Choisy's return to the directorship of the theater for a short time in Berkson's absence should have been a positive occurance, but bad publicity generated by rumors that Choisy collaborated with the Nazis during the Occupation (the theater was a favorite haunt of Hermann Goering, Hitler's second in command) dampened hope of a revitalization. The situation didn't improve after Berkson returned to the Grand-Guignol after the Liberation. The move away from the old successful Grand-Guignol style was furthered by Berkson, who abandoned the famous douche icossaise in favor of the full-length No Orchidsfor Miss Blandish, an adaptation of an American gangster novel. Other noticeably un-Guignolesque plays were staged in an attempt to revive the theater's former popularity including musical revues, but the slow decline continued through the 1950s and into the 1960s. The "pattern of decline" described by Hand & Wilson (2002, p. 23) offers a more realistic and believable scenario leading to the eventual closure of the Grand-Guignol than any competition with cinema or a distaste for violence brought on by the horrors of war. After all, the decline lasted for more than 20 years, a process elongated by the great success of the Grand-Guignol early on and its continued, though slowly diminishing, success through two world wars. The end of the Grand-Guignol was heralded, despite the length of its decline, when management began to move away from the unique and successful Grand-Guignol style established by Max Maurey in the first few years of the twentieth century. The genius of the Grand-Guignol style was in its adaptability. Constructed as a series of oneact plays, an evening's entertainment could be fine tuned. Plays that weren't eliciting the

desired response could be fairly quickly replaced with something more appropriate, whether it was a new piece or a revival of an old favorite, a horror play or a comedy. Sweeping away this successful formula in favor of full-length plays and abandoning the sensational special effects in the portrayal of physical violence betrays an ignorance of the basic structure that made the Grand-Guignol so unique for so long. Thanks to the skillful public relations efforts of Max Maurey, audiences had come to expect something very unique and very particular to the Grand-Guignol. By the end of World War II, that unique offering was becoming rare at the Grand-Guignol. Mostly, this was due to mismanagement as a rotating series of directors of questionable judgement began picking away at the old grand-Guignol style in favor of material that could be found at many other Parisian theaters. Adding to the misfortune of the Grand-Guignol was the death of its most famous playwright, Andre de Lorde. De Lorde had been producing new work up until his death in 1933. As World War II ended and new directors tried to modernize, then revitalize the Grand-Guignol as its slow decline continued, no new work from the "Prince of Terror" would be forthcoming and revivals of his classic plays were becoming less frequent. De Lorde was slipping into Grand-Guignol history along with the douche dcossaise. As the Grand-Guignol suffered from its own mismanagement and the abandonment of its notorious style, the motion picture industry began to free itself from a decades-long era of self-censorship and offer more frank images of violence and sexuality. The Grand-Guignol style, now all but abandoned by the Grand-Guignol itself, began to appear in horror films, most notably in the initial genre offerings from Hammer Studios in England.

Chapter 4 Cinema and the Grand-Guignol

The Birth of Cinema in Paris In 1895, two years prior to Oscar M&t6nier's founding of the Grand-Giugnol, another institution was inaugurated in Paris. On the evening of December 28, Auguste and Louis Lumiere first presented a series of motion pictures to a paying audience. Their one-minute films, called "actualities," were brief glimpses of the natural world. The subjects were without a story per se; at one minute not much time was available for the development of a plot. Instead, the Lumieres fascinated the audience with moving images of themselves: Workers leaving a factory at the end of the day, a baby eating lunch, and, most famously, a locomotive arriving at a boarding platform at La Ciotat. The actualities of the Lumiere brothers were unified in spirit with the Naturalist plays ofM6t6nier and his contemporaries. While the Lumieres' films didn't espouse an anti-establishment point of view or cry but against the norms and mores of bourgeois society, they presented a quieter affirmation of their subjects by simply deeming them worthy of being photographed. These early documentary films were very popular with audiences and the Lumiere style was quickly exported across the globe. The success of the Lumiere-style actualities were due in part to the novelty of the medium and to the general interest in the subject matter, but the Lumieres were not without competition. Auguste and Louis Lumiere may have inaugurated an industry by arranging a screening for a paying audience, but the

