SF State cinema students to celebrate the worst and least successful cinema


Bad and failed movies are the focus of the 20th annual Cinema Conference at SF State on Oct. 18 to 19.

Headed by the SF State Cinema Graduate Students Association, the event will be held in the Coppola Theater at the Fine Arts Building on Oct. 18 from noon to 5 p.m. and Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

UC Riverside professor Richard T. Rodriguez will speak about the significance of “failed cinema,” or movies that “have been lambasted by critics, shunned by audiences or have become cult classics,” according to a flyer for the event.

“I wouldn’t use the word ‘failed’ to describe movies that are bad,” said cinema major Jose Garza on Troll 2, one of his favorite “bad” movies. “If it’s dumb and cheesy, I can enjoy that kind of thing.”

The event’s OrgSync page states the conference looks to explore several questions about “failed cinema,” even down to the definition of “failed” itself. The conference will discuss if movies that are critically successful but not commercially are “failed” and whether cinema that’s considered “bad” but did well commercially is a “failure.”

“There’s a Chinese movie named Summer Palace,” said cinema major Lu Tran. “It was successful internationally, but it wasn’t successful in China due to political censorship, and I don’t think it got the praise it deserved.”