Whatever Happened to BLACK DEATH?

It may already be playing at a theatre near you, or will be very soon...if you're lucky. (Or not, depending on your point of view; reviews have been slightly mixed).The film is playing at a very limited range of theatres now, perhaps because it is also available on DVD and various on-demand services. This medieval tale of the disease that decimated Europe and provided yet another layer of occult superstition to the centuries of religious persecution stars Sean Bean and John Lynch, and is … [Read more...]

Wake Wood

What could be more exciting than a new Hammer Horror film? You remember Hammer; the studio that produced some of the most memorable modern horror genre classics, like The Devil Rides Out; especially those gorgeous, dreamy vampire films of the 1960s and 1970s. Hammer seemed destined to fade into obscurity after their heyday. The studio more or less "hibernated" during the 1980s and regrouped at the dawn of the twenty-first century. They were sold, along with their vast film library, to a … [Read more...]

Love and Loss on the Misty Moors (A Review of JANE EYRE)

Charlotte Bronte’s well-loved novel introduced a heroine of such integrity, passion and flawed self-sabotage that it’s surprising more actresses aren’t clamoring to play her. But young Mia Wasikowska (The Kids Are All Right) did clamor, after reading the novel at age 18 and asking her agent if there were currently any film versions in the works. The pairing of this actress of astonishing gifts with a similarly-gifted and unique director (Cary Fukunaga, whose debut feature Sin Nombre, a … [Read more...]

The History of Pagans in the Media: A Cautionary Tale

It's always kind of disturbing when some aspect of contemporary witchcraft is misrepresented in the media. And so it's natural that some folks want to be good representatives and spokespersons, and share with the world the "truth" about what "we" do. Of course, "we" is relative. And definitions of various permutations and practices of the pagan community vary widely. Because complexity is anathema to news sound bytes, the short-sharp-sexy statement tends to rise to the top of the midden heap of … [Read more...]

The Spirit of Albion: a new pagan film!

A number of years ago, I met a pagan musician named Damh Smith (also known as Damh the Bard) at a summer solstice ritual at the Rollright Stones in Oxfordshire, England. That's when I first heard the song "The Spirit of Albion" from his third CD of the same name. We struck up an occasional email correspondence, and when I learned he would be playing in Glastonbury while I was going to be there, he offered to put me on the guest list. little did I know this event was nothing less than the annual … [Read more...]

2010′s Best Films (of interest to Pagans, Witches, Occultists, et al) PART 3

And now the final installment of 2010's Best Films (of interest to like-minded pagan folks)! This time we're looking at documentaries released in 2010. Given the nature of documentaries, some of these may have yet to make it to your local arthouse cinema, and some of them are not yet available on DVD.One film that has generated a fair amount of buzz in the pagan community, thanks to some excellent coverage on The Wild Hunt Blog by Jason Pitzl-Waters, is American Mystic by Alex Mar. The Wild Hunt … [Read more...]

THE EAGLE: Oh, those bloodthirsty pagan Celts!

Happy Lupercalia, everyone! In honor of this ancient Roman festival, today's review seems particularly appropriate. Stories about the Romans in Britain and Hadrian's Wall are part of a strange and growing cinematic micro-trend. It's, odd, isn't it, in an age where we are so terribly modern, with our portable technology and whirlwind mental stimulation, that we should be seeing so many stories drawn from ancient history. We saw a taste of Roman Britain in Antoine Fuqua's King Arthur several years … [Read more...]

Don’t Look Now…

And no, I don't mean the wonderful 1973 paranormal thriller directed by Nicolas Roeg and starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie that was just named the number one British film of all time in the list of the 100 Best British Films compiled by Time Out London and a panel of industry experts.I mean, don't look now! Just when you thought maybe there had been enough films dealing with the Church and the occult to hold us for a few years, now we have several more on the way. There's The Seventh … [Read more...]

2010′s Best Films (of interest to Pagans, Witches, Occultists, et al) PART 2

The first part of this article featured some of the more popular films related to the occult and paganism. But often the most interesting films of interest to pagans and witches fall outside the realm of Hollywood and the big box office, in the world of documentaries and smaller independent films. Motion picture piracy is a serious issue and is definitely affecting how long films stay in theatres and whether they play in certain markets. If you want to support a film, going to see it in a … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]