Bell, Book and Candle (U) + Short film: Fire Spells


Bell, Book and Candle (U) + Short film: Fire Spells

Thursday 1st December 2022

Tickets £5 full price/£4 concessions.

Dir. Richard Quine, US, 1958, 106 mins. Cast. Kim Novak, James Stewart, Jack Lemmon, Elsa Lanchester.

It is almost Christmas so we thought we would serve up a very special and seasonal end to our Season of the Witch programme with this wonderfully wicked alternative to a white Christmas.

Gillian (Novak) is a hipster Greenwich Village witch who casts a romantic spell on her upstairs neighbour Shep (Stewart). Stewart’s strait-laced book publisher doesn’t stand a chance when confronted by the bewitching Novak. Supported by her eccentric Aunt Queenie (Elsa Lanchester) and her bongo-playing warlock brother Nicky (Jack Lemmon), and the scene-stealing cat, Pyewackett, Gillian must decide whether to stay with her community of witches and warlocks or give up her powers to be with Shep. The film is wonderfully stylized, featuring wall-to-wall strong colours, ornate lighting, spectral conjurings and cat’s-eye perspectives.

Despite the film serving as inspiration for the series Bewitched (1964-1972), these witches are certainly not nose-twitching, sweet-as-apple-pie domestics. Prepare yourself for black magic and sinister spells in enchanting Technicolor! Released in the same year as Vertigo, Novak and Stewart look like they are having a lot more fun in this film!

+ Fire Spells (Tom Chick, 2022, 9 mins)
Fire Spells follows the artist, filmmaker, academic and writer Judith Noble, as she makes protection spells for the filmmaker. The film is both a portrait of Judith and her views on magical practice, and a ritual film itself.

The screening will be introduced by Judith Noble.

In Dreams Are Monsters: Season of the Witch

Plymouth Arts Cinema, in association with Pagan Phoenix SW, is delighted to be participating in BFI’s major UK-wide film and events season celebrating the horror genre on screen, taking place from at BFI Southbank and cinemas nationwide.

Our Season of the Witch films, workshops and talks is designed to reclaim the image of the Witch from the Horror genre. We look at the way cinema has portrayed witchcraft. From alluring femme fatale through teen rebels to women finding power and liberation. This selection of films about witchcraft, magic and the dark side provides an interesting take on the changing social position of women over the last sixty years. The films range from a fairy tale about contemporary African witchcraft to romantic comedies and folk horror. At the centre of each film is the character of the witch: magic, but also subversive, dangerous and powerful in different ways. We include cult favourites, rarely seen classics and also two short films.

Co-curated by Anna Navas, Plymouth Arts Cinema's Director, and Judith Noble. Judith Noble is an Associate professor at Arts University Plymouth. Her specialist areas of research are film, surrealism, magic, the occult and witchcraft. Her most recent book is Visions of Enchantment (with Daniel Zamani, Fulgur).

We are delighted to receive funding from the British Film Institute for the Season of the Witch which is part of the In Dreams Are Monsters BFI Blockbuster season. #InDreamsAreMonsters

For detailed information about the film's age rating and potential triggering contents, you can visit the BBFC website and search the film title, then scroll down to the “ratings info” section:

Dates & Times

 Thursday 1st Dec 2022  6:00pm Intro
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