Puritans, Witches, and PR


Last week, an interesting film came out. I haven’t seen it, and I don’t plan on seeing it, but I’ve been reading reviews and commentary on it for a few days. Written and directed by Robert Eggers, The Witch is a simple horror story set in the American wilderness of the 1600s. What’s more interesting than the film itself is what it reveals about film critics, audiences, and Satanists.

I had the opportunity to talk to Kevin Swanson about this film on his Generations Radio program, which you can listen to here:

The film revolves around a family of Puritan caricatures, who are building a little house in a big woods. Complications ensue when witches begin killing members of the family, starting with the baby. The film is not ambiguous about this; viewers actually see the witch sacrifice an infant and do blood ritual stuff on screen.

Things go downhill from there, with everyone mysteriously disappearing or dying horribly on screen, until only the 14-year-old daughter is left. It is bleak and horrible, and unlike the semi-triumphant endings of most horror movies where the main character finally defeats or escapes from the monster, this protagonist loses everything, and then joins the coven to become a witch herself.

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Superfortress Sunrise

For the last month or so I’ve been buried in work relating to CNC machines and material constraints and toolpaths, so it was nice to do a quick, straightforward animation job. This was a very fast project for a friend, and I think it turned out pretty nicely. It is extremely simple; the B-29s are textured using blueprint drawings as bump maps, the exhaust plumes are textured boxes, and the planes and camera were animated procedurally. All light and cloud stuff was done in After Effects, as you can see here:

Many, many, Januaries ago, when I was just four years old, my Dad took me to see the Enola Gay, the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan. At the time, it was still being refurbished, but the Smithsonian used to let folks behind the curtain if they asked nicely. Last January, when my niece Katherine was almost four years old, her Daddy took her to the Air and Space Museum’s giant Udvar-Hazy Hangar, where the completely restored Enola Gay is currently exhibited. She was fascinated by the big planes, but her little brother Nehamiah was most intrigued by the P-40 Warhawk that “had a mouth on it.”