Benjamin Christiansen’s 1922 film about witchcraft is a unique classic of silent cinema – a sort of horror documentary that uses dramatic recreations to attitudes and beliefs about witches through the ages. The screen will be accompanied by a live score, courtesy of Cabeza de Vaca Arkestra. Somehow Crhistensen’s has not quite achieved the status of an established classic; especially among horror fans, it is not as well known as NOSFERATU or THE GOLEM, even though it is arguable superior to both. HAXEN mixes in extensive dramatizations as elaborately staged as any fiction film of the era, and although Christensen’s intent is clearly to inform and educate, it is equally clear that at times he is simply enjoying the opportunity to dabble in devilry for artistic sake, offering images of witchcraft and demons as startling as any straight-out horror film. Highly recommended.
Location: Art Theatre of Long Beach, 2025 East Fourth Street, Long Beach, CA
Date: Friday, February 19 at midnight (11:55pm)