[A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS screens Thursday January 29th at 8:30 pm and Sunday February 1st at 8:05 pm at the Cleveland Cinematheque.]
Review by Bob Ignizio
Right from its opening shots of a nightime sky reflected in the mirror like waters of a lake, there's no denying the artistry of A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS. Indeed “spell” seems an apt description of this film, as whatever else one can say, it is quite hypnotic and fantastical.
SPELL is broken into three segments linked by the presence of a nameless character played by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe. We first find Lowe hanging around the periphery of a commune where other characters do commune-y things, like have deep philosophical discussions while walking around naked. At one point there's a conversation about a sauna circle jerk where everyone had their fingers up someone else's asshole. No, really, I'm not making this up. If nothing else, it's a memorable bit of discourse.