DirectorBen Rivers, Ben Russell Release dateAugust 8, 2013 (2013-08-08) (Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland) WriterBen Rivers, Ben Russell CastRobert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix Music directorRobert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Veldo Tormis Similar moviesAs I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2000)
A spell to ward off the darkness trailer festival 2013
A Spell To Ward Off the Darkness is a 2013 experimental film directed by Ben Russell and Ben Rivers. It stars Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe and follows him through three distinct environments: a commune in Estonia, a forest in Finland, and a black metal performance in Norway.
A spell to ward off the darkness ben rivers ben russell the seventh art issue 15 section 3
Filming took place in three locations: on the island of Vormsi in Estonia, in the wilderness of the northern municipality of Hyrynsalmi in Finland, and in Oslo, Norway. The sequence featuring the Norwegian black metal band Queequeg was filmed in a single take. The band, featuring Lowe on vocals and guitar, was founded specifically for the movie. It stars members of Liturgy and Krallice.
The film was first shown at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland on 8 August 2013. It has subsequently been shown at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada, the BFI London Film Festival in the United Kingdom, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival in Greece (under the title Ena xorki gia na dioxeis to skotadi), the AFI Fest in the United States, the Copenhagen International Documentary Festival in Denmark, the Torino Film Festival in Italy, the International Film Festival Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the Vilnius International Film Festival in Lithuania (under the title Kerai nuo tamsos), the New Directors/New Films Festival in the US, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic, the New Horizons Film Festival in Poland (under the title Zaklecie, ktore odpedza ciemnosc), and the Three Rivers Film Festival in the US. It has also seen release in Barcelona, Spain (on 6 November 2014), and New York City, US (on 5 December 2014), and is due to be released in France on 18 March 2015.
The film received a score of 88% out of 16 reviews on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.
Reviewing the film for The New York Times, Ben Kenigsberg called the film "accessible and often hypnotic on an intuitive level." Alan Scherstuhl of The Village Voice praised the first two-thirds of the film but disliked the final segment, criticizing its focus on "a shriek-y metal band that plays on and on."