Watch: A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness 2013 123movies, Full Movie Online – From pagan re-enactors to failed communes, black metal festivals to Arctic hermits, and the forever Golden Hour to the Northern Lights, ‘A Spell to Ward off the Darkness’ is an inquiry into the possibilities of a spiritual existence within an increasingly secular Western culture. A participatory ethnography in the best possible sense, A SPELL choreographs the actions of non-actors within existing Scandinavian landscapes in an effort to arrive at a hybrid document of the past, present, and future; it is a record of experience that proposes belief in transcendence as a viable outcome of living in the now..
Plot: A man at three disparate moments in his life: as a member of a fifteen-person collective on a small Estonian island, alone in the wilderness of Northern Finland and as the singer of a neo-pagan black metal band in Norway. Three moments for a radical proposition for the creation of utopia in the present.
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A complete philistine?
This film is daunting and made me feel like a complete Philistine. Some of it was a beautiful and unnerving, the hermit or the little blond girl running around in a cardi. The commune part just felt comfortable, some of the hermit part too,since I used to live a similar life in parts of those two,funnily enough my former life also involved the metal part as well.
So in a way the movie, for me was personal and completely freaked me out. I found it invasive and thought, how did you know what i was doing when I was young.
I have often wondered myself lately, maybe I should have stayed doing as i was considering the artificial nature of existence in the city.
Was I having way more fun living in the country roaming around with a massive bearded Latvian dude oft times partaking in small live music concerts but generally just raising metal hell together in a remote shack with massive amps.
I think the answer to the question in the film is SH*T HAPPENED.
the answer to the second question posed by the film would be sh*t will continue to happen because it has happened in the past and keen observers of history will gleefully point out that humans have a bad habit of repeating stupid mistakes.
I think this is in part because of lack of decent historical education but probably in full because of human nature and the time constrictions of the human life span.
Now can the filmmakers please tell me what the film was about, because if the synopsis is correct and it was about spirituality, then wtf there is no such thing.
That is a lesson hard learned.
Find more incoherent rambling at filmstvandlife.wordpress.com
Misanthropy speaks louder than words
Our main character here is scarcely a character at all. He speaks no words, and though he is often seen in contemplation, we are never privy to his thoughts, or even a suggestion of them. He remains an outsider in communities of outsiders. He haunts the periphery at a Scandinavian commune, never much a part of anything, barely even there. We could scarcely imagine that this film is about him having gone through the commune section; only when we see him aboard the boat linking back to the long ponderous opening are we able to form the link. We see him in a building with some clothing, some postcards, some hint of a root perhaps? Does he inhabit this world or is he just passing through it? We are comprehensively denied an answer moments later when he stands passively watching the building burn to the ground. Finally we see him in a black metal band on stage, again an outsider among outsiders, back from the main glare of the wandering camera, seeming barely to contribute, barely to exist. When he does take the microphone and the camera we wonder, is this then at last his identity? It would seem not so either, as the show’s end sees him immediately removing his corpse paint and disappearing without word or connection through a back door into a nondescript modern car park, unhurried, destination unknown.
The band are pretty good, although often shown to be lip and instrument syncing. Their audience consists surprisingly mostly of short- haired, albeit bearded, men and a long pan around them leaves us also to wonder at their thoughts and motivations. This is a film that offers no answers, and you must come up with the questions yourself. It is not quite a documentary; we presume the commune and its characters are real, we know the band are not, we know our main character is an actor. It’s also very strongly not a drama, there is little ‘acting’ in the common sense and there is certainly no scripting. But there is direction and there is, just, editing.
Our sole plot device would seem to be the burning. Those of us already attuned to black metal will immediately recognise the visual link to church burnings. For many of us the house, the home, the possessions within it and the links that they give us are sacred, they become our spirituality and our strength, and perhaps therefore also our weakness. Our character knows no home, no identity, no ties, he wishes (we assume) to be and remain rootless in the world. All of life to him is but a passing transitional phase. He is on some level attracted, as I myself am, to two seemingly opposite scenes; the idealism and togetherness of the finger-up-the-asshole hippy commune and the bleak misanthropic individualism of black metal. He participates in both but belongs to neither.
If that is it by way of ‘plot’, we must look next to direction and editing for a message. We always assume there must be a message, an agenda, a purpose. We assume it of films and we assume it of ourselves and others, but it may not always be there, and it shouldn’t always need to be.
Our directors break apart our main sections with shots of the dark lake of the opening, which was almost pushed to breaking point. Our character is seen on the water with a gun propped in his boat, a powerful symbol of violence and control among the tranquil silence. It and the burning speak of some desire to control at least a portion of his world while passing through it, indeed the withdrawal from mainstream society could be seen as a desire for total control, total independence. Our hippies yabber on philosophy, our character is a living philosophy that is not in need of words to explain itself. The other has only words, yet still cannot.
Where they come closest is in the amusing analogy of the finger in the asshole. Perhaps someone was left out, it is suggested. Perhaps so, it is conceded, but I feel sorry for that person. The breaking down of mental barriers with the shared atmosphere and nudity of the sauna finds its logical conclusion in the breaking down of all physical barriers. What could be more invasive yet more uniting than a finger in the asshole?
There is one person missing out, both then and now; our character is nowhere to be seen.
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 38 min (98 min)
Rated Not Rated
Genre Documentary, Music
Director Ben Rivers, Ben Russell
Writer Ben Rivers, Ben Russell
Actors Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Weasel Walter, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix
Country France, Estonia, Germany
Awards 2 wins & 5 nominations
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix N/A
Aspect Ratio N/A
Film Length N/A
Negative Format N/A
Cinematographic Process N/A
Printed Film Format N/A