Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2012
Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages
Saturday, 18th February, 8.15pm, Light House
Nudity, Satan, ass-kissing, torture, cat faeces, black Masses, demon births – of course… it’s 1922. All this and more make up Benjamin Christensen’s enigmatic horror docudrama Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages, which screened on Saturday evening as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2012 The Special Presentation provided a Dublin audience with a unique opportunity to experience this Swedish masterpiece from the silent era, accompanied by a live score from the Matti Bye Ensemble in the Light House cinema.
Both the film and the live score cast its own particular spell over the audience who were transported to supernatural dimensions by the bizarre visions unfolding before their eyes and the eerie sounds entering their ears.
The film’s journey through the history of witchcraft is a highly stylised mixture of fact and fiction utilising a dazzling array of styles and visual flair to launch its damning indictment of religious persecution. The Matti Bye Ensemble provided the perfect soundscape bewitching the audience with their beautiful organisation and manipulation of their instruments (piano, glockenspiel, haunting vocals, toys, violin, musical saw, pump organ, electric guitar) to create a mesmerizing ambiance to accompany the film.
All in all, truly an extra-ordinary experience.
My local XtraVision had this movie to rent years ago. Love the way the JDIFF ‘discover’ these lost classics!