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Sweden, 1922 (MIFF 2001, Shadows – The Dark Side of Cinema)

Director: Benjamin Christensen

Silent, Satanic and surreal. This unique event combines a supernatural archival jewel with live music by DJ David Franzke. According to film historian Ado Kyrou, in order to sneak his "shocking indictment of the criminal church, its inquisition and instruments of torture" past the censors, director Benjamin Christensen disguised Haxan as a documentary. In truth the film consists of accounts of persecution, tribulation, witch trial hysteria, lesbian nuns and lascivious monks. Utilising animation and special effects incredibly advanced for the 1920s, the director captures black sabbaths with bizarre sexual rituals and fiery appearances by the Dark lord himself.

Christensen is not without a sense of humour and takes plenty of opportunities to mercilessly mock the clergy. The cinematography is reminiscent of the grotesqueries of Bosch and Goya. Gloomy forests are aiive with deformed deities; secret witch lairs are choked with the smoke from spell-casting.

DJ David Franzke has worked at Lounge under the Rancho Relaxo banner, was founder/resident at Lure and is currently a regular at centriphugal. He has recently completed a score for the Arena Theatre/Queensland Theatre co-production Game Girl and has On The Fly, an album under his Tetethok moniker, due for release shortly.

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