When shivering to the sounds of Iron Maiden, one never dreamed that some day Bruce Dickinson, the lead singer would one day be swanking it with the stars at the Cannes Film Festival. The BBC announced Dickinson's coup, noting that he's flying to Cannes himself (he's a pilot) as well as playing on an American tour this year. Dickinson co-wrote the upcoming film Chemical Madness with director Julian Doyle, who directed the Maiden's 1988 video "Can I Play With Madness?" Principal photography wrapped in September 2007.

It's all not to be confused with Dickinson's 1998 album The Chemical Weddingwhich concerns such arcana as alchemy, Rosicrucian thought and William Blake's prophecies. Monstersagogo.com has the poster with a scary flaming pentagram on it, as well as a link to a Reuters interview that I couldn't open. We do know that Simon Callow -- a first-rate actor and author of an authoratative study on Orson Welles -- is going to be playing the reincarnation of Aleister Crowley (seen above in a pointy hat), the world's most intimidating asthmatic bisexual. Crowley has always put the scare into British populace in general and British musicians in particular. Jimmy Page, for one, took pride in owning Bolskine House, the address of the Beast.

And now for a classic movie tie-in: "The most evil man who ever lived" was personally known to Preston Sturges, whose mother was temporarily a disciple. Crowley referred to Sturges "the brat" in the book The Great Beast. In his autobiographyPreston Sturges by Preston Sturges, the great comedy film director returned the insult, commented that Crowley's modified mohawk haircut was "nauseating," his fingers were fat, and he had the habit of cutting himself rather like a depressed female high school student. But Sturges didn't underestimate Crowley. "Reading about some of his subsequent exploits," Sturges concluded, "I realize my mother and I were lucky to escape with our lives. If I had been a little older, he might not have escaped with his."

categories Cinematical