Film bits and bobs
The Lords of Salem seems to have won itself a lot of haters in the UK, as well as the odd fan (myself included, with certain reservations), but sometimes it can be refreshing – or at least amusing – to let a writer/director have their own say on what makes their art tick. So here is a director’s statement from Rob Zombie that I am quoting verbatim from the film’s production notes. Please note that all the content and argument, not to mention the grammatical structure, is Zombie’s own. Like I said, I quite like The Lords of Salem, but Zombie’s own words suggest that his film’s psychedelic imagery and narrative disorientation may be coming from an impenetrably labyrinthine shrine of reasoning deep within himself. Enjoy!
Director’s statement by Rob Zombie “In Salem, to renounce belief in the invisible world is the only disease permitted to afflict the stimulation of the imagination. Congregational strife in Salem Village makes this spectral evidence its own “violent tempest for compensation concerning the winter of the Lords” – keep in mind that these elements alone are not enough to explain the phenomenon precisely known as the trials. It is because we seek independence, let us not be ungrateful to such a backlash and reversals of accustomed perspectives and valuations within the discovery and testimony of which she was tried for witchcraft. Should it help to confirm the suspicions that she was indeed a practicing witch – to which the spirit has seen mischievousness and futility of the goat and shall have it raged against itself.
To thrive in this way is no small discipline and fascination for its lost future – “The residents of Salem were after all, Puritans, which means they viewed their community not just as a group of individuals, but as a single entity united under the fist of God” (which is nonsensical because it was believed that a witch could harm someone by sticking pins and other objects into a poppet that represented the victim – total absurdity within the realm of Margaret Morgan and the coven of six witches), but as is the ability to control one’s knowing – it is those who began pointing fingers at others to take the conjecture and to dispose of them, so that only one covered in the shroud knows how to employ a variety of interpretations in the service of the mammoth (not merely over the appearance of the senses, but a much higher kind of worship when accusations of witchcraft became as common as chopping wood). This situation spawned extreme tension and cruelty against reason – a voluptuous pleasure primed to reach its height when the primal society of reason declared that “flawless recitation did little in impeding the witch trials” but “there is a thread of truth in being trapped in the life of sheep – but reason is excluded from the flock!”
Only the goat knows free will so he will always be punished and weaned. The beast is not without sorrow and he and her child are to be separated at birth – the beast who had fits lain under her blood, rested at her breast no more.
So together for that brief while, the notion of any sight or sound exposed on film – snares of such contradictory concepts as “pure reason in the eyes of God and absolute spirituality”. Henceforth, let us be on guard against the dangerous old conceptual fiction so near to the silver screen (supposing we were capable of this) and enjoy the hot buttered popcorn.
Though this alone becomes something lacking; this world always demanded the “eye of absurdity” proclaim that, “No one has died as a convicted witch in America again after the Salem witch trial – but to this I must say – hooray for Hollywood.””
So, clear now?