Taking place online on Friday 1 April 2022, Plymouth College of Art presents Boris Karloff: The Many Faces of a Film Icon, an online symposium dedicated to one of the great stars of the classic era.
Boris Karloff was born William Henry Pratt in 1887 in the village of Camberwell, Surrey (now South London). Most often remembered as the star of Frankenstein (dir. James Whale, 1931) and its sequels (Bride of Frankenstein in 1935 and Son of Frankenstein in 1939), Karloff’s career spanned more than half a century, from Canada to silent era Hollywood to its golden age to New Hollywood some decades later where he worked with Peter Bogdanovich on the highly experimental film Targets (1968) in what proved to be one of his final, though no less impressive, feature performances. Beside his collaborations with Whale and Bogdanovich, Karloff traversed a range of industry contexts in which he worked under a number of significant directors over the course of his career, including Mario Bava, Roger Corman, Michael Curtiz, John Ford, Howard Hawks, Michael Reeves, Douglas Sirk, Jacques Tourneur, and Robert Wise. Now a cult icon of the silver screen, for many Karloff was and remains “one of the screen’s greatest madmen” (Darryl Jones, 2002).
Supported by keynote addresses from all-round horror expert Dr Alison Pierse (University of Leeds) and acclaimed biographer Stephen Jacobs (author of Boris Karloff: More Than a Monster), the day will draw together a range of approaches to Karloff and his work from academics and artists alike. Accompanying the day of papers, you will have access to our dedicated website where we will showcase a selection of archival materials, as well as artist responses to Karloff and his career.
Join us and embark on a Karlovian odyssey in which we will explore various aspects of the fascinating life and career of one of the most enduring figures of screen culture.
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