WITCHES OF HOLLYWOOD
A documentary about the history of witches on film and TV, now streaming on Peacock TV
Most of us probably experienced out first images of witches in movies or on TV. I recall watching The Wizard of Oz every year on television from the time I was little (it was a special night in the household as everyone usually watched it together). Then Bewitched. Then some cool scary made for TV movies in the 1970s, like Crowhaven Farm and Stranger in Our House and Burnt Offerings. These portrayals of witches and witchcraft, viewed at an impressionable age, were certainly responsible for my lifelong interest in witches, as a writer, scholar, teacher, and a practitioner of witchcraft myself.
Several years ago I was asked to participate in a documentary film for French television. Thanks go to Heather Greene (author of Lights, Camera, Witchcraft!) for recommending me for this project. I traveled to New York City and walked through the rain from Port Authority to a hotel on Central Park South and hung out with the filmmaker Sophie Peyrard and her cameraman, and talked about witches in the movies. Beforehand, Sophie emailed me some questions and asked about some specific films she wanted me to talk about. It was fun and fascinating and I was excited to see how it turned out. All of the witches interviewed (including myself, Heather Greene, Pam Grossman, Kristen J. Sollée, and Dianca London) were American, so the film’s voiceover narration, dubbing, and subtitles were done in French!
The film was released on French TV and then it made the rounds of a few film festivals and got some very positive reviews (like this one). Now, it’s available in an English language version and is streaming on Peacock TV, and is available on some other platforms like Tubi and Roku. It’s also available on DVD from Amazon, or for rental. For some reason this version lists a different director but that may be because the English language version was remastered. (I just ordered the DVD, so we’ll see). Check it out and let me know what you think!
And if you want to hear more from me about witches in popular culture, subscribe to my blog! I will keep you posted about my book in progress, The Witching Hour: How Witches Enchanted the World.
The Witching Hour is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.