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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but could have been better, 18 Sept. 2007
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This review is from: Aleister Crowley - The Wickedest Man In The World - In Search Of The Great Beast 666 [DVD] (DVD)
Before I give my views on this DVD, I would like to say that I am not a follower of Crowley, so hopefully my view will be more objective than either those for or against him. AC always did invite extreme reactions either way, so it's difficult to come across a more 'middle ground' viewpoint.

First of all, I didn't really feel that the film focussed a great deal on what Crowley was actually trying to achieve. Although he did practice in the darker side of the occult, his original intention was to work for the light and contact his Holy Guardian Angel - unfortunately, he disappeared off to Paris in the middle of a ritual that definitely should not have been left unfinished, and I think this is where the problems really started (I have heard from other sources that he failed to perform the banishing ritual before leaving and therefore left himself open to forces that possibly overtook him). The sad fact was that he was an extremely intelligent man but his repressive religious childhood caused him to take an extreme viewpoint on spiritual issues and he did seem to spend the rest of his life rebelling against this. Had he focussed more on his own positive attributes, he no doubt could have been a very successful writer in his time.

Back to the plot. The film makes no mention of what happened to Victor Neuburg after he left Crowley (again from other sources I have been led to believe that he died either from a virus or a fatal illness - a fate that seemed quite common amongst people who had dealings with Crowley). It also doesn't give his wife Rose credit for her contribution to his writing (it was apparently she who insisted that he go to the Museum in Cairo to be given the message that would lead him to perform the ritual in the Great Pyramid). The Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu was covered quite well, but the overall feeling you get is that Crowley seemed to spend most of his life taking off at the drop of a hat to some location which would stimulate his constant desire for novelty. This may be true but the overall feeling is that the sheer volume of his actual writings are skimped over, almost with a passing thought.

I was interested to see that Rick Wakeman provided the soundtrack for the film. Rick Wakeman is one of the finest keyboard players, if not the finest in the rock world (listen to 'Awaken' by Yes to hear his musical genius at its best) but I didn't realise he had any interest in Crowley. Perhaps he doesn't and just happened to accept the offer of doing it, but Jimmy Page would have seemed an obvious choice to write it with his interest in Crowley (though he did sell Boleskine 17 years ago and a lot of Crowley's magickal items so perhaps he is veering away from that now).

I have to say that I agree with the previous reviewer that the film did focus on the more negative aspects of Crowley's life, though I am relieved that it wasn't made by somebody from the rock world. I did hear a rumour that one rock singer (who shall remain nameless to protect their identity) wanted to make a film on Crowley, but I think the problem there would be that they would be too biased the other way, i.e. they would want to portray a more romantic image of Crowley as a great magus and spiritual revolutionary. My own view is that Crowley was a very intelligent man but like many people who follow any sort of spiritual path, he did have his shortcomings. Manners, as they say, not magick, maketh the man and Crowley could be incredibly cruel to some of his associates. Again, as the previous reviewer said, this is the only film on Crowley to date so it would be interesting to see if further films are made about him to see how they would portray him. Whatever peoples views on Crowley, he remains one of those people who hold your fascination, whether you are interested in his work or not. He certainly inspired some of the people whose music I listen to and so perhaps in his own subtle way, he has infiltrated peoples consciences without them realising it. Now that's what I call clever!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Feb 2009 00:21:32 GMT
Mikey C says:
Rick Wakeman is a Christian.
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Location: Bedfordshire, England

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