motion picture didn't spring whole cloth from their own minds. In fact, motion pictures were developed almost simultaneously in France, England, Germany, and the United States (Knight, 1957). What was arguably the biggest factor that led to the success and rapid acceptance of the Lumiere film was the design of the camera. The Lumieres' cinematographe was a small, portable device that could sit on a tabletop. In contrast, Thomas Edison's kinetographe was roughly the size of an upright piano and took several men to move it. The cindmatographe could be carried easily around the globe and it was. In addition to its compact design, the cinematographe could not only take photographs, but the same device could be used to develop the exposed film and then project it. In his book Documentary: A History of the Non-FictionFilm Erik Barnouw discusses the cinematographe's role in seeding this world culture of cinema. "It had set a new industry in motion on five continents ... It had put France in the lead as film producer and exporter, a position it would hold for more than a decade ... In scores of countries, the visit of a Lumiere operator marked the beginning of film history" (1974, p. 19). As filmmakers began to explore the possibilities of this new mode of expression, certain elements of the supernatural and the fantastic would enter into the milieu. What cinema produced in this regard was far removed from what was offered at the GrandGuignol. For decades, the cinema would shy away from graphic depictions of any kind for reasons discussed later in this chapter. Although cinema was an immensely popular form of art and entertainment on several continents from its outset, the completely different treatment of horror or the macabre set it apart from the Grand-Guignol, so much

so that it can't be said to have been a direct competitor of the Grand-Guiognol as a venue for horror. Films of the Fantastic While filmmaking before the turn of the century was characterized primarily by the Lumiere style actuality, travelogues, newsreels and generally documentary material, Georges M6lies, a Parisian invited to the very first Lumiere screening, the evening before the first paid performance, sought to explore the possibilities the motion picture offered in the realm of fantasy. M6lies himself was involved in theater. He was the director of the popular Theatre du Robert Houdin in Paris, where he had practiced his stage magic for a number of years (Gifford, 1973). M6li&s' primary interest was in trick photography, creating impossible visual imagery, such as a giant devil, floating heads, exploding insects, and sudden appearances and disappearances out of and into thin air. While certain supernatural or macabre elements would find its way into M6lies' work, his treatment was more playful than shocking, intending to amuse rather than frighten. This is indicative of a tendency for the fantastic on film to shy away from more gruesome depictions of violence or anything visually upsetting. In his book, An IllustratedHistory of the HorrorFilm, Carlos Clarens (1967) remarks, "In general, M6lies seems to eschew the horrors of the Grand Guignol, then rampant on the Paris stage" (p. 6). The attempts of other filmmakers to portray the fantastic or horrific on film were similarly tepid. Thomas Edison's catalogue from 1910 offers his company's brief adaptation of Frankensteinwith the assurance that "many repulsive situations have been

eliminated" (Clarens, 1967, p. 39). Carlos Clarens (1967) also describes some changes to the familiar story indicated in the catalogue: In a curious departure from the novel that anticipates the climax of Nosferatu a decade later, the Monster is defeated by the power of love and vanishes into think air, leaving Frankenstein and his bride to live happily ever after (p. 38). With many of what the producer must have determined to be potentially upsetting elements removed from the story, what remained to horrify was the make-up for the Monster designed by the actor who portrayed him, Charles Ogle. However, looking more like a kabuki actor in a fright wig, Ogle's make-up was far from graphic, but audiences, according to some exhibitors, were distressed by his appearance nonetheless (Clarens, 1967). Five years later, in 1915, Ocean Film Corporation released their own adaptation of Frankensteinunder the title Life Without a Soul. Perhaps not wanting to risk alarming audiences and adversely affecting their box office, the Monster, this time called "The Creation" was stripped of any make-up effects and made much more recognizably human in an attempt to evoke more sympathy from viewers. The audience was assured in press releases that the Creation was "awe-inspiring, but never grotesque" (Gifford, 1973, p. 44). The story of Frankensteinwas further sanitized in Life Without a Soul with the addition of another decidedly un-horrific ending in which the protagonist awakes and realizes the entire experience had been but a dream (Clarens, 1967). Unfortunately, this "it was only a dream" ending became typical for films dealing with horror or fantasy.

