Like Dracula, witches are one of the few villianous movie characters who can be sexy, in films like “Suspiria” and “Bell, Book and Candle.” Other portrayals run the gamut from the innocuous spells of “Teen Witch” to the pure malevolence of “Rosemary’s Baby.” Starting this Friday, the 20th, Cinefamily will be showing all of these films and all manner of things witchy at the All of Them Witches film festival.
Opening night on Friday you can expect an “evening of enchantment, during which we’ll take a tour through the history of witches and witchcraft in cinema…including rare and archival footage [beginning] with a video mix –a brew of incantations, rituals, and ephemera.” Afterwards, you are invited to “Witches Brew,” an event on the patio with “soothsayers and seers of all types on hand to lead us on a curated tour of the occult…” Formalwear is required, but I expect it will be more like Screaming Jay Hawkins formal than cruise ship formal.
Some films that stand out during the week’s screenings are “Rosemary’s Baby,” which needs no promoting on my part other than mentioning that seeing it on the movie screen will be a much more transportative experience than any fancy flat-screen. Ken Russell’s cult favorite “The Devils” features beautiful costumes and some seriously intense acting from Vanessa Redgrave and Oliver Reed that occasionally tread the line into campiness, but you do have to have the stomach for a little bit of torture porn. George Romero’s “Season of the Witch” deserves recognition because of its rarity, and the steampunk-influenced Viy for its gorgeous cinematography and fast-paced thrills. Just the damn poster scares me.
But the unmissable night is Sunday, May 22, when film director Jodi Willie hosts Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages,” a Benjamin Christensen film from 1929. LA’s own White Magic (Mira Bilotte) will be performing a rare live soundtrack. “Conjured through an obsessive fever dream by one of the most groundbreaking auteurs of the era (with the highest budget of any Swedish silent), Haxan is a taboo-busting, gorgeously-filmed treatise on witchcraft and demonology in the age of the Inquisition…” Afterwards, there will be a celebration on the patio for White Magic’s new record, “I’m Hiding My Nightingale,” along with a pop-up exhibition of occult themed posters and art by Century Guild.
Friday, May 20: 10:00pm – Witch’s Brew: All of Them Witches Opening Night Party!
Saturday, May 21: 10:00pm – PRACTICAL MAGIC (w/ 90s Dress up party!)
Sunday, May 22: 7:30pm – OCCULT LA- Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (LIVE SCORE by White Magic!)
Wednesday, May 25: 10:30pm – EYES OF FIRE (35mm!)
Saturday, May 28: 11:00pm – Teen Witch + The Worst Witch (DOUBLE FEATURE!)
Wednesday, June 1: 7:30pm – Lost & Found Film Club: WITCHES
Thursday, June 2: 7:30pm & Friday, June 3: 10:15pm – Viy (35mm print, 2 shows!)
Friday, June 3: Midnite – Friday Night Frights: BLACK SUNDAY (35mm!)
Friday, June 10: Midnite – Friday Night Frights: THE WITCHES (35mm!)
Saturday, June 11: 10:30pm, Monday, June 13: 7:30pm, Tuesday, June 14: 7:30pm – THE DEVILS (35mm UK Cut, multiple shows!)
Sunday, June 12: 4:30pm, Monday, June 13: 10:30pm, Tuesday, June 14: 10:30pm – ROSEMARY’S BABY (35mm, multiple shows!)
Friday, June 17: Midnite – Friday Night Frights: THE CRAFT (35mm!)
Sunday, June 19: 1:00pm – Hangover Matinees: Bell, Book & Candle (35mm!)
Friday, June 24: Midnite – Friday Night Frights: Suspiria (35mm!)
Thursday, June 30: 10:30pm – George A. Romero’s “Season of the Witch” (35mm!)
Friday July 1: 10:00pm – Friday Night Frights: INFERNO (35mm + Leigh Mccluskey & Irene Miracle IN PERSON!)