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Curated by Ben Jeans Houghton


Gnosticism has a plurality of historic precedents and is often thought of as an anarchic proto-christianity but beyond its placement in particular geographies of space and time it is a particular type of philosophical preoccupation. Gnosticism at it’s core is a ponderance of the predicament of personhood, an exploration of the architecture of the world we live in and the stories that tell us and the aiming towards an embodied knowing or ‘gnosis’ in place of an external objective knowledge.


I consider myself a gnostic and belong to a micro lineage whereby I am mentored for three hours a week by a Gnostic Bishop, Esoteric Astrologer and initiate of various traditions. One of our great pleasures is to discuss cinema and its worlding of gnostic themes. There are few better opportunities beyond living to immerse ourselves in an embodied knowing, but cinema and literature offer more. 


Having made films since I was 16, worked in an independent cinema as an adult and having watched a great abundance of films I am a staunch believer in plot summations and trailers being the absolute anathema of cinematic experience. With that in mind I offer no context beyond the sub genres and a fallible promise, that I did not regret spending the minutes of my life in the face of these films, that they have taught me great things in novel ways and that I was above all immersed in them, and awoke from their dreams with an embodied knowing I will never try to turn into knowledge.


A refreshingly anarchic Jesus in the long censored gnostic Gospel of Thomas, had this among other things to say: “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” This urge to world the inner is surely at the core of every director's fever to dream into being a world in which others may wonder.


Honorable mentions that inhibiting the storyboarding of the Graphic novel format itself incepted in the woodblocks of edo period Japan and the cave paintings of lascaux are arguably cinema without the moving images include Grant Morrison's ‘The Invisibles’ Alan Morre’s ‘Promethea’ and Alejandro Joderowsky's ‘The Incal’ 



The Devils (1971) Ken Russell

Saint Maud (2019) Rose Glas

The Wonder (2022) Sebastián Lelio


Slacker (1990) Richard Linklater

Hackers (1995) Iain Softley

Waking Life (2001) Richard Linklater

A Scanner Darkly (2006) Richard Linklater

The Nines (2007) John August



Labyrinth (1986) Jim Henson

Dark Crystal (1982) Jim Henson, Frank Oz

Time Bandits (1981) Terry Gilliam

The Never Ending Story (1985) Wolfgnag Peterson

The Life Of Brain

The Meaning of Life

The Golden Compass

What Dreams May Come (1998) Vincnt Ward



Children of Men (2006) Alfonso Cuarón

The Road (2009) John Hillcoat



La Jetée (1962) Chris Marker

Twelve Monkeys (1995) Terry Gilliam

Dark (2017-2020) Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese (Series)

Arrival (2016) Denis Villeneuve

The Milky Way (1969) Luis Buñuel

Slaughter House Five

Jesus of Montreal

Cloud-Atlas (2012) Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski

The Devils Hour (2022) Tom Moran



Enter The Void (2009) Gaspar Noé

Holy Mountain (1973) Alejandro Joderowsky



The 13TH Floor (1999) Josef Rusnak

Lawnmowerman (1992)  Brett Leonard, Farhad Mann

The Matrix (1999) Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski



Ex Machina (2014) Alex Garland

Terminator (1984) James Cameron

Blade Runner (1982) Ridley Scott

Blade Runner 2049 (2019) Denis Villeneuve


The Tree of Life (2001) Terrence Malik

Mother! (2017) Darren Aronofsky




Pi (1998) Darren Aronofsky

Dune (1984) David Lynch

Dune (2021) Denis Villeneuve

Stigmata (1999) Rupert Wainright

Being There (1979)

The Magic Christian (1969)

The Fisher King (1991) Terry Gilliam

Jacobs Ladder (1990) Adrian lynn


Noah (2014) Darren Aronofsky

The Last Hangover (2018) Rodrigo Van Der Put

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) Martin Scorsese

the Book Of Life (1998) Hal Hartley


Dark City (1998) Alex Proyas

Alien (1979) Ridley Scott



2001 A Space Odyssey Stanley Kubrick

Brazil Terry Gilliam

The Fifth Element (1997) Luc Besson

THX 1138 (1971) George Lucas

The Lathe of Heaven

1984 (1984) Michael Radford


Gnostic Anime

Angels Egg (1985) Mamoru Oshii

Akira (1988) Katsuhiro Otomo

Ghost In The Shell (1995) Mamoru Oshii

Magnetic Rose (1995) Koji Morimoto

The End of Evanglion (1997)



Interview With The Vampire (1994) Neil Jordan

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1993) Francis Ford Coppola

The Addiction (1997) Abel Ferrara

Last Lovers Alive (2013) Jim Jarmusch


The Cell (2000) Tarsem Singh

Maniac (2018) Cary Joji Fukunaga, Patrick Somerville (Series)

Memento (2000) Christopher Nolan

Fight Club (1999) David Fincher

Solaris Andrej Tarkovsky

The Others (2001)



Inception (2010) Christopher Nolan

Paprika (2006) Satoshi Kon

Eternal Sunshine (2004) Michel Gondry

Heart of Glass (1976) Werner Hertzog

Ink (2009) 



Seven (1995) David Fincher

True Detective Season One (2014) Nic Pizzolatto (Series)

The Outsider (2020) Richard Price (Series)

Mulholland Drive (2001) David Lynch


Gnostic-Angelic / Demonic

A Dark Song (2016) Liam Gavin

Requiem (2018) Mahalia Belo

Constantine (2005) Francis Lawrence

Devil's Advocate (1998) Taylor Hackford

Prophecy (1995) Gregory Widen

Odd Thomas (2013) Stephen Sommers

Hereditary (2018) Ari Aster

The Mothman Prophecies

Angel Heart (1987) Alan Parker


The Seventh Seal (1957) Ingmar Bergman

Stalker Andrej Tarkowsky

The Cruise Timothy Speed Levitch

Sans Soleil (1983) Chris Marker

American God's

Meetings With Remarkable Men (1979) Pter Brook

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