The Occult in Film: Scarecrow video special section

The Occult in Film: Scarecrow video special section

Embracing historical and contemporary currents in film, video, and moving images, the Occultural Film Series was established in 2012 to feature the esoteric and occult in cinema. The Series is excited to collaborate with Scarecrow video in creating a special section dedicated to occult film. Many of the films in the section extrapolate upon the body of films that will be showing at the: Occultural Film Series Volume One:  Magick and Cinema with Brian Butler, April 5th at 7pm at the Northwest Film Forum.

A Pandora’s Box of mystery and phantasmagorical imagery, occult cinema spans many genres, from experimental to horror. The Film Series created a special section at Scarecrow Video to trigger interest in a fascinating and complex subject. Occult filmmakers often play with the immeasurable, paranormal, extra sensory and rich symbolism that permeates the diverse world of the esoteric arts. There are numerous occult films to choose from that encompass a large spectrum of belief, practice, and history. Perhaps those who search deep enough could find something hidden, whilst transformative, in most cinema. The film as a medium often requires one to step outside of the ordinary and believe, if only for a moment, in the extraordinary, possibly resulting in a transformation of the viewer’s consciousness. So why then create such a category as occult film? And how do we define it as separate from other films? Perhaps it is the viewer who decides this. Is it an altered state that it gifts us, or is it the multilayered symbolism that speaks to various levels of our consciousness? Is it the exploration of particular thematic, philosophical and conceptual idea that transmits mysterious and secret teachings? Is it in the details? A type of inverted cosmology?  There are esoteric currents that run along many mystical and religious paths. The occult draws from these currents, and is often seen as a symbiotic force.  For our purposes we might define some of these currents and occulture as: Alchemy, Hermeticism, Theosophy, Mystery Traditions, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, Traditional and Contemporary Witchcraft, Heathen Symbolism, Northern European Mysteries, Divinatory Arts, Shamanism, Haitian Voodoo, Esoteric Tantric Buddhism, Astrology, Thelema, Necromancy, Ceremonial Magick, Sex Magick, Chaos Magick, Hermetic Qabalah, Enochian Symbolism, Gnosticism, Paganism, Charming Traditions, Spiritualism, and so forth…

Enjoy !

Tobi Nussbaum
Co-organizer of the Occultural Film Series

The Occultural Film Series would like to thank Bryan Kent Ward and Pserah Be for their help in creating the list of films and video on display at Scarecrow Video.
Occultural Film Series Volume One:  Magick and Cinema with Brian Butler

Magick has been defined by Aleister Crowley as “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will.” The short film is a perfect medium for modern occult ritual – utilizing sound, light and color to alter the consciousness of the viewer. The evening features works by pioneers in occult cinema along with works by filmmaker, artist and the evening’s curator Brian Butler.  Butler, explores occult visions and ritual in his films such as Night of Pan, featuring Vincent Gallo and Kenneth Anger. His latest work Union of Opposites premiered recently in Los Angeles and will be presented for the first time in Seattle. The premier will be followed by a ritual performance by Butler. The program includes gems from occult cinema informing Brian Butler’s own work and the evenings lecture.

Short films include:

Kenneth Anger – Brush of Baphomet (2009),
Ira Cohen – The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda (1968)
Harry Smith – No. 17: Mirror Animations (1979)
Curtis Harrington – Wormwood Star
Brian Butler – Night of Pan (2009), Death Posture (2011), Union of Opposites (2012)

(Various directors, USA, Various formats, 1hr 40 min)

Brian Butler ( is an artist, musician, writer, and filmmaker living in Los Angeles. He has written on occult related subjects for numerous publications including Dazed and Confused, Vestoj and Disinformation’s Book of Lies (2003). He heads his own occult order in Los Angeles. He has worked extensively as a producer on director Kenneth Anger’s recent work and performs along with him in the band Technicolor Skull. Butler’s films include Night of Pan, featuring Vincent Gallo and Kenneth Anger, and Loch Ness Magick, which was filmed on the grounds of Aleister Crowley’s former home in Scotland. Butler’s films have been noted as “Beautiful, hypnotic and vaguely sinister” and have screened internationally — the National Film Museum in Beijing, ZDB Gallery in Lisbon, Festival Internazionale Del Film Di Roma, the Athens Biennale, Cannes Film Festival, and the Tate Modern, London.

The Occultural Film Series: Magick in Cinema with Brian Butler
Thursday, 7:00 pm April 5th

Co-presented with the Esoteric Book Conference
Tickets are available at or by calling 1-800–838

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