For those of you who like to keep track of Pagan and occult themes in pop-culture and the arts, I’ve got a few goodies to share. First, online magazines Right Where You Are Sitting Now and Dangerous Minds profile a new short (7 & 1/2 minute) film by Brian Butler entitled “Night of Pan”.
“‘Night of Pan’ is a seven and a half minute film featuring film auteur Kenneth Anger and actor Vincent Gallo. The film has been screened in various versions internationally – Beijing, Lisbon, Cannes, Athens, Rome, Berlin and elsewhere, but never in Butler’s base, Los Angeles. In the film, Anger, Gallo, and Butler depict an occult ritual that symbolizes the stage of ego death in the process of spiritual attainment.”
If you’re going to do a short ritualistic art-film, there’s no finer stamp of approval than getting Kenneth Anger (the undisputed master of the genre, and long-time Thelemite) to co-star in it. After it’s finished making the festival rounds, maybe they’ll post the whole thing to Youtube?
Turning from short art-films with Pagan and occult themes to long big-budget historical films with pagan themes, I have some “Agora” (the film about Hypatia of Alexandria) news to share. While Americans are still awaiting an official release date for the film, in Spain it has garnered 13 Goya Award nominations from the Spanish Film Academy.
“[Alejandro] Amenabar said at the ceremony in the Academy building that it had been “a great year for Spanish cinema” and was quick to push the worth of his fellow nominees, Agora co-scriptwriter Mateo Gil and lead actress Rachel Weisz.”
Now if we can only get a release date! Perhaps the new flurry of international acclaim and press will speed things along?
In a final “and water’s wet” sort of note, Vatican media isn’t pleased with the pantheistic elements of the global mega-blockbuster “Avatar”, criticizing it for turning “creation” into a “divinity to worship”.
“L’Osservatore said the film “gets bogged down by a spiritualism linked to the worship of nature.” Similarly, Vatican Radio said it “cleverly winks at all those pseudo-doctrines that turn ecology into the religion of the millennium.” “Nature is no longer a creation to defend, but a divinity to worship,” the radio said.”
And while we should never conflate Vatican media with the official opinion of the Pope, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi did state that these views “reflect” Benedict XVI’s opinions on the matter. Indeed, how could they not? The pontiff has a long history of warning against the dangers of “neo-paganism”, especially within the context of environmental concerns. I’m sure Ross Douthat is excited to be so “on the same page” as his spiritual authority.
That’s all I have for now, have a great day!