While undeniably one of the most exciting of the Elizabethan/ Jacobean plays, Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus (c. 1592) was also one of the most problematic from the point-of-view of Christian Theology, dealing as it does with Casting a Magick Circle (a device well-known through medieval occultism), in order to summon the Devil. (I hope you can appreciate why medieval Christians considered this alarming). All the more fascinating, then, that Murneu’s 1926 silent movie of Faust probably counts as the first representation of an Invocation of a Ritual Circle in cinema- surely a point-of-interest for engaged Pagan cinematistes (the scene may be seen on YouTube): please check out the location of a crossroads; the significance of a Full Moon (shadowed over as Faust demands that Mephisto appear); Faust’s quartering of his Circle, by holding aloft his Magick Book at each Quarter; and the special-effects of late ’20s German cinema that signal the Activation of Faust’s Conjuring Circle.
Another example of the Magick Circle in Film is this, from 1968′s English movie The Devil Rides Out (adapted from a 1934 novel, and released in the U.S. as “The Devil’s Bride”). According to the Wikipedia entry (I regret that I have not seen this film yet), the film concerns a supernatural war conducted between an Evil Occultist, and a Good One (played by Christopher Lee). Following the dramatic Apparition of The Devil Himself at a Cult-Ceremony, the Good Occultists repair themselves to defend against a Night of Satanic Retaliation (hence, I take it, the Circle). The original trailer for the film may be found at YouTube, showing many good camera-shots of the protective Ceremonial Orb (as well as shots of reveling Satanic Occultists).