Film is a kind of magic, a world of shadows and light, where anything is possible and the dead come back to life. Film can persuade us to believe in anything and special effects can work miracles. It is therefore the perfect medium for expressing occult phenomena, and since the beginnings of cinema history, film has done just that. Movie Magick explores the way in which films have been inspired by Alesiter Crowley's famous definition of "Magick" as "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will." This naturally encompasses classic occult movies, such as Hammer's adaptations of Dennis Wheatley's The Devil Rides Out, but also ventures further afield into the cultural background of the modern occult revival, exploring the way in which occult movies have responded to the esthetics of fin de siecle decadence, the symbolist writings of Villiers de l'Isle Adam, Wagnerian music drama, the Faust legend, the pseudo-science of Theosophy, the occult psychedelia of the 1960s, occult conspiracy theories and some of the more arcane aspects of animation. The result is a cinematic grimoire, which will appeal to both sorcerers and apprentices of movie magick.
David Huckvale has worked as a researcher, writer and presenter for BBC Radio and as a lecturer for various universities in England. He lives in rural Bedfordshire.