INTERVIEW: Father Gary Thomas, inspiration for THE RITE

I was honored to speak last weekend on the phone with Father Gary Thomas, the subject of Matt Baglio’s book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist (Doubleday Religion), which is the inspiration for Mikael Hafstrom’s film THE RITE, opening in theatres January 28, 2011. Father Thomas also served a consultant for the film.Peg Aloi: How long have you been a practicing exorcist?Father Gary Thomas: I’m pastor of a parish, but also an exorcist who serves this diocese, and I’ve been eligible to perfor … [Read more...]

The Troll Hunter: new fake docu from Norway

This new film just premiered at Sundance. The now-popular "fake documentary" conceit has been raising the stakes recently, with low-budget minimalism giving way to imaginative special effects that still try to capture the "found footage" mystique that is a cornerstone of this genre. Cloverfield may have started it all (though I personally thought the "monsters" were somewhat overdone); then this year brought us the subversive horror hybrid The Last Exorcism (by Daniel Samm whose previous false … [Read more...]

Interview with Jane Hash, subject of a new documentary film

Jane Hash is a feisty three feet tall. She can be seen at pagan festivals at the Brushwood Folklore Center, in her motorized chair, wearing a sarong and some sparkly eye shadow, giving workshops on nutrition, ear candling and other subjects. Despite her physical limitations, Jane is full of life. She is smart, funny, wise, resourceful, kind, and just a bit naughty. Jane is making a documentary film about her life which will surely prove to be an inspiration to pagans and non-pagans alike. She is … [Read more...]

Salvia Divinorum: Smoked by Miley Cyrus and Jared Loughner

Here's an example of how blatantly the media tries to sway us into believing things that common sense might otherwise tell us aren't necessarily true. The New York Times reports today that Jared Loughner, the shooter in the Tucson massacre, was known to smoke salvia divinorum, as well as marijuana, according to his friends.There are several points of interest here. First, off, New York Times, I have a question for you: Really? You're considered the finest newspaper in the world and you jump on … [Read more...]

2010′s Best Films (of interest to Pagans, Witches, Occultists, et al)

In 2010 there were a number of new films that I think would be of interest to readers of this blog. Some of them played the dodeca-plexes, some came to your neighborhood art house, and some of them may have flown completely under your radar. But let's hope all of them will at least be available on DVD at some point.I enjoyed CENTURION a great deal. This historical thriller was about the ancient Picts and their unlikely alliance with a Roman soldier. Written and directed by Neil Marshall (who … [Read more...]

Is Jared Lee Loughner an Occultist? Does that Make Him Evil? Or Does the Fact that He’s a Cold-Blooded Killer Make Him Evil?

Today's blogosphere is exploding with coverage of the Arizona shootings on Saturday that left a number of people dead and wounded. One intended target was Gabrielle Giffords (still in critical condition), a congressional representative, and federal judge John Roll (deceased). Other victims include one of Giffords' aides, and a nine-year old girl born on September 11, 2001 who had recently been elected to her student council. As rarely happens with such events, the alleged shooter is actually … [Read more...]

SEASON OF THE WITCH: A Medieval Muddle

You’d think it was the 1970s all over again, what with so many occult-themed stories in film recently. 2010 brought us The Last Exorcism (a clever, subversive premise that unfortunately dissolves into precious chaos), Devil (a kinda spooky but mostly lame story of random folks trapped in an elevator who just start dying), last year gave us The House of the Devil (a cool cinema verite story of a cult leader), and in just a few weeks The Rite opens (a contemporary story of exorcists-in-training in … [Read more...]

Best Witches Ever?

So, you may be aware, Season of the Witch opens tomorrow. (Yes, I'm going and will post a review...you may have noticed, I'm a trifle obsessed with this film) The website handling much of the film's hype decided to explore the wide world of witches on television and in film, "inspired by the wonderful Claire Foy who conjures up a terrific performance" by offering their whopping huge list of FIVE "memorable" witches; and naturally, one of them is the witch in...yeah, you got it...Season of the … [Read more...]


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