Criterion Collection has just announced today that Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages is getting an upgraded Blu-ray release in October!
The release will feature a new 2K digital restoration, along with the following special features:
Music from the original Danish premiere, arranged by film-music specialist Gillian Anderson and performed by the Czech Film Orchestra in 2001, presented in 5.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray and in Dolby Digital 5.0 on the DVD
Audio commentary from 2001 featuring film scholar Casper Tybjerg
Witchcraft Through the Ages (1968), the seventy-six-minute version of Häxan, narrated by author William S. Burroughs, with a soundtrack featuring violinist Jean-Luc Ponty
Director Benjamin Christensen’s introduction to the 1941 rerelease
Short selection of outtakes
Bibliothèque Diabolique: a photographic exploration of Christensen’s historical sources
New English translation of intertitles
PLUS: An essay by critic Chris Fujiwara, remarks on the score by Anderson, and (Blu-ray only) an essay by scholar Chloé Germaine Buckley
Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen’s legendary silent film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages suffered the same hysteria as turn-of-the-century psychiatric patients.
Far from a dry dissertation on the topic, the film itself is a witches’ brew of the scary, the gross, and the darkly humorous. Christensen’s mix-and-match approach to genre anticipates gothic horror, documentary re-creation, and the essay film, making for an experience unlike anything else in the history of cinema.
The Blu-ray will be released on October 15th and you can pre-order yours today!