Deborah Stratman Deborah Stratman Deborah Stratman Deborah Stratman Deborah Stratman

The Magician's House
2007, 16mm, 5:45 minutes


Sometimes the supernatural lingers plainly in the most ordinary places, secret only in so much as its trace goes unnoticed. Both a letter to a cancer stricken alchemist-filmmaker friend, and a quiet tribute to the vanishing art of celluloid, The Magician’s House is full of ghosts. Including that of Athanasius Kircher, inventor of the Magic Lantern or “Sorcerer’s Lamp”. The music, “La lutte des Mages” (The Struggle of the Magicians) was composed by Armenian mystic Georges Gurdjieff and Thomas De Hartmann. Gurdjieff thought man was a "transmitting station of forces." To him, most people move around in a state of waking sleep, so he sought to provide aural conditions that would induce awareness.

"With The Magician's House (2007), Deborah Stratman creates the sense of an evacuated presence in an empty house, a place that whispers its secrets to those who listen closely. To the faint sound of a piano solo, Stratman's camera finds the traces of those that once were there, or those who, in the camera's melancholic insistence, might still be there: fogged windows, a hollow of yellow grass, a rocking chair mysteriously stirred. The Magician's House performs its own magic by filling a deserted home with its imagination, a filmic dream of light flares and deep shadow."
- Genevieve Yue, Senses of Cinema, 2007

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