Trash in the UK: A review of I. Q. Hunter’s British Trash CinemaMay 30, 2014
A Hymn To Revolt And A Hymn To Martyrdom: Two Films On Pussy RiotJuly 13, 2014
Editorial by Bradley Tuck
“Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words and images to achieve changes in consciousness.”
Alan Moore in The Mindscape of Alan Moore
“However radical the conclusions, however heretical their theology, their escape-route from theology was theological…”
Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down
Radical Ideas during the English Revolution.
“Fortunately we have learnt to combine these ideas, not in the mutual toleration of sub-contraries, but in the affirmation of contraries, that transcending of the laws of intellect which is madness in the ordinary man, genius in the Overman who hath arrived to strike off more fetters from our understanding. The savage who cannot conceive of the number six, the orthodox mathematician who cannot conceive of the fourth dimension, the philosopher who cannot conceive of the Absolute – all these are one; all must be impregnated with the Divine Essence of the Phallic Yod of Macroprosopus, and give birth to their idea. True (we may agree with Balzac), the Absolute recedes; we never grasp it; but in the travelling there is joy. Am I no better than a staphylococcus because my ideas still crowd in chains?”
Aleister Crowley, 777 Revised
To the dogmatist the heretic is more dangerous than the secularist. The dogmatist would rather hear that the Christ was a fake, than that he was the one true god yet homosexual. Where the secularist and the dogmatist may find peaceful co-existence, the heretic and the dogmatist fight on the same retain. It is in this respect that subversion often contains an element of what it seeks to transcend: The ranter’s theology without sin, Nietzsche’s death of God, LaVey’s Church of Satan. History involves a transubstantiation that defies specialisation. From alchemy comes chemistry, from the psychic come psychology. Invocation serves transcendence. Lynch transcends Hitchcock by becoming Hitchcockian, just as LaVey transcends the Christian idea of Satan by becoming satanic. This is the alchemy that breaks the repetition of the old dogmas by rendering them of service to the future. It is this that Cagean silence, despite its radicalism, cannot achieve. Transcendence emerges through the combination of ideas. The manipulation of symbols, language and words in the service of the transformation of consciousness must retain, or reignite, something of the old in order to be truly new. The old symbols, used, but transcended, offer more radicalism than radical silence. They signify the excess, while silence remains open, too open. What has gone before is expressed in order to go beyond what was previously expressed. The old comes to signify the excess of the new. The repetition of the old symbols are broken so that the new meaning can manifest. All must be revitalised. The chains that crowd our feet are transfigured; They become crowns.
This thirteenth issue of One+One embraces its fate and aligns itself with the occult, magick and horror associated with its numerology. Divided into two part, this volume delves into the alchemical transformations of cinema technique and form by embracing the excesses of the magickal formula and unleashing its hidden potential and transfiguring possibilities. The occult symbolises the excess towards which avant-garde cinema strives. We open with Diarmuid Hester’s “Screening”, an eloquent invocation of the occult character of the screening. Diverging from the traditional essayistic format common in One+One and marshalling the literary through a poetic investigation of the screen, Diarmuid illuminates the visceral and the abject as they interweave with the cinema form. James Riley’s “Magick Lanterns: Night of the Demon, M. R. James and Projection” likewise takes the screening, via its projection, as revealing occult qualities and new meanings hidden from everyday view. Drawing upon Jacques Tourneur’s 1957 film Night of the Demon, James Riley draws insights into the occult nature of the film’s projection and the potential transfiguration of the film and its meaning through avant-gardist and occult methods of film screening. By focusing on the projection of film Riley shows how the magic of material reality can be illuminated by the screen.
Mark Goodall takes us further down the path of experimental magic in “Erotic Witchcraft: Mario Mercier’s Occult Sex Films” and finds a link between avant garde cinema and the occult experiences. Focusing on the films of Mario Mercier such as La Gouve (1971), and La Papesse (1975) and situating them in a tradition of avant-garde and surrealist interest in witchcraft, Mark Goodall explores cinema’s potential, through cinematic devises and psychedelic experiences, to create erotic rituals, provocative nightmares and intoxicating experiences. By exploring the surreal, erotic magic of Mercier’s cinema, Goodall reveals films potential to the transport us into the realms of the senses.
Moving from the occult psychedelia of Mario Mercier to the queer pagan punk of Scott Treleaven, Nick Hudson and Scott discuss their influence from occult icons such as Crowley, Gysin and Burroughs, Scott’s friendship with Genesis P’Orridge and their use of occult collage and cut-ups as a tool for making and experimenting in differing art forms. Amelia Ishmael’s “To Raise a Storm: Gast Bouschet and Nadine Hilbert’s Tempestarii and the sympathetic magic of Digital video” plunge us further into that alchemical dimension, where the technical collides with the magic and the mythic to produce both installation and expanded cinema. The experimental frame of digital video is the site upon which the sorcery takes place. The technical colludes in the magician’s acts: A storm is raised.
Finally we end with James Riley’s “Cult Films for Cult Religions”, an interview with experimental filmmaker Craig Baldwin about his film Mock up on Mu, a film which appropriates footage from old cult films to tell the stories of cultists of American counter-cultural, Jack Parson, Marjorie Cameron, the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard and the British occultist, Aleister Crowley. Baldwin’s use of cut-ups has a transformative power that builds alternative histories with alternative meanings. The articles in this volume are linked by this overriding theme: Technical and aesthetic experimentation accompany the occult and mythic. Diarmuid Hester’s literary excesses, James Riley’s account of projectionism, Mercier’s surreal eroticism, the digital experimentalism of Tempestarii and the cut up methods of Scott Treleavern and Craig Baldwin, they each, through technical and aesthetic subversion of symbols, words and images initiate an alchemical transformation of consciousness.
Screening by Diarmuid Hester
Magick Lanterns: Night of the Demon, M.R. James and Projection by James Riley
Erotic Witchcraft: Mario Mercier’soccult sex films by Mark Goodall
Scott Treleaven: In Conversation by Nick Hudson
To Raise a Storm: Gast Bouschet and Nadine Hilbert’s Tempestarii and the sympathetic magic of digital video by Amelia Ishmael
Cult Films for Cult Religions: An interview with Craig Baldwin by James Riley