If you haven’t had the opportunity to see the classic horror film The Exorcist on the big screen, consider getting yourself to the Plaza Theatre tonight at 9:30PM. “Okay,” you may be thinking, “but why am I learning about this on BURNAWAY.org?”
It’s a little known fact that René Magritte’s Empire of Light inspired one of the most memorable images from the movie, the one that shows the priest arriving at the house where he will conduct the famous exorcism. In this fog-filled scene, director William Friedkin swaps the traditional symbols of good and evil: The hero wears black and is in shadow while the villain is located within the light shining from the possessed girl’s bedroom window. Friedkin felt this reversal of light and dark suited a particularly surrealistic moment in the film. To develop his concept, he drew inspiration from Empire of Light, in which Magritte’s paradoxical use of daylight creates an ominous effect.
There’s your art-history-meets-popular-culture factoid for the day. Now go see the film!