According to Clarens (1967), even D.W. Griffith resorted to using it for his 1914 adaptation of Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart entitled The Avenging Conscience. While some of the reluctance to depict anything remotely upsetting or grotesque in a fantasy film may have been the reaction, or over-reaction, of producers to complaints from patrons, the result would be far-reaching. For many years, the fantasy film would be regarded as light entertainment, mainly for children and devoid of anything worthy of contemplation and certainly not serious art. This condescending attitude is exemplified by one turn-of-the-century reviewer's notice for Mtli&s' film The Devil: "M6lies' films can always be counted on to please a certain element of the audience and especially the children, who become spellbound by the magic and clever effects produced by this master of trick photography" (Clarens, 1967, p. 7). Even when drawing from the same material, the fantastic cinema of the early 1900s as compared to what was offered in Le The6tre du Grand-Guignol is striking. This aversion of cinema to depictions of graphic violence or anything remotely gruesome or upsetting even when adapting the same source material as the Grand-Guignol further undercuts the notion that cinema was a direct competitor in this area. Poe's short story, The System ofDr. Tarr and ProfessorFeather,was filmed by Edison's company as Lunatics in Power. According to Clarens (1967), the film was stripped of "all traces of terror and released as a comedy" (p. 7). The same story was adapted for the Grand-Guignol stage shortly thereafter by Andre de Lorde as The System of Doctor Goudronand ProfessorPlume. His stage directions for the end of the piece, included in the script, offer a striking example of what

the theater was famous for and what Edison was shying away from with his own adaptation: At this moment, the director's corpse is dragged from the room by the third guard: a horrible corpse, mutilated, mangled, the face totally slashed with razor blade cuts. Everyone recoils before this horrible spectacle, turning their heads as the corpse is brought across the stage, and we hear in the distance the shrieking screams of the insane, who again start their laughing and singing. The curtain slowly falls" (De Lorde, 1974, p. 52). In 1913, French film director Maurice Tourneur directed a film adaptation of de Lorde's play, ostensibly more gruesome that the previous Edison film. The film was released in the United States as The Lunatics, but the critical response was negative and the film was deemed, "too grim for Sunday showings" (Clarens, 1967, p. 42). An interesting lineage arises here as Maurice Tourneur's former employer was Andre Antoine of the Th6btre Libre, Oscar M&t6nier's former partner in the Naturalist movement. Tourneur's son, Jacques, would become known for directing several gripping, atmospheric horror films including Cat People (1942) and I Walked with a Zombie (1943) for American producer Val Lewton. The low budget horror films from Val Lewton and Jacques Toumeur were notable'for their creative techniques reminiscent of aspects of lighting and strict control of mise en scene at the Grand-Guignol. As German cinema began to draw on literary horror for inspiration, it produced a unique form of horror film that had a positive influence on the GrandGuignol style in the form of the melodramatic acting style.

The Influence of German Cinema Germany's literary history is rife with Teutonic tales of the fantastic and the grotesque, called Schauerromane,or 'shudder novels' (Clarens, 1967), and such tales would seem to have offered plenty of material for the burgeoning film industry, but German cinema was churning out much the same kind of film as the rest of the world. In 1913, however, the direction of German cinema would change. As Clarens (1967) states, "The German cinema of the early part of the century, after fumbling through a period of crude peasant humor and sentimental drama, found its way to the fantastic" (p. 10). Writer Hanns Heinz Ewers borrowed from two literary sources, E.T.A. Hoffman's The Sand Man (1816) and Poe's William Wilson (1839), to construct the screenplay for The Student of Prague(1913), an important film for German cinema as it marked a departure not only in style and theme, but also in production practices. The Student of Praguewas filmed on location away from the studio set, an unusual practice at the time (Clarens, 1967). The filmmakers looked for unusual and foreboding back alleys and pathways to reflect the foreboding atmosphere of fear and the unraveling psychological state of the protagonist. The story of The Student ofPrague is similar to what could be found in the Schauerromane.A student gives his reflection to a mysterious man who turns out to be the Devil. Before coming to his ultimate demise, the student is plagued by visions of his doppelganger, his double, who stalks him at night. The student is overcome with fear and lures the double to the spot where he kills him and, of course, himself. Thematically, the film also deals with the two sides of man's psyche, good and evil, and the necessity for both. The Student of Prague was a particularly introspective

