The family Halloween flick “Hocus Pocus” (1993) became a cult hit due to its iconic New England aesthetics and the flamboyant performance of Hollywood veteran Bette Midler, but didn’t charm a huge audience at the time of its release. Moviegoing youths of the 1990s were more primed for darker materials, snatching up tickets to see a teenage coven of goths rock the dark arts in “The Craft” (1996). Both films have stood the test of time, and make great autumnal rewatches; But how drastically do their spellbinding stars differ in terms of feminist appeal? And have our pop culture perceptions of witchcraft changed much since the turn of the century? Continue reading Supernatural Beauty and its Cost: Cinema Witchcraft Over the Decades
There was a time when Disney was not the corporate behemoth it is today. After the death of founder Walt Disney, the company floundered a bit and its animation department suffered. Projects were shelved and those that had been shelved were resuscitated. “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” (1971) was one on those on again, off again films in development. The uncertainty in its production shows a little in the quality of the adaptation from the books by Mary Norton but is charming and unique in its take on witches. Continue reading Witchcraft Month: “Bedknobs and Broomsticks”
Witches are among the first villainous archetypes many of us come across in our stories. Although I was personally introduced to these magical women via much friendlier interpretations, such as “Kiki’s Delivery Service” (1988), “Harry Potter”, or even Julia Donaldson’s “Room on the Broom”, others would look to “Snow White” (1937), “The Witches” (1990) or any number of others for more maniacal examples. However, few stories take the concept of witchcraft to its extreme, revelling in the sheer dread such a common villainous template can exude.
Enter Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” (1977), a techni-coloured gore-fest that not only revels in the eerie aspects of witchcraft, but also happens to be a staple in Italian cinema. Continue reading Witchcraft Month: “Suspiria” (1977)
By Michaela Barton Throughout history, the symbolic nature of witches in art has transfigured. Originally, witches represented old, ugly, cruel women who lived outside of normal social parameters. The real-life witch trials of the past were often used as opportunities to purge villages of women that threatened female ideals defined by men. These “witches” were perceived to possess great power and were therefore dangerous; often … Continue reading Season Of The Witch: Evolving Feminist Symbolism In Horror