Witchcraft is the new feminism – NME.com (blog)

Posted: March 5, 2017 at 4:04 pm

Leonie Cooper on witches, beehives and Lana Del Rey.

Its hard out here for a witch. Well, at least it was 400-odd years ago when women were regularly hanged, drowned and burned to death after being accused of sorcery, Satanism and doing suspicious things with herbs. This fear of witchcraft was, in essence, a fear of womens power, sexuality and general awesomeness.

Thankfully, women are no longer persecuted when crops fail and odd things happen in the village theyre persecuted for their weight, their clothes and their work instead but witches seem to be firmly back in the public eye and this time theyre not going to be dragged off to the stake. Theyre going to put on a s**t-tonne of black eyeliner and sort out everything thats rubbish in the world.

This isnt simply about the fact that loads of new bands, from moody electronica trio MUNA to Manchester indie-poppers Pale Waves, look like theyve stepped out of 1996 teen witch movie The Craft. A-listers are also getting in on the sweet occult action and taking their witchy business straight to the top. Last week Lana Del Rey attempted to organise her coven of fans into using magic to get rid of Donald Trump. The high priestess of noir-pop tweeted the days of the next waning crescent moons and instructions to find a spell online, to be performed at midnight on the proposed dates. All you need to join in is an unflattering photo of Trump not difficult, to be fair a tower tarot card, an orange candle, a bowl of water and some salt. See you down the homeware aisle of Tesco, then.

But the best bit of modern magic comes in the shape of a new film called The Love Witch, which goes on general release in the UK on March 10. Directed by LA-based auteur Anna Biller, it uses the Technicolor gloss and retro style of cult and camp thriller movies like Vertigo, Rosemarys Baby, The Wicker Man and Suspiria to take a sledgehammer to the patriarchy. The film tells the story of Elaine, a woman who uses sex magic to make men fall in love with her while wearing some fabulous vintage-styled frocks also made by the multitalented Biller.

Yet beyond the beehives, it cleverly deconstructs the idea of women as marriage-obsessed hysterics with style, sass and an excellent tampon joke. Witchcraft in 2017 is about women coming together, not about being torn apart. Whether its Lana Del Rey getting her goth on or thousands coming together for the Womens March in January, the witches are rising excuse me while I go and fetch my broomstick.


Witchcraft is the new feminism - NME.com (blog)

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