topic for the time and one which leads directly into the wave of Expressionist films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari(1919) and Nosferatu (1922) that would follow after the First World War and provide a source of inspiration for the Grand-Guignol. Janowitz and Mayer, Caligari'sscreenwriters, were inspired by the films of Carl Wegener, who portrayed the student and his double in The Student ofPragueand the titular character in The Golem (1920). Their screenplay for Caligari,about a hypnotist using his subject as an instrument of murder, was full of the bitterness of "four years of war and repression" (Clarens, 1967, p. 14) and the unorthodox visual style of films like The Student of Praguewould be heightened to reflect the psychological distress of the characters. The environment in films like Caligariwas altered to reflect the inner turmoil of the main character with all its paranoia, uncertainty, and anxiety. Cityscape sets were uneven, shadows were painted to be rich, dark, and foreboding, and the angles were odd and unnatural. Although the simple painted flats were largely a cost-saving measure, The painted shadows allowed for less light to be used and, therefore, less electricity (Clarens, 1967), the set designs made for some striking visuals and helped to define the look of German Expressionist cinema. The end result was the beginning of a popular and highly influential wave of Expressionist cinema from Germany, known there as Schauerfilme (shudder films). Clarens (1967) notes Caligari'simportance: What [The Cabinet ofDr. Caligari]undoubtedly accomplished was a break in the naturalistic progress of the cinema. For a quarter of a century, the cinema's first concern - aside from such exceptions as M61is - was the photographic reproduction of reality (p. 17).

The themes adopted by Caligari and other films produced during the Expressionist movement were familiar territory to the Grand-Guignol. After all, the types of horror plays they offered, in which the instrument of terror is man, grew out of Metdnier and others' Naturalist sensibilities. What became so important to Expressionist cinema and, in turn, to the Grand-Guignol, was the melodramatic style of acting used to convey the intense and growing horror with the style's heightened emotions, luring the audience into a sympathetic state of anxiety. The cinema, while beginning to explore more of the grotesque and fantastic, constrained those explorations mostly to the psychological, rather than the physical realm. This is partly due to the social climate in Germany characterized by soul-searching and pessimistic examinations of the human condition after a demoralizing defeat in the First World War. Another reason for the reluctance to include scenes of sexual frankness or violent imagery in films meant for wide distribution by many European producers was the strict rules governing the production and exhibition of motion pictures in America since at least 1915. Although European producers weren't subject to such strict content control during production, any studio wishing to tap into the American market would need to conform. Content Controlsand the World Market through the Wars Film censorship in America had its beginnings in 1907 when the city of Chicago gave municipal police departments the power to regulate the content of motion pictures shown in local theaters. The situation worsened with the creation


of the National Board of Film Censorship in 1909, comprised of industry professionals and members of the general public (Bohn & Stromgren, 1987). After that, locall censorship boards began to crop up in places like Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio. In 1915, the United States Supreme Court heard a case by the State of Ohio against the Mutual Film Corporation in which a decision was made that prior restraint and censorship of motion pictures was constitutional, stating that it is "a business, pure and simple, originated and conducted for profit. .. not to be regarded, nor intended to be regarded by the Ohio Constitution, we think, as part of the press of the country or as organs of public opinion" (Bohn & Stromgren, 1987, p. 47). Denied free speech protection by the Mutual vs. Ohio ruling, the motion picture industry feared federal regulation. In response, the industry tightened selfcensorship and by 1930 had generated an extensive list of restricted subject matter called the Hays Production Code. Of course, sexual frankness and violent imagery were banned. During this time of increasing content control and censorship, Hollywood began to dominate the European market. According to Bohn & Stromgren (1987), The First World War severely hampered European film production and evolution and by the 1920s, Hollywood claimed 50 percent of the market in France and Germany and 85 to 95 percent in Western and Central Europe. After the First World War, Germany made an important contribution with the rise of Expressionism in cinema, but Hitler's acent to power threw the yoke of state control around the neck of the German industry, ending its successful artistic

