MALEFICENT: Full of pagan imagery

maleficent

You gotta love when a fairy tale actually has lots of fairies in it. That's the conceit behind MALEFICENT, Disney's new retelling of SLEEPING BEAUTY. It's a kind of alternative theory on how the Wicked Queen/Evil Fairy got so damn wicked/evil. Although the "w" word is never used, Maleficent is adept at magic and curses. And her name, which seems to be a play on "malevolent" and "magnificent" (or "malefica" which means evil deeds") is fitting on both counts. The character is a complex portrayal … [Read more...]

Help Us, Stevie Nicks. You’re Our Only Hope

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Hey, AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN, Who Are You to Keep Us Down?Five episodes in, I think it’s safe to say the show’s creators are not terribly interested in portraying modern witchcraft or Voodoo as life-affirming spiritual paths. Consider last week’s episode, “The Axeman Cometh,” which begins with a serial killer’s voiceover. He claims to be a spirit, not of this world, though physically he is a sexy sax player with salt-and-pepper sideburns (Danny Huston). It is 1919, and the exceptional yo … [Read more...]

American Horror Story: COVEN Reinvents the Witch Archetype

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The Media Witch has been bewitched.No, I mean that. Two episodes into this season on American Horror Story (COVEN) and I am enamored of its slick arty look, its take no prisoners daring, its outrageous disregard for history, and its shameless envelope-pushing. I mean, hey. Why have a hot television show that’s not at least somewhat controversial?I know, as a media critic and practicing witch and activist, that I am supposed to be overtly critical of media portrayals that trumpet the “ … [Read more...]


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