Häxan, bewitching, bewildering, perverse

Departure of the Witches

1878

Luis Ricardo Falero

b. 1851-d.1896

 

As the season of magic comes to an end, one last indulgence; the fantastic film of 1922, Häxan.

original poster

Loosely translated as The Witches, this film written and directed by Benjamin Christensen is spooky as hell, beautifully produced, referencing medieval illumination, conjuring Satan, lust, desire, transgression, ignorance, &  torture. What more could you wish for?

still from Häxan

still from film

Benjamin Christensen is best known for his role in Michael a groundbreaking gay themed film of 1924 in which he plays the long suffering sugar daddy Claude Zoret.

A post for another day.

Benjamin Christensen

b. 28th September 1879

d. 2nd April 1959

The Witches Sabbath

Luis Ricardo Falero

Häxan effectively conjures images of the tortures of Hell, so familiar to Medieval Christians. Christensen’s mechanized Hades, a wonder. Please make sure you look for it.

Satan is particularly compelling, seductive in the most horrifying way. When he convinces  the hot little vixen/amateur witch to forsake the bliss of her marital bed, he is most deliciously wicked.

Apparently playing for both teams, Satan offers temptation to a Brother of the Cloth.

Please have this image in mind when viewing the nun sequence, it is perfection. I love the nun sticking out her tongue to convention, patriarchy, the Holy Church, to God Himself.

I love how Satan lurks within the shadows in this clip, so terrifying.

It is a fascinating film, one I have not had the pleasure of seeing in its entirety. I plan to remedy that shortly.

Although Häxan is meant to be an interpretation of the Malleus Maleficarum, that charming 15th cent. How-to-Guide to get potential witches to spill the beans, confess their ( hopefully sexy) sins, and  bravely face the purifying flames of God. What I think its really about is the fear of…

With that, have a very spirited Halloween!

Babylon Baroque

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