Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 96: Sat Apr 7

Witchfinder General (Reeves, 1968): Cinema Museum, 5pm


The Cinema Museum screening will be followed by a Q&A with the star of the film, Ian Ogilvy, for which you will need a separate ticket. Full details here.

Time Out review:
'Filmed on location in the countryside of Norfolk and Suffolk on a modest budget, this portrait of backwoods violence - set in 1645, it deals with the infamous witchhunter Matthew Hopkins, and the barbarities he practised during the turmoils of the Civil War - remains one of the most personal and mature statements in the history of British cinema. In the hands of the late Michael Reeves (this was his last film, made at the age of 23), a fairly ordinary but interestingly researched novel by Ronald Bassett, with a lot of phony Freudian motivation, is transformed into a highly ornate, evocative, and poetic study of violence, where the political disorganisation and confusion of the war is mirrored by the chaos and superstition in men's minds. The performances are generally excellent, and no film before or since has used the British countryside in quite the same way.'
David Pirie

Here (and above) is the trailer.

You can read critic Robin Wood's famous 1970 Movie article on director Michael Reeves here.

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