This week sees the release of a number of DVDs that many pagans and pagan-friendly folks will want to have in their collection. Most significant is the release of the Oscar-nominated documentary film Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory. This third film in a trilogy ties up the story of the West Memphis Three, although it did not intend to do so (hence the title. suggesting an unsure outcome). The film’s premiere at the prestigious Toronto film festival was a version that did not include the release of the three incarcerated men on August 19th, 2011. The version that premiered in the United States, at the New York Film festival, was recut to include this stunning ending. This third film in the trilogy includes footage from earlier years that was not included in either Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills or Paradise Lost 2: Revelations. Like the first two films, there is ample footage attempting to shed some light on various suspects in the case, and the struggle for justice in the wrongful imprisonment of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr.
In other ongoing WM3 related media news, Atom Egoyan’s feature narrative film based upon Mara Leveritt’s book Devil’s Knot finished shooting recently, and another documentary, West of Memphis, is starting to be shown in theatres worldwide. As well, Damien Echols’ book Life After Death will be released in mid-September and Mr. Echols will be touring to help promote it.
Other releases this week include the British horror film Kill List, directed and co-written by Dennis Wheatley. When I reviewed it earlier this year, I noted its homages to earlier horror films like The Wicker Man and The Blair Witch Project.This clever and subtle film is nothing short of terrifying and the final five minutes must surely rank as one of the most dramatic pagan-themed segments in cinema history.
And finally, you must all be as excited as I am about the new animated film Paranorman, which features a young boy with special psychic gifts who is called upon to fight the curse of an “evil witch.” The characters were originally supposed to be zombies but now they are just kids…weird kids who say witty things. I can’t wait to devour it when it opens this Friday. John Morehead of Theofantastique has been following along with this one lately. There are already reviews out there (I’m not sure why) but you’ll have to wait until the weekend for mine.