1961-1970Benjamin ChristensenCultHorrorScandinavian Silent CinemaSweden

Benjamin Christensen – Witchcraft Through the Ages AKA Häxan [William S. Burroughs version] (1968)

Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen’s legendary 1922 silent film Häxan uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages suffered the same hysteria as turn-of-the-century psychiatric patients. But the film itself is far from serious; instead, it’s a witches’ brew of the scary, gross, and darkly humorous.

In 1968, Antony Balch prepared an abbreviated 77-minute version of the film titled Witchcraft Through the Ages. Balch had previously worked with William S. Burroughs in making the films Towers Open Fire (1963) and The Cut-Ups (1967), and this version features Burroughs’ dramatic narration, delivered as an incantation in droning monotone. Daniel Humair’s chaotic jazz score for the ’68 release was played by a quintet that included Jean-Luc Ponty on violin and Humair on percussion.

1.71GB | 1h 16m | 768×576 | mkv



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