Madness, mayhem, mystery, and murder, these are but a few of the terms one could use to define the book, and later film, From Hell.
“Hawksmoor cut stone to hold shadows; a Gothic trait, though Hawksmoor’s influences were somewhat…older.”
“The Dionysiac Artificers?”
“Unmistakably. A Secret fraternity of Dionysus cultists originating in 1,000 B.C., they worked on Solomon’s temple eventually becoming the Middle Ages traveling Masonic guilds. Their ingenious constructions merely symbolized their greater work: the Temple of civilization, chiseling human history into an edifice worthy of God, its Great Architect.”
“…What is the 4th dimension?”
-From Hell, the Graphic Novel
How often do you get the opportunity to explore Freemasonry by gas light? Its not Steampunk Masonry, but as close as you can get with the science part of the fiction.
Written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Eddie Campbell (and Pete Mullins), the book version of From Hell is at the for of recent fictional works in print and celluloid that feature the fraternity of Freemasonry in some aspect. From Hell has transformed the benign fraternity into something malignant and nefarious. And, on its ascendancy to the cinema, the seductive spell of aristocracy and secret society takes center stage (pardon the pun) to position the fraternity at the very heart of the Jack the Ripper murders.
This week on Masonic Central, we take some time to explore the two tellings of the From Hell tale, from the Graphic Novel for-bearer to the present day annotated From Hell (Two-Disc Special Edition) DVD staring Johnney Depp and Heather Graham. As similar as the two works may seem on their covers, there is a surprising amount of difference between the two works, from the perspectives of the characters, the focus of the story, to the psychology and outcome of the leading villain (a Masonic Knight of the East), as played by Ian Holm. Two sides of the same creative coin.
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