experimentation and forcing into service to German nationalism. Beginning in the mid-1920s, Germany was also losing much of its film talent as Fritz Lang, Karl Freund, Erich Pommer, and F.W. Murnau left for Hollywood. World War II stunted European film production even more than the First World War. Hollywood continued its dominance of the domestic and European markets and the Hays Production Code remained firmly in place until the studio system began to flounder in the early 1950s. Suffering from studio overhead, which could be as high as 20 to 30 percent of a film's budget, studios began to have a harder time breaking even. According to Bohn & Stromgren (1987), "In 1950 and again in 1953, 51 of the 70 pictures released by Paramount failed to recoup their negative costs in the United States and Canada" (p. 247). As studios felt the budget crunch, they decreased production and frequently signed distribution deals with independent producers. The Production Code so restricted what was allowed to be shown in motion pictures that cinema had a hard time even coming close to the frank discussions of sexuality, displays of violence or horror, or even a portrayal of certain kinds of reality that could be found on the stage at the Grand-Guignol. Under the yoke of the Production Code, it is doubtful the cinema could have offered even the plays discussing alternate value systems or challenges to popular notions of morality that characterized the naturalist plays of the early GrandGuignol. Burdened by such heavy censorship, cinema wouldn't enter the realm of competing on a level playing field with the Grand-Guignol, thematically, until the 1950s.

Independent producers had much more to lose if a film failed to gain the seal of approval of industry censorship boards or the powerful Catholic Legion of Decency. The censorship issue came to a head in 1952 when Joseph Burstyn, an American importer-distributor purchased the rights to the Italian film The Miracle (1952) by Roberto Rossellini. The film had been condemned as "sacrilegious" by the New York Board of Regents (Bohn & Stromgren, 1987) and was forbidden to be exhibited. Facing a great financial loss, Burstyn challenged the Board and, in a landmark decision, the Supreme Court reversed its 1915 ruling in the Mutual vs. Ohio case, deciding that motion pictures were protected under laws governing free speech. While the ruling applied specifically to issues of sacrilege, it was enough to provide a foothold for other challenges. The next few years saw numerous rulings against censorship on issues of crime, race, and sexuality and, by the mid-1950s, the Hays Production Code became "fuzzy and watered down to the point of meaninglessness" (Bohn & Stromgren, 1987, p. 247). With the restraints of the Hays Production Code no longer a concern for film producers, many formerly taboo subjects began to appear in films and in 1957, Hammer Studios in England released The Curse ofFrankenstein, one of the first graphically violent horror films in the Grand-Guignol mode to gain worldwide distribution. This was followed by HorrorofDracula(1958) and the success of the two launched Hammer, formerly a somewhat successful producer of genre and science-fiction films, into the spotlight as one of the top Independent production studios and, as the Grand-Guignol closed its doors in 1962, the leading purveyor of the classic Grand-Guignol style.

Hammer Film Studios In 1957, Hammer Film Studios, which had previously been producing a string of profitable science-fiction and prehistoric adventure films, turned out The Curse of Frankenstein,a shockingly gruesome and violent adaptation of the Mary Shelley novel. The film marked the beginning of such graphic depictions on screen and displays evidence of the techniques that made the Grand-Guignol so popular for the previous six decades. Since the violence and bloodshed had to happen onscreen, in front of the audience's eyes, many of the techniques developed by the Grand-Guignol's Paul Ratineau, such as blood-filled bladders concealed behind a knife handle, skin flayed from the back of a victim, etc. were essential to maintaining the atmosphere of fear. If the trick was revealed to the audience or if the violent act appeared noticeably fake, the carefully established mood would be destroyed. While the technicians of the Grand-Guignol used very skillful and carefully rendered mise en scene to conceal the stage trickery, the filmmakers at Hammer Studios had the technique of film editing at their disposal to guide and control the attention of the audience. Arguably, the technique of film editing would be more effective, for the editors could ensure the audience's attention to a particular detail by inserting a close-up shot of it. The technicians of the GrandGuignol had to rely only on their skill and hope that was enough. Again, arguably, it was, for more than sixty years. While the success of Hammer's take on Frankenstein led to a series of sequels as well as other films in a similar style, such as Horror ofDraculaand its

sequels, it is not a forgone conclusion that Hammer's successful incorporation of the violent imagery into horror cinema was the death knell for the Grand-Guignol. It's true that the Grand-Guignol closed its doors in 1962, not long after the beginning of Hammer's successful 25-year reign as the cinematic king of horror, but it is anything but a simple fact that Hammer Studios is a usurper to the throne and not an heir apparent. It is doubtful that the Grand-Guignol, if the movement were as successful as it had ever been, could be felled so quickly and so completely by Hammer's brand of horror cinema. As discussed in the previous chapter, by the early 1960s, the management at Le Theatre du Grand-Guignol had all but abandoned the carefully constructed style that had launched its decadeslong success. What the management at Hammer Studios recognized was not an opportunity to drive the Grand-Guignol out of business, but that the successful Grand-Guignol style could be used just as successfully in the production of their own form of sensational entertainment.

