Friday, December 28, 2007

Ever Been Alone, and Heard a Voice?

Live performance by Public Image Limited in Tokyo

PiL's "Annalisa" is about the exorcism of Anneliese Michel, a young German girl, whose life story is the basis for two movies, the English-language "Exorcism of Emily Rose", and the much more accurate German "Requiem". The daughter of highly Catholic parents raised in small-town Bavaria, she developed epilepsy at the age of 16, in 1968. Her mental and psychological condition continued to worsen despite a stay in a psychiatric hospital, and convinced that her plight was demonic in nature, sought out a priest who could perform an exorcism. Having been denied by the church, she was put on powerful anti-epileptic drugs, which did not alleviate the voices and faces she claimed to hear. A extended eleven-month exorcism, in daily one-hour sessions, lasted until her death, most likely a consequence of the drug Tegretol and the starvation and malnutrition resulting from the intense religious rituals.

Images and audio from Anneliese's exorcism. You will note that John Lydon's grating caterwaul has something in common with Anneliese's highly-unsettling moans and dissonant outbursts.

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