A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness
Experimental filmmakers Ben Rivers and Ben Russell blur the lines between fiction and nonfiction in a meditative exploration of utopias, real and imagined. A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness follows an unnamed character (musician Robert AA Lowe) through three settings—a utopian commune on an Estonian island, wilderness isolation in northern Finland, and a basement black metal club in Norway. Marked by solitude, ecstatic beauty, and an optimism of the darkest sort, this hypnotic film is at once a document of experience and an experience itself, an inquiry into transcendence that sees the cinema as a site for transformation.
Presented in conjunction with the Renaissance Society’s exhibition Ben Rivers: Urth. The exhibition will be open until 6:45pm on the night of the screening.
(Ben Rivers and Ben Russell, France/Estonia, 2013, 98 min., DCP)