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A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness review

Magic noise

Experimental filmmakers Ben Rivers and Ben Russell team up on this strange, dreamlike triptych. It centres on a brooding, barely sketched character (Robert Lowe) searching for meaning by embracing life in an Estonian commune, before leaving it all behind to live alone, silently, in the woods.

Eventually, he goes on to embrace the darkness of the title by fronting a Norwegian black metal band, howling into the inky cave of a venue while slathered in white corpse paint. It’s a film of contrasts – community and solitude, silence and primal noise, darkness and light – beautifully shot, wilfully slow and enjoyably baffling.

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