Established in 2016, Electric Ghost Magazine is an independent online film publication dedicated to heterodox opinion on transformative cinema. 

 

It is run by cinephiles educated in aesthetic evaluation, averse to elitist groupthink and fawning "fan" discourse. We heed the medium's message, see the film object as it really is, and show how cinema can function as a humanist guide to life.

CONTACT

Clerkenwell,

London

editor@electricghost.co.uk

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CONTENT

ABOUT US

© 2020 Electric Ghost Magazine. All Rights Reserved.    

PHILOSOPHY

"The blazing lightbeam of the movie projector is our modern path of Apollonian transcendence."

Camille Paglia

"To see the object as in itself it really is." 

Matthew Arnold

We value the human experience. Empathy is the original progressive sentiment, the notion of a universalism between peoples. Film, as an empathy machine, is inherently progressive in allowing us to understand each other, regardless of religion, race or gender. Therefore, we seek to identify and understand a film before critiquing it, and we never moralise nor apply a priori ideological criteria onto a film. We are open and humble before a film, ready to heed its message and assume it knows something that we do not. Films that reek of propaganda, misanthropy, moralism or totalitarianism do not fare well under this rubric. 

We do not value intellect over feeling, as so often the critical commentariat do. A so-called "smart" cinema often translates into paternalistic, classist and reductionist assumptions that the masses require moral education or ideological engineering. Whereas, in fact, intellect is only half the picture and feeling is the other half. Films that make us laugh, cry, squirm, scream and flinch are just as, if not more, valuable – a value judgement itself. To feel is to be human, to acknowledge the body – that which we all share.

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We seek to promote the irrationality of film—its primal appeal. Art is pleasurable, sensual, intuitive, and thus we have no guilty pleasures. We are first and foremost aestheticians, seeking to understand the role and influence of feeling, translate our sensory impressions into words, and discover meaning through feeling. 

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We shall never discriminate between arbitrary high and low art categorisations. We are not so prejudiced or reactionary as to dismiss, for example, the most popular art form in the history of the world—Hollywood. We believe in art for the masses. The only discrimination we should make is between a cinema of feeling and of pretence, between wisdom and ignorance. This is the sole difference between a human cinema and an inhuman one. 

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Just like cinema, we are not an ideological machine. We do not talk down to the reader, attempt to arrogantly engineer them in our image or virtue-signal our own ethical, puritanical or intellectual superiority via our assessments. 

 

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Transgressive culture is dead. Without it, threats of (self-)censorship have emerged; we believe in an art of experience, complexity and truth, which is to say free expression. Cinema still maintains its radical potential to shock and transgress, to articulate in its sensuous language knowledge about the self that we have repressed. Art has no practical utility, but it is absolutely essential. We want to show why, articulate the salubrious taboo of the image.

 

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We embrace transgressive art. Too often critics speak of a film that is more radical than thou but, as it happens, was perfectly manageable and agreeable to them. But we see transgression as something that can be discerned only in relation to your own individual position; we do not hypothesise an imaginary spectator or mass. 

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A cinema of shock, which challenges our perception and allows us to see anew, is celebrated. We should not want our worldview reaffirmed, we seek new knowledge via the violent act of metamorphosis, undergone under the shadow of our fallacy and ignorance. 

 

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We attempt to reconcile sensuousness with intellect separated by our society. Thus we are receptive to the chaos and ambiguity of images; films that do not easily translate into the domain of words or logic or digestible morality. It is a window into the unknown. But we must do our best to articulate and encapsulate the best of a medium that is more akin to dreaming. 

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Thus we are interested in the Telos of film: what truth it contains and what it can do for us. Cinema serves a function in life, it is not a plaything for the chattering classes. Therefore, we interrogate the ways in which film is essential, the pathway it shows – film as a guide to life.