A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness Reviews

June 8, 2019
Watching one man's repeated upheavals of his life, combined with the two directors' excellent craftsmanship, evokes the feeling of something supernatural and, ultimately, transcendent.
April 3, 2019
Arthouse cinema at is most challenging, pushing ethnographic fetishism and self-reflective analyses to the nadir of its cerebral appeal.
November 27, 2017
A Spell finds their styles melding in the most fascinating ways. There has been a more reserved attitude in many of Rivers' films, a desire to hang back with patient curiosity, which is distinct from Russell's more agitated approach.
December 9, 2014
If you find yourself pulled towards those dark corners, and in the mood for a cerebral encounter of the cinematic kind, 'A Spell' delivers on its grand title's promise.
December 4, 2014
Avant-garde cognoscenti are surely already in line, yet the film is accessible and often hypnotic on an intuitive level.
Top Critic
December 4, 2014
The atmosphere is mythic and pervasive. The imagery, of night and nature and dancing flames, seems ripped from liner notes. Even the title sounds like something you might see scrawled across a record sleeve in Gothic typeface.
December 2, 2014
Landscapes and lyric conundrums distinguish the first two-thirds of this find-your-own-meaning artflick, which unfurls like some stranger's life you're half reliving.
September 12, 2014
Robert AA Lowe makes for an enigmatic talisman. But it would require a properly powerful incantation for Spell to translate into magic.
September 11, 2014
It is arresting in many ways and concerned to elucidate the experience of being on one's own. Is any other state possible?
September 11, 2014
As a rumination on existence, this never gets as deep or as insightful as it wants to.
September 9, 2014
For some this will feel like an arthouse endurance test, but it's shot with real beauty.
September 8, 2014
It's a film of contrasts - community and solitude, silence and primal noise, darkness and light - beautifully shot, wilfully slow and enjoyably baffling.
April 14, 2014
The interpretation is less important than the trip.
March 11, 2014
Ben Rivers and Ben Russell's ethnographic exploration for a kind of profound utopian moment acquires its clearest, and most intimate, articulation in their long takes of Robert A.A. Lowe and other corpse-painted musicians.
February 5, 2014
The pleasures of its imagery make the task of solving the film secondary
September 14, 2013
Forgoes such linearity in favour of an increasingly visceral triptych narrative that follows a mysterious loner from the margins of a commune to a trip into the wilderness.
September 14, 2013
The Bens capture it all on Super 16, giving the proceedings the quality of an educational film, with careful attention to the nitty-gritty.
September 14, 2013
Rivers and Russell have certainly cast a spell that sticks.