Monday, December 24, 2007

Blessings of Yuletide!

Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all. Wassail! Mulled cider and roast beast and hearty treats to you all.

May the sun's return fill you with warmth, and inspiration, and may winter's fallow time bring you time and space for refelction and creativity. May you remember those in your community less fortunate than you. May your light shine bright in the world as the world welcomes the return of the light.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

new films

I saw The Golden Compass. I must confess, I am not familiar with Pullman's trilogy, so my review may not be terribly well-informed. But for what it's worth, it's over at Witchvox. I have been finding the whole right-wing brouhaha over this movie to be ridiculous, and I suppose now that reviews are coming in and they're less than ecstatic, maybe the fundie catholics protesting it are feeling smug and satisfied. I'm not sure how one forces an atheist agenda in a movie about kids and polar bears (which is really what this has ended up being), but I think anyone can be convinced of anything if they're gullible.

I also saw the new Tim Burton film, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Since that does not open until Christmas I can't do a full review just yet...but I will say it was wonderful. And do NOT bring the kids! (It's rated R so if you bring the kids it will be your fault if they have nightmares). More soon.

Also saw the new documentary about David Lynch, Lynch (one) which I recommend very highly, if you're a David Lynch fan. It's only playing in limited release at arthouse type theatres. In Boston it's playing on a double bill with a newly-restored print of Eraserhead. This film is not credited to any one director and is rumored to perhaps be helmed by Lynch himself. It's surreal and hard to follow and completely mesmerizing, much like Inland Empire, the film whose creation it documents. It's shot in digital video and screened that way, too. Fortunately the Brattle has a great video projection system.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Interview avec moi

John Morehead has posted his interview with me on his wonderful Theofantastique website. He has also interviewed Hannah and that interview is at John's other blog site.

I am just beneath the review of the new zombie anthology! Which is very exciting. Also Jason has featured this tidbit of news on the Wild Hunt blog. Thanks, Jason.

Friday, November 30, 2007


I am teaching courses in the spring on "The Occult in Cinema" and "Supernatural Television." I'd love to hear from any of you about scholarly (or erudite and useful non-scholarly) articles or essays you might know of that I could add to my reading packets for students...

Some of the films and texts we're covering include:

The Exorcist
Rosemary's Baby

The films of Kenneth Anger
The Wicker Man
Paradise Lost (documentary)
The Devil Rides Out
The Ninth Gate
The Blair Witch Project
Curse of the Demon
Masque of the Red Death
The Ninth Configuration
The Omen

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The X-Files
The Twilight Zone
Northern Exposure

So any suggestions on additional texts or reading materials would be most welcome!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Tis the Season

Some of my favorite spooky movies of all time:

The Wicker Man (strange and wonderful)
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (a made for TV film from the 1970s starring Kim Darby--so creepy!)
Carnival of Souls
The Exorcist (I love how it builds slowly to terrific horror from a calm, grey beginning)
Rosemary's Baby (A masterpiece, pure and simple)
Stranger in Our House (made for TV in the 1970s, with Linda Blair)
The Blair Witch Project (A brilliant work of contemporary cinema, yes I said cinema, and very scary)
Masque of the Red Death (One of the only works by Roger Corman that is genuinely atmospheric and frightening)
Theatre of Blood (made for TV, I think, starring Vincent Price and Diana Rigg, which is reason enough to see it)
Mad Monster Party (maybe it looks like kid stuff now but it sure inspired Tim Burton with its brilliant animation)
Lost Highway (David Lynch crafts some of the most terrifying moments in film)
Night of the Living Dead (I still find this scary)
Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things (A parody (or is it rip-off?) of the above, campy, hilarious and spooky)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Blessings of Samhain/Happy Hallowe'en

Blessings of the New Year to all you witches, pagans, druids, heathens, and tree-worshippers out there.

Our book The New Generation Witches has finally arrived "in the flesh" and it looks wonderful! The Blackwell's website has a nice write-up (although they fail to list me as a co-editor).

Yay, us! And what a fitting prezzie for Samhain.

Now we are turning our energies to working hard on our next book projects, the Carnivale anthology and The Celuloid Bough.

May all your endeavors fill you with excitement in this dramatic and colorful season.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Carnivale anthology

We are currently co-editing an anthology of academic essays on the HBO series Carnivale to be entitled Bloodlust and Dust. We are still finalizing the proposal and hope to be announcing the details of publication soon. Then the work of editing begins! We look forward to some great writing on this phenomenal series which was dicontinued far too soon.

We are still seeking abstracts on certain topics that are as yet underrepresented, including gender, sexuality, magic and the occult. The CFP is still available on the PennEnglish list.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Exciting news

Our book New Generation Witches: Teenage Witchcraft and Contemporary Culture is now available from Ashgate Press! You can see more information here.

It's been several years of blood, sweat and tears but finally it's out there. Our thanks to all the writers who contributed essays, to our cover photographer Berta Daniels (whose photo appears above), to Ronald Hutton for his insightful foreword, and everyone at Ashgate for being great to work with.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Welcome to our blog!

Greetings fellow occult travellers.

As we delve into the research and writing of our first collaboratively-written book, The Celluloid Bough: Cinema in the Wake of the Occult Revival, we invite discussion, ideas, suggestions, blessings, spells, fruit baskets, casseroles, gold fountain pens, parchments, rare occult books and assorted talismans from any and all interested readers. Our proposal is coming together nicely and we are very excited to be working on this project.

Stay tuned for news and updates!