So. I recently ordered myself a copy of Practical Magic because, while I’ve seen bits and pieces of it (generally on youtube, so generally the same bits and pieces over and over again), I’ve never seen the whole thing. And I keep seeing people I respect (Mama Fortuna, Miss Sugar, a surprising number of others) quoting bits of it that I haven’t seen and so… I decided that I needed to watch this. I mean, yes, I know, it’s basically a rom-com. But it’s also witches(!) doing their Thing(!!) and living exceedingly practical yet totally magic-infused lives(!!!) at the same time.
So I ordered a copy.
When I told my partner I had done this, she promptly asked if I liked The Witches of Eastwick, which I’d never seen in my life.
Within 24 hours this dreadful oversight had been remedied.
So I have now seen The Witches of Eastwick.
Which brings me to:
F is for Film
I like watching movies with witches in them. I like to watch them for the parts they get right – watching what went into that wax poppet, for example – and for the way that hollywood movies signify “witch”. That, after 500 years, “witch” is still symbolized by open sexuality (or total lack of sexuality), by being “a woman, alone”, by living on the fringes of one’s society (being an artist, being a goth, being an aromatherapist, you name it). That Major Magic is connected with mind-altering substances (though I can’t tell if this is a nod to Flying Ointment or if it’s – more likely – a hollywood nod to “Your sinful, hedonistic ways will only lead to DOOM!”)… I think that’s neat.
I like the way the three witches in Eastwick were fire-water-earth, and wonder how much of that was done on purpose (the vast majority, I’m sure) versus how much of it is me reading stuff into the movie.
I’m looking forward to seeing Practical Magic and doing cultural/folkloric exegesis (however shallowly) with it as well. 😀
Meliad the Birch Maiden. 🙂
 I keep wondering if the Felicia character – who didn’t make a lot of sense (I think a good bit of her story wound up on the cutting room floor) – was a fourth witch, but one who buttoned up her appetites and presented an Ultra Conservative face to the world, and so whose magic went in very destructive ways… or something. The “air” to the other three elements. I don’t know. But it’s crossed my mind a bunch of times.
For a thought-provoking Media Thing about witches, there’s a Halloween episode of Boy Meets World where Jack is almost sacrificed to the Devil by evil modern witches. It’s on Youtube. It’s interesting because while it’s sitcommy/light-hearted, I think it was also supposed to be a warning against Neo-Paganism disguised as a light-hearted sitcom show… There was a tagged-on Sabrina the Teenage Witch crossover in the very end to make it a bit more “just kidding” (and cross-advertise Sabrina). They had the Satanic witch say “these days witchcraft is just another faith”, which is kind of a smoking gun.