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December 14th, 2010

Camping out at the end of the world

Posted by kwildermuth in

The film King Kong would be considered Camp, through the eyes of Susan Sontag.  Think about it, an over sized, gigantic gorilla-like creature destroying the world and falling in love with a beautiful young woman.  The atmosphere is phony looking and the idea is pure craziness.  It’s a movie so bad that it’s “good.”  It’s termed good because it won awards!


11. Camp is the triumph of the epicene style. (The convertibility of “man” and “woman,” “person” and “thing”). Life is not stylish, neither is nature.

41. The whole point of Camp is to dethrone the serious. Camp is playful, anti-serious. More precisely, Camp involves a new, more complex relation to “the serious.” One can be serious about the frivolous, frivolous about the serious.

55. Camp taste is, above all, a mode of enjoyment, of appreciation – not judgment. Camp is generous. It wants to enjoy. It only seems like malice, cynicism. (Or, if it is cynicism, it’s not a ruthless but a sweet cynicism.) Camp taste doesn’t propose that it is in bad taste to be serious; it doesn’t sneer at someone who succeeds in being seriously dramatic. What it does is to find the success in certain passionate failures.

King Kong is camping the idea that there’s such thing as monsters.

When I think of the movie King Kong, I think of it as such a silly film.  It’s a movie we all loved when we were younger, although now I can’t understand why.  I think of the rides at Universal Studios, Orlando Florida and the Kong coming after the city and chasing everyone.  Since when do Gorillas grow, eat and attack humans?

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