Gus diZerega, Pagan blogger on Beliefnet, posted a list* of what his readers believe to be the worst cinematic (or television) portrayals of Pagans - specifically the much maligned witch. It was an interesting read. "Hocus Pocus" was one of the top worst offenders. Although I completely agree with the argument, it's still a favorite movie of mine. I love the singing and the over-the-top witches. It's just a fun story.
I'm ashamed to say that I have yet to see the original (or the remake) of "The Wicker Man." I'm saving that for Muin Mound. Apparently it's a tradition to watch it after initiation into the grove! I've also yet to see "The Craft." My hubby owns it, so one of these days... I never really got into "Buffy", mostly because I didn't have cable. Someone commented about the character Willow and how she was "dismissive of Wiccans as: 'Bunch of wanna blessed be's. Nowadays every girl with a henna tattoo and a spice rack thinks she's a sister to the dark ones.'" Yes it's a fictitious story, and real magic as we know it is not so spectacular on the movie screen, but it's annoying all the same. And really, 'the dark ones'? Give me a break! I tend to write off anyone who uses that sort of ignorant, goth-tinted language. I've never seen "Charmed," however I must say I'm always extremely annoyed when someone sees my triquetra tattoo or necklace and thinks I'm a fan, as if the symbol came from the show!
At the same time, one has to have a sense of humor. Like I said, "Hocus Pocus" remains a favorite of mine, in part because it is so over the top and makes no references to Wiccans or people who actually practice Paganism. There's also a wicked little part of me that thinks, if I was going to be some sort of supernatural bad girl, I'd want to be like that. ** And how many Christians find various church-bashing Monty Python skits hilarious? Most can't help but crack a grin because there is a grain of truth there. Perhaps it's the same with negative Pagan portrayals. The characters represent what some in our community have deluded themselves into thinking is real or possible because they have no concept of reality in this plane/dimension/world/existence. Some Pagans are, for lack of a better term, bat shit crazy. Some really do see the world through purely dark or purely sparkly white lenses.
So what do you think are some of the best portrayals of Paganism in modern entertainment? For my readers who are not Pagan, what are the best and worst portrayals of your religion?
*For my lj friends: http://blog.beliefnet.com/apagansblog/2010/03/the-worst-movie-depicting-witches-and-other-pagans.html
** For the record, I don't really want to be that way. I'm just saying. It would be cool to (temporarily) change people into cats though.