Chapter 5 The End of Le Th6&tre du Grand-Guignol

The Successful Grand-GuignolStyle Hand & Wilson (2002) suggest that the slow decline of the theatre began in the mid-1930s. From the details of the theater's successful origin to the final closing discussed in the previous chapters, the seed of its ultimate failure in the 1930s was planted with the gradual move away from the successful Grand-Guignol style developed in the first years of the twentieth century. Initiated by the quirky interests of Naturalist playwright Oscar M6t6nier and perfected by his successor, Max Maurey, the GrandGuignol style consisted of three basic elements: First, the consistently popular and prolific output of Andre de Lorde, the GrandGuignol's primary author and "Prince of Terror." Second, the masterful and pioneering effects work of Paul Ratineau not only in the realm of make-up and prop effects, but in the areas of lighting control and the use of sound to enhance the atmosphere. Third, the ingenious public relations and publicity campaign by Max Maurey which created a brand image for the Grand-Guignol and propelled the theater to the status of legend. These three elements inhabited and supported the ingenious method of delivery at the Grand-Guignol, the douche dcossaise, an alternating progression of one-act horror plays and comedies, throughout which the performers could steadily heighten the tension

felt by the audience until the final, most shocking event during the end of the last play. The horror plays were the most popular faire at the Grand-Guignol, but interspersing them with comedies allowed the manipulation and gradual increase of anxiety and tension throughout the evening. The combination was masterful and propelled the theater to success as a unique and notorious Parisian attraction for almost 60 years. The Dismantlingof the Grand-GuignolStyle The departure of one particular element of the Grand-Guignol's success is something that isn't the fault of any of the theater's latter day directors. In 1933, Andre de Lorde, the Grand-Guignol's "Prince of Terror" died. A replacement for de Lorde was sought, but the effort was futile. An article in the March 1957 copy of The New York Times Magazine lamented de Lorde's absence and its effect on the theatre's popularity. No new genius of crime has come to replace the pre-war Prince of Terror, de Lorde. And so, in the meantime, the Grand-Guignol weaves a shaky course between watered-down thrillers and comic-relief striptease. This compromise satisfies neither the lovers of the old tradition nor those who come expecting to try out new recipes for swooning (Schneider, 1957, 17). The theater continued to stage older pieces by de Lorde, as it had throughout the years, but without new material from the man whose prolific output was a major factor in the success of the theatre, or someone nearly as popular, there arose the distinct possibility of the Grand-Guignol's seasons growing stale and repetitive. Perhaps the

quality and amount of de Lorde's work helped to sustain the theater for so long after his death, but it certainly couldn't do so forever. During the same period, Jack Jouvin was the director of the theater. Jouvin's personal ambition and ego have been cited as contributing factors to the eventual failure of the once successful theater. Jouvin demanded complete control over every aspect of the productions and, in what may have been a devastating move for the popularity of the theatre, fired Paula Maxa, the Grand-Guignol's leading lady. Maxa, in describing Jouvin's insistence on complete control and the effect it had on the overall quality of the Guignol performances said, "Jouvin was not a bad director, he put on some good shows, but he wanted to do everything himself, especially the writing of all the plays, which created a great monotony" (Hand & Wilson, 2002, p. 22). Hand & Wilson (2002) point out that "It would unfair to lay the blame for the decline and fall of the Grand-Guignol entirely at the door of Jack Jouvin ... although it is true that it was under Jouvin's stewardship that the Grand-Guignol began its slow and irreversible decline" (p. 21). However, Paula Maxa, together with Antona-Traversi, a former assistant to previous Grand-Guignol director Camille Choisy, were very vocal in their denouncements of Jouvin to the press, which contributed to the erosion of the theater's reputation. The years following the end of World War II were difficult for the Grand-Guignol as misguided attempts at modernization and spiraling debt acquired during Berkson's tenure, and the bad publicity from Choisy collaboration rumors culminated in a GrandGuignol that was going stale and becoming something other than what audiences

