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Häxan

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Genres: Documentary, Fantasy, Horror
Starring: Benjamin Christensen, Elisabeth Christensen, Maren Pedersen
Director: Benjamin Christensen
Plot Synopsis:

Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen’s legendary silent film 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. Far from a dry dissertation on the topic, the film itself is a witches’ brew of the scary, the gross, and the darkly humorous. 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.

  • Release Details
    Release Date: October 15th, 2019
    Movie Release Year: 1922
    Release Country: United States
    Movie Studio: Criterion
  • Technical Specs
    Length:105 Minutes
    Specs:Blu-ray
    Video Resolution/Codec:1080p/AVC MPEG-4
    Aspect Ratio(s):1.33:1
    Audio Formats:Music from the original Danish premiere, arranged by film-music specialist Gillian Anderson and performed by the Czech Film Orchestra in 2001, presented in 5.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio
    Special Features:Audio commentary from 2001 featuring film scholar Casper TybjergWitchcraft Through the Ages (1968), the seventy-six-minute version of Häxan, narrated by author William S. Burroughs, with a soundtrack featuring violinist Jean-Luc PontyDirector Benjamin Christensen’s introduction to the 1941 rereleaseShort selection of outtakesBibliothèque Diabolique: a photographic exploration of Christensen’s historical sourcesPLUS: An essay by critic Chris Fujiwara, remarks on the score by Anderson, and (Blu-ray only) an essay by scholar Chloé Germaine Buckley