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Music  >>  CDs  >>  Jazz

William Burroughs

Haxan: Witchcraft Through The

William Burroughs Haxan Witchcraft Through The
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Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen's legendary 1922 silent film Häxan uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages suffered the same hysteria as turn-of-the-century psychiatric patients. But the film itself is far from serious; instead, it's a witches' brew of the scary, gross, and darkly humorous. In 1968, Antony Balch prepared an abbreviated 77-minute version of the film titled Witchcraft Through the Ages. Balch had previously worked with William S. Burroughs in making the films Towers Open Fire (1963) and The Cut-Ups (1967), and this version features Burroughs' dramatic narration, delivered as an incantation in droning monotone. Daniel Humair's chaotic jazz score for the '68 release was played by a quintet that included Jean-Luc Ponty on violin and Humair on percussion. The artwork features stills from the film.
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