The Grand Guignol: Parisian Theatre of Fear and Terror 1897-1962
Observatory (543 Union St., Brooklyn)
From its beginnings in turn-of-the-century Paris and through its decline in the 1960s, the Theatre of the Grand Guignol–literally “grand puppet show”–gleefully celebrated horror, sex, and fear. Its infamous productions featured innocent victims, mangled beauty, insanity, mutilation, humour, sex, and monstrous depravity in a heady mix that attracted throngs of thrill-seekers from all echelons of society. By dissecting primal taboos in an unprecedentedly graphic manner, the Grand Guignol became the progenitor of all the blood-spilling, eye-gouging, and limb-hacking “splatter” movies of today.
Tonight, join Professor Mel Gordon–author of Grand Guiginol: Theatre of Fear and Terror–to learn about the largely forgotten history of the Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in this heavily-illustrated and highly engaging lecture.