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Sat, 28 Sept


Former Bristol IMAX

Witchcraft Double Bill: South West Silents

Witchcraft Double Bill: South West Silents
Witchcraft Double Bill: South West Silents

Time & Location

28 Sept 2024, 14:00

Former Bristol IMAX, Anchor Rd, Bristol BS1 5TT, UK

About the Event

"Hast thou consorted with the witch?!"

South West Silents and Maria Pérez Cuervo from Hellebore join forces again to showcase two more classics of folklore and witchcraft.

This special Witchcraft Double Bill will include a screening of Benjamin Christensen's controversial silent film Häxan (1922) with live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne. The film will be introduced by Professor Ronald Hutton, the leading authority on the history of paganism and witchcraft.

Then Maria J Pérez Cuervo, founder and editor of Hellebore, will introduce a rare screening of John Moxey's The City of the Dead (1960) starring Christopher Lee.

The event will also have a number of stalls open on the day including Espensen Spirit selling their specially themed cocktails and a Hellebore merchandise stall.

Häxan (1922) Director: Benjamin Christensen Starring: Benjamin Christensen, Clara Pontoppidan, Oscar Stribolt SWE / 105mins / 15

Since its premiere in 1922, writer and director Benjamin Christensen's exploration of the role of superstition in medieval minds has caused outrage and protest from both the general public and religious groups. Dramatizing satanic activities and rituals including the ways in which suspected witches were tortured and killed, Haxan is a deliriously imaginative masterpiece. Christensen’s mix-and-match approach to genre anticipates gothic horror, documentary re-creation, and the essay film, making for an experience unlike anything else in the history of cinema.

Live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne. Special Recorded Introduction by Professor Ronald Hutton (University of Bristol)

The City of the Dead (1960) Director: John Moxey Starring: Christopher Lee, Dennis Lotis, Betta St John, Patricia Jessel USA / 80mins / 15

College student Nan (Venetia Stevenson) is researching the history of witchcraft. Taunted by her brother and fiancé, who have voiced their concerns, Nan arms herself with resolve and drives to the small New England village of Whitewood. But not everything is as it seems at the peaceful village…

Christopher Lee was already a horror icon when he started filming The City of the Dead in 1959. Having played Frankenstein’s Monster, Count Dracula and The Mummy for Hammer, this new picture would allow him to extend his range to the American Gothic and witchcraft in a small New England village. Produced by future Amicus founders Milton Subotsky and Max Rosenberg, and beautifully shot by Desmond Dickinson (whose credits ranged from Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet), The City of the Dead (1960) is a wonderfully atmospheric and still shocking slice of gothic horror that stands firmly alongside its Hammer contemporaries.

Special Introduction by Maria J Pérez Cuervo, founder and editor of HELLEBORE.

Book now to avoid disappointment—this event is likely to sell out very quickly!

HELLEBORE is a Bristol-based small press devoted to British folk horror and the occult. As well as the biannual magazine of the same name, HELLEBORE has published a travel guide and a card game, and was a World Fantasy Awards finalist in 2022.

South West Silents is a not-for-profit organisation. With support of the BFI Film Audience Network, awarding funds from the National Lottery in order to bring this project to more audiences across the UK. 

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