Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Hallowe'en!

Today's picture is Witches, one of the most enduring symbols of Hallowe'en.

Witches, original 8.5" x10"

Witches are a fascinating breed of night beings. Both feared and respected for their knowledge. I suppose the most famous witch is The Wicked Witch of the West, played by the wonderful Margaret Hamilton in "The Wizard of Oz". However if you want to see the creepiest film ever made about witches you won't do better than the 1922 silent film  "Haxan", directed by Benjamin Christensen. Beautifully photographed and featuring some of the best makeup in that early era of filmmaking, it relates, in documentary form, the history of witchcraft. It's one of those films that once seen is not forgotten. Get the Criterion edition and avoid the version featuring a jazz score and William Burroughs narrating.

Pen and ink with watercolor on 110lb index card stock.



RobPad said...

All these references to old movies makes me want to watch them. Where's the best place to find them? Are any public domain yet?

Oscar Solis said...

Hi Robert,

I get most of my movies on Netflix, plus some I own. Haxan is in the public domain as is Nosferatu. I have to admit I love the older scary movies. They have more plot vs the newer ones which usually have characters just walking around for about half the movies running time. Also, there's something wonderful about viewing films that are obviously shot on stages. Personally, I think the attempt at total realism in movies robs many of them of a dreamlike quality.

You can also go on Youtube and find movies there. Someone is always uploading some old film.

By the way, a great film to watch is I Walked With A Zombie. It was filmed in the '40s and is pretty atmospheric. I'll be watching it this week.

Some others would be"

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (a silent film famous for it's set design)
Faust (directed by F.W. Murnau)
The Black Cat (starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi (classic design)
Curse of the Demon (once described as the Citizen Kane of horror films. It's not but it's one of the best one's ever made).

I hope this helps. Take care.

RobPad said...

Thanks. I'm gonna use your recent creature posts as a reference of great films to try and watch.

By the way, I' don't think I've ever seen a mummy used as a recipe ingredient like that. That's a fun concept. What if they only have to "stir with mummy".

Oscar Solis said...

I thought adding the mummy would be a fun touch, especially as I didn't draw one in it's own picture. I imagine it dissolves pretty easily in whatever the witches are brewing :)