Mon, Oct 31|
Häxan (1922) Silent Horror Film w/ Live Music by Lori Goldston & Greg Kelley
A rarely-seen silent horror film that still continues to shock, Häxan turns 100 years old on Halloween! Originally banned in the U.S. this legendary Swedish masterpiece offers a mesmerizing investigation into the fear of the unknown, a terrifying (yet enlightening) cinema-concert experience!
Time & Location
Oct 31, 2022, 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Epsilon Spires, 190 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301, USA
About the Event
It's Halloween! Come dressed in costume to be entered into a raffle to win prizes! Doors 8pm, screening 8:30pm, Please plan to arrive within that window of time to enjoy a refreshment and choose your seat to best avoid disrupting the program. Thanks!
“One of Häxan’s masterstrokes is the way it places together, on the same level of cinematic depiction, fact and fiction, objective reality and hallucination.”-Chris Fujiwara for Criterion
Häxan (1922). Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen’s legendary silent film is a mesmerizing investigation of the fear of the unknown, intertwining grotesque spectacle with darkly humorous social insight. Christensen’s unique hybrid-genre masterpiece anticipated modern horror, documentary re-creation, and the essay film, making for a terrifying (yet enlightening) experience unlike anything else in the history of cinema.
With it's visionary scale and impressive special effects, it was one of the most expensive productions of the Swedish silent era. The critically-acclaimed but controversial film was originally banned in the U.S. and heavily censored in other countries. Now you can experience it in our Sanctuary on the big screen w/ a live soundtrack!
*RECOMMENDED FOR MATURE AUDIENCES.
Classically trained and rigorously de-trained, possessor of a restless, semi-feral spirit, Lori Goldston is a cellist, composer, improvisor, producer, writer and teacher from Seattle. Her voice as a cellist, amplified or acoustic, is full, textured, committed and original. A relentless inquirer, her work drifts freely across borders that separate genre, discipline, time and geography. Lori Goldston's collaborators include Earth, Nirvana, Mirah, David Byrne, Terry Riley, Cat Power, and many more. Her work has been commissioned by and/or performed at the Kennedy Center, Sydney Festival, Cineteca Nacional de México, Tectonics Festival, Frye Art Museum, Time Based Art Festival (TBA), WNYC, The New Foundation, Paris Fashion Week, Northwest Film Forum, On the Boards, Seattle International Film Festival, Seattle Jewish Film Festival, Bumbershoot, Crossing Border Festival, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Joe’s Pub, the Stone, University of Chicago, and venues large and small throughout North America, Mexico, Australia, and Europe. Lori's new album High and Low will be released in October.
Greg Kelley constantly seeks to push the boundaries of the trumpet and of "music." He has performed throughout North America, Europe, Japan, Argentina & Mexico at numerous festivals, in clubs, outdoors, in living rooms, in a bank, and at least once on a vibrating floor. He has collaborated with a number of musicians across the globe performing experimental music, free jazz and noise, appearing on over 100 recordings including as a member of Nmperign (with Bhob Rainey), Heathen Shame (with Wayne Rogers & Kate Village of Major Stars), Cold Bleak Heat (with Paul Flaherty, Chris Corsano & Matt Heyner) and Hound Dog Taylor's Hand (with Jeffery Taylor, John Seman & Mark Ostrowski) and has collaborated with Jandek, Keiji Haino, Donald Miller (Borbetomagus), Anthony Braxton, Kevin Drumm, Christian Wolff, Pauline Oliveros, Joe McPhee and Lionel Marchetti, among others. In addition to playing the trumpet, Kelley records music using electronics and musique concrete elements.
MORE ABOUT THE FILM:
Referred to in English as The Witches or Witchcraft Through the Ages, Häxan is a Swedish-Danish film, a curious and groundbreaking mix of documentary and horror, written and directed by Benjamin Christensen. Whereas most films of the period were literary adaptations, Christensen's take was unique, basing his film upon non-fiction works, mainly the Malleus Maleficarum, a 15th-century treatise on witchcraft he found in a Berlin bookshop, as well as a number of other manuals, illustrations and treatises on witches and witch-hunting (a lengthy bibliography was included in the original playbill at the film's premiere). Häxan was envisaged, as stated in the opening credits, as a "presentation from a cultural and historical point of view in seven chapters of moving pictures". While the bulk of the film's format, with its dramatic scenes portrayed by actors (including Christensen himself in the role of the devil), would have been familiar enough to cinema-goers at the time (although shocking in content), the first chapter, lasting 13 minutes, is a different story. With its documentary style and scholarly tone — featuring a number of photographs of statuary, paintings, and woodcuts — it would have been entirely novel — a style of screened illustrated lecture which wouldn't become popular till many years later. Indeed, the film perhaps could make a decent claim to being the first ever documentary (an accolade normally reserved for Robert J. Flaherty's ethnographic study from 1922 titled Nanook of the North). Reportedly the most expensive film of the Swedish silent film era, Häxan was originally well-received in Denmark and Sweden but was banned in countries like the United States for what was considered graphic imagry. In France, Catholic organizations mobilized against the film because of its negative depictions of the Church. 1968, an abbreviated version of the film was released. Titled Witchcraft Through the Ages, it featured an eclectic jazz score by Daniel Humair and dramatic narration by the wonderfully gravel-toned William S. Burroughs.
Häxan: w/ live musical score
Admission for Häxan: Halloween Silent Horror w/Lori Goldston & Greg Kelley. Tricks and Treats will be provided. Please choose your seating with respect for others and let us know if you require special arrangements. $2 from every ticket goes directly towards the historic preservation of the venue. Thank you for your support! Enjoy the program!
Pay what you want
Tickets for this event are $20. Thanks to a generous grant from the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation, subsidized tickets are available for those who self-identify as experiencing financial hardship. In order to make this program accessible for all, we are offering tickets by sliding scale. Taking equity and inclusion into account, please pay what you can to help support the artists and venue.
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I would like to add a donation to my ticket to express my support and appreciation of the adventurous and intellectually-engaging programs at Epsilon Spires. Thank you & keep up the good work!
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