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Haxan

The Criterion Collection

4.0 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen's legendary film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the middle ages suffered the same hysteria as turn-of-the-century psychiatric patients. But the film itself is far from serious-instead it's a witches' brew of the scary, gross, and darkly humorous. The Criterion Collection is proud to present two versions of this genre-defying "documentary," for the first time ever on DVD.

Amazon.com

Witchcraft through the ages is explored with dark wit in this silent classic. Writer-director Benjamin Christensen uses a historical study of witchcraft as a jumping-off point for a fascinating film that is part science, part horror, and part social commentary. This Criterion edition uses a beautiful print, a rearrangement of music from the original Danish premiere, and the original Swedish intertitles (with subtitles). Goodies include commentary by Danish film scholar Casper Tybjerg, the option of watching a narrated version without intertitles, and test shots from the film. The test shots, in particular, give insight into the early filmmaking process, as when Christensen uses his own image to try out (and reject) a flying effect. This is a worthy edition to the collection of fans of horror films, silent films, and film in general. --Ali Davis


Special features

  • Includes both versions of the film: Haxan (1922) - a new, speed-corrected digital trandfer of the Swedish Film Institutes's corrected tinted restoration and Witchcraft Through The Ages (1968) - the 74 minute version of Haxan, narrated by William S. Burroughs, with a soundtrack featuring Jean-Luc Ponty
  • Music from the original Danish premiere
  • Director Benjamin Christensen's introduction to the 1941 re-release
  • A short selection of outtakes
  • Bibliotheque Diabolique: a photographic exploration of Christensen's historical sources

Product details

  • Actors: Benjamin Christensen, Elisabeth Christensen, Maren Pedersen, Clara Pontoppidan, Elith Pio
  • Directors: Benjamin Christensen
  • Writers: Benjamin Christensen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Silent, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Swedish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005O5CA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,340 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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