expected from the "Playhouse of Horror." A series of minor and questionably talented directors tried to salvage the reputation and the fading box office receipts of the theater with new, full-length works from more conventional playwrights and even staged some musicals. The Grand-Guignol had built its success on a carefully constructed alternation of short one-act comedies and horror pieces. The attempts to save the Grand-Guignol by the post-WWII directors continually shifted further and further away from that successful formula until what was left by the end was a theater that was the Grand-Guignol in name only. It can be said that the Grand-Guignol failed when it became something other than the Grand-Guignol. What was being offered by the end of the theater's existence was material that could be seen at many other playhouses in Paris. The Grand-Guignol had been a legendary venue for its unique brand of entertainment. In hindsight, the attempts to export the Grand-Guignol style to other countries failed for the same reason. Instead of staging the notorious Grand-Guignol material in the way that made it famous, foreign audiences were presented with a weak, watered-down and somewhat sanitized version of the famous repertoire. Inadequate Theories of the Decline Of the years immediately following World War II, Hand & Wilson (2002) said, "Although we must be careful not to overplay the decline of the Grand-Guignol during this period - it could be argued that it no longer captured the Zeitgeist in quite the way it had previously done" (p. 23). The popular excuse that the Grand-Guignol closed because it could not withstand a change in the public's attitude towards graphic depictions of violence after experiencing the horrors of World War II is an insufficient and, in light of

the mismanagement and the changes made to the Grand-Guignol style beginning with Jouvin, to say nothing of the popularity of the theater through both world wars, ignores the reality of the theater's final years. The importance placed on the Grand-Guignol style throughout this examination might suggest that the Grand-Guignol was inflexible and doomed to failure once the interest in this particular mode of entertainment died away. However, the Grand-Guignol style was very flexible in this regard. The successful framework devised by Maurey for the presentation of the Grand-Guignol's drama allowed for adaptation to emerging trends and interests. Part of the secret to the success and longevity of the Grand-Guignol may be in its ability to change itself over the years to meet the fluctuating tastes of the public while retaining the quality and characteristics that made it so legendary. Hand & Wilson (2000) express the Guignol's ability to adapt: It would, of course, be naive to assume that performance practice at the Th6atre du Grand-Guignol remained unchanged throughout its sixty-five year history. The demands of a range of directors, literary movements and theatrical styles ensured that the naturalism of M6t6nier gave way to the style of Maurey and Chosiy, who favoured a performance style more influenced by melodrama. In turn this was replaced by the more selfconscious and stylized presentations of the postwar period, a style that has been said to have had 'a camp quality'. The Grand-Guignol, in its battle to retain, and later regain, its popularity, continually redefined itself in the context of social, cultural and technological changes in society (p. 275).

As directors began to alter the successful Grand-Guignol style and structure, what was left was something indistinct from many other theaters in Paris. The Grand-Guignol that closed in 1962 was nothing like the Grand-Guignol that thrived for the previous several decades. This also undercuts the other popular theory for the Grand-Guignol's disappearance, that the theatre could no longer compete with cinema. Based on the details leading to the emergence of horror cinema and the state of the Grand-Guignol in the late1950s it is doubtful that there was actually any period at all where the cinema was directly competing with the Grand-Guignol. For more than 60 years, the cinema had shied away from presenting material in the same way as was popular in the Grand-Guignol throughout the same time period. One of the major reasons for the reluctance to present scenes of sexual frankness, gore, or violence was the restrictive nature of the Hays Production Code in America which disallowed the exhibition of such material. The stunted and interrupted progression of European cinema due to the hardships of two massively destructive world wars waged on its continent within 30 years, paved the way for the dominance of Hollywood pictures throughout the world. By the same token, European producers who wanted to export their films to American theaters were bound by the same restrictive guidelines of the Production Code as were American producers. By the time the Hays Production Code lost it teeth and the controls on motion picture content were loosened in the 1950s, the same argument could be made that, at this time, there was no recognizable Grand-Guignol with which to compete. That the producers at Hammer Studios recognized the value in the traditional Grand-Guignol style

