Il Arcano Incantatore (Arcane Sorcerer). 1996. Italy. Written and directed by Pupi Avati. With Carlo Checci, Stefano Dionisi, Arnaldo Ninchi. 35mm. In Italian; English subtitles. 96 min.
In this example of Italian horror at its most atmospheric and solemnly paced, a seminary student forced into hiding in a secluded mansion becomes involved with a sinister excommunicated priest, mysterious characters, and black magic. “Pupi Avati captures the rhythms of the age, the hypnotic death dirge and both the distance and time that can fuel belief in the supernatural. Traveling by diligence for days on end, the infinite, empty horizons and the Borgesian libraries flanked by the whispers of the dark and the necromancy fueled by true evil. This film is full of cosmic horror and sin” (Guillermo del Toro).