The Witches

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USA | 1990 | 91 minutes | Nicolas Roeg

A young boy and his grandmother uncover a scheme by the Grand High Witch (Anjelica Huston) to turn all children into mice. Based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl and produced by Jim Henson, The Witches is a deliciously twisted tale for children and parents alike.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

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SIFF Cinema Egyptian

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You may think witches have long, crooked noses, wear pointy hats, and ride on brooms. Not so. Witches hide in all sorts of disguises, so it's important you know what to watch out for. You might see them limping just a bit—that's because witches don't have toes, just nubs where they should be. They'll often be found itching at their head, because the wigs they wear can cause intense scalp rash. If you're ever unlucky enough to stare into a witch's eyes, you'll notice they are an unnatural purple. This is how you can identify one. In Nicolas Roeg's adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved novel of the same name, The Witches, Luke travels to a hotel by the sea with his grandma after his parents tragically die in an accident. While there, he befriends a forever-hungry boy named Bruno and explores the hotel with his pet mice. Luke stumbles upon a secret meeting of women, and is terrified to watch them throw off their wigs, kick off their shoes, and reveal themselves to be a convention of witches led by a Grand High Witch (Anjelica Huston) who has a plan to turn all children into mice using her special "Formula 86." This darkly funny and fantastical story is the last film Jim Henson worked on before his death, boasts some truly creepy puppetry and makeup, and puts a uniquely macabre spin on childhood fears and dreams.

Director Biography

With a filmography spanning five decades, Nicolas Roeg holds several film awards and nominations, including three BAFTAs. He's best known for critically acclaimed films including Don't Look Now (1973), The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), and Walkabout (1971).

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  • Director: Nicolas Roeg
  • Principal Cast: Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Jasen Fisher, Rowan Atkinson
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 1990
  • Running Time: 91 minutes
  • Producer: Mark Shivas
  • Screenplay: Roald Dahl, Allan Scott
  • Cinematographers: Harvey Harrison
  • Editors: Tony Lawson
  • Music: Stanley Myers
  • Awards: Boston Society of Film Critics Awards 1991 (Best Actress, Anjelica Huston), Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress (Anjelica Huston)
  • Filmography: Puffball: The Devil’s Eyeball (2007); Two Deaths (1995); Cold Heaven (1991); Track 29 (1988); Castaway (1986); Eureka (1983); Don’t Look Now (1973)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Warner Bros.