and incorporated it into their films speaks more to their intelligence and good business sense than the failure of the Grand-Guignol to compete against them. By the time Hammer released their first Grand-Guignol style film, The Curse ofFrankensteinin 1957, it could again be said that it was the only form of recognizably Grand-Guignol entertainment available to audiences and that the Grand-Guignol theater that had inspired it was already all but gone. The two popular theories about the demise of the Grand Guignol are overlydramatic and seem to be seeking a more meaningful and less regrettable explanation for the disappearance of the notorious theater. The fact is, the theater was successful through both World Wars and never suffered any direct competition with cinema. The most popular explanations seek to blame external forces for the downfall of the Grand-Guignol when the details explored over the last few chapters point to a series of internal decisions that eroded the successful Grand-Guignol style to the point of its ultimate failure. Areasfor Future Study It could be argued that the popularity of the Grand-Guignol had never really waned. The theater failed only when it didn't deliver the full experience for which it had become notorious, as in the attempts to export the theater to other countries, or when misguided managers altered the successful Grand-Guignol style to the point where it no longer existed even in its home in La Pigalle. The continued success of the GrandGuignol style is evident in the great success of the horror films from Hammer Studios through the 1970s. Hammer closed after a financial crisis in England, but by that time the Grand-Guignol style had migrated to other countries like Italy in the films ofMario Bava and Dario Argento and to America in films such as the very Guignolesque Blood Feast

(1963), Two Thousand Maniacs (1964), Bloodsucking Freaks (1976), and Dawn of the Dead (1978) and many others. The Grand-Guignol found a great success in the convergence of horror and the gritty reality of the Naturalism movement. The influence of the Grand-Guignol on modem horror cinema starting in the late-1950s is clear. A more extensive examination of the influence of the Grand-Guignol, with its roots in Naturalism, on reality-based cinema emerging in the post World War II period in Italy (Neo-realism of the 1940s), France (Cinema Verite beginning in the 1950s) and in America (American Cinema Verite beginning in the 1960s), might yield some surprising connections. It could be that the seemingly disparate qualities of Naturalism and horror came together very successfully for a time as Le Th6atre du Grand-Guignol. As the Grand-Guignol slowly self-destructed and finally disappeared, the successful Grand-Guignol style found a home in horror cinema, but it would be interesting to trace the path of the style in the other direction, toward naturalistic cinema and where, if anywhere, the two may be poised to come together once again.


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Sean O'Leary 1213 Crestmont Drive Mantua, NJ 08051 856-415-9274 856-256-4307 EDUCATION Rowan University Master of Arts in Writing, 2005 The Relationship Between Le Theatre du Grand-Guignol and The Cinema 1897 - 1962. Graduate Program Coordinator: Dr. Diane Penrod Dr. Joseph Bierman, Acedemic Thesis Advisor. Glassboro State College Bachelor of Arts in Communication, 1992

EXPERIENCE "Sean and Phil's Quick & Dirty Guide to Cinema, Lesson 1: Genre" 2003 Screenplay Capital Improvement Grant, Rowan University SGA, 2002 Provided advisement and assistance for a cooperative effort between Rowan University Cinema Workshop and Rowan Television Network to write a successful $130,000 grant proposal presented to the Rowan University Student Government Association. "Fragment of a Diary Found On Ellesmere Island" 2001 Adapted screenplay LORE: The Digest of Maddening Fiction, 1994 - 1999 Co-publisher, Associate Editor

PUBLICATIONS LORE: The Digest of Maddening Fiction, 1994 - 1999 Opinion/Editorial content

CONFERENCES University Film & Video Association - Panelist, 2001 Participated in a discussion panel on student documentary production. Garden State Horror Writers Association - Guest Speaker, 1997 Lectured amateur writers on submitting work to the small press. Barnes & Noble Special Event - Generation X - Guest Panelist, 1995 Presented "Exit" and discussed the independent filmmaking movement.

JUDGING New York Film Festival Journalism Competition, 2002, 2003, 2004

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS University Film & Video Association, member

AWARDS & GRANTS Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, 2000 Received grant from Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation on recommendation from Thomas Edison media Arts Consortium to attend a week-long documentary film seminar. LORE: The Digest of Maddening Fiction - Co-Publisher/Designer, 1994 - 1999 Small Press Fiction Digest Deathrealm's Best New Magazine, U.S. - 1995 Dragon's Breath Best New U.S. Magazine, U.K. - 1995