The Cinema Coven

Witches, Witchcraft and Women’s Filmmaking

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About the Book

Witches and witchcraft are potent metaphors for feminine power, with a history that predates the advent of cinema. They represent a particularly fraught, contested kind of gendered power, and have long inspired women filmmakers to explore themes of race, class, trauma, motherhood, grief, and identity.
This book examines the relationship between women, witchcraft, and filmmaking, exploring types of storytelling and the central themes in these movies. Such films span the globe and have starred prominent figures like Madonna, Bette Midler, Björk, and Nicole Kidman, as well as lesser-known women behind the scenes. Some of these filmmakers have premiered their works at major film festivals, while others have produced content for television and video releases. While notable in their diversity, these movies share one crucial thing: they were all created by women in an industry broadly dominated by men.

About the Author(s)

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas is a film critic and author of ten books on cult, horror and exploitation cinema with an emphasis on gender politics.

Bibliographic Details

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 20 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9075-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5396-9
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Untold stories are bittersweet propositions. They appeal to us as exciting, illuminating ventures, but they carry with them the weight of injustice, in having been denied the light for so long. If The Cinema Coven is a story long overdue to be told (spoiler: it is), Alexandra Heller-Nicholas makes the wait worthwhile. It’s a compelling and epic history, delivered with deep knowledge, affection and passion by perhaps the only writer who could’ve done it justice. In many ways it feels like the book she was born to write, and we’re all the richer for it.”—Phil Nobile Jr., editor-in-chief, FANGORIA Magazine and executive producer, Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror

• “This is the book I’ve been waiting for! Wonderfully well written, informative, and thought-provoking. An absolute must read for women, witches, filmmakers and everyone else!”—Donna Davies, filmmaker, Pretty Bloody: The Women of Horror (2009), Nightmare Factory (2011), Fanarchy (2015).