Halloween Wicker Screening at the Cinematheque, Vancouver

9 09 2014

The Wicker Man

Great Britain 1973. Dir: Robin Hardy. 94 min. DCP

NEW RESTORATION! DIRECTOR-APPROVED “FINAL CUT”! ► A devoutly Christian policeman from the mainland investigates the disappearance of a child on a remote Scottish island. Christopher Lee presides over a pagan sex cult. Britt Ekland shakes — and slaps! — her booty in lascivious fashion. The Wicker Man, Robin Hardy’s legendary 1973 cult film, has been newly restored in a director-approved “final cut” version. The film was specifically written for Lee by Anthony Shaffer, who also penned Sleuth (both stage and screen versions) and Hitchcock’s Frenzy. Neil LaBute’s 2006 remake, with Nicolas Cage, can’t hold a Burning Man to Hardy’s unhinged original. Britt’s butt, she later revealed, was actually a body double’s! “Troubling, brilliant, and unmissable … Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England [and Kill List] reawakened interest in ‘folk horror’; here is the superb precedent” (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian). Read the rest of this entry »


Berkeley hosts The Wicker Man: The Final Cut

1 08 2014

The Wicker Man Robin Hardy (U.K., 1973)

Film – Feature | August 31 | 7:30 p.m. |  PFA Theater

Sponsor: Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Restored “Final Cut”!

“The Citizen Kane of horror movies”—Cinefantastique Magazine

Before Burning Man, there was The Wicker Man, that burning sensation. A Christian believer, Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward), travels to the rustic island of Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl the islanders deny exists. The sarge is alarmed to find the inhabitants possessed of a paganism that has the cultists raising the maypole and fornicating in the fields. Playwright Anthony Shaffer (Sleuth, Frenzy) penned this heathen husk of folk horror specifically for Christopher Lee, who plays the priestly Lord Summerisle. This flammable flick finds its fright in the slow revelation that you are either kin or kindling.

—Steve Seid

Written by Anthony Shaffer. Photographed by Harry Waxman. With Christopher Lee, Edward Woodward, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland. (94 mins, DCP, Color, From Rialto Pictures)

Tickets: $5.50 BAM/PFA Member; Cal Student,  $6.50 Cal Faculty and Staff; Disabled Patron; Non Cal Student; Senior Patron ( 65 & Older); General Admission Youth (17 & under),  $9.50 General admission


Event Contact: 510-642-080

The Wicker Man Blu-ray Review

14 07 2014
Review by Gary Tooze

The Film:

A righteous police officer investigating the disappearance of a young girl comes into conflict with the unusual residents of a secluded Scottish isle in this unsettling, intelligent chiller. Brought to the island of Summerisle by an anonymous letter, Edward Woodward’s constable is surprised to discover that the island’s population suspiciously denies the missing girl’s very existence. Even more shocking, at least to the traditionally pious law office, the island is ruled by a libertarian society organized around pagan rituals. Repelled by the open acceptance of sexuality, nature worship, and even witchcraft, the officer takes an antagonistic attitude towards the people and their leader, an eccentric but charming English lord (Christopher Lee). The officer’s unease intensifies as he continues his investigation, slowly coming to fear that the girl’s disappearance may be linked in a particularly horrifying manner to an upcoming public festival. Anthony Shaffer’s meticulously crafted screenplay creates a thoroughly convincing alternative society, building tension through slow discovery and indirect suggestion and making the terrifying climax all the more effective. Performances are also perfectly tuned, with Woodward suitably priggish as the investigator and horror icon Lee delivering one of his most accomplished performances as Lord Summerisle. Little noticed during its original theatrical run due to studio edits and a limited release, the film’s intelligence and uncanny tone has since attracted a devoted cult following. Read the rest of this entry »

The Music of Folk Horror – Part 5 (The Wicker Man’s Diegesis) by Adam Scovell

30 06 2014

Part 1Part 2Part 3. Part 4.

Diegesis in The Wicker Man.

Some of the music assessed in the last section raised further questions besides their thematic and narrative content.  Though this element was an important part of the analysis, another aspect almost appeared to be ignored; that of the diegesis of such performances.  For a horror film, The Wicker Man presents the viewer with new diegetic possibilities, using techniques so far removed from the hyper-realism of horror that it’s surprising the film works with their inclusion.  However, the analysis of the diegesis will show that that this is just more subtle acknowledgment of the Folk Horror Chain.

As stated, Giovanni’s score had already, quite deliberately, blurred lines between the roles of diegetic and nondiegetic.  In the scenes about to be discussed, Giovanni himself is seen playing the instruments and singing one of the songs, further raising questions around the strange sound relationships.  Fitzgerald and Haywood suggest that this aesthetic ambiguity was more to do with presenting the crumbling psychological state of the main character arguing “Through the careful privileged orchestration of event and sound around the protagonist, this and subsequent scenes represent Howie as entrapped in a world where reality and illusion blur, stretching sanity.” (p.107, 2009).  This is a somewhat convenient reading which avoids the overall complexities of the score.  While some moments in the songs composed for the film do, or at least can, act as nondiegetc scoring, others are far more complex in their relationship with the narrative reality and the viewer’s reception.  Let us return to the example of Willow’s Songwhich is by far the most obvious and interesting moment where this aural ambiguity occurs.

As Willow’s aim is to try and seduce Howie, she sleeps in the room next to his.  He is staying in the island’s pub run by Willow’s father (hence the rather strange but logically sound interlude of the song, The Landlord’s Daughter) and is trying to get to sleep after the shock of his initial findings on the island.  The song opens with a simple acoustic guitar melody and some form of percussive hit before any of the vocals enter[i].  As the rooms are above the pub where the majority of the islanders go at night, some are sat with musical instruments as predetermined by the earlier performance of The Landlord’s Daughter. Read the rest of this entry »

The Wicker Man to screen at the Museum of Modern Art, New York

1 05 2014

The Wicker Man 
 Great Britain. Robin Hardy. 88 min.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014, 1:30 p.m.

Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2

  • 1973. Great Britain. Directed by Robin Hardy. With Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland. In Robin Hardy’s horror classic, a police sergeant is sent to a Scottish island town in search of a missing girl. The pagan rites performed on the island have the sergeant concerned—and rightly so. 88 min.

The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019-5497
(212) 708-9400 | Contact Us



The Wicker Man, de Robin Hardy (1973)

14 04 2014


Au début des années 1970, le grand Christopher Lee commence à se lasser de jouer dans des productions Hammer qui sentent légèrement le réchauffé, surtout dans les nombreuses déclinaisons de Dracula, rôle qui l’a rendu mondialement célèbre et fait encore de lui une icône du cinéma fantastique. C’est alors qu’on lui propose un film atypique, prenant pour thème la survivance de rites païens sur une île écossaise nommée Summerisle.

Film atypique du cinéma de genre de l’époque pour plusieurs raisons. La plus évidente, celle qui se remarque au premier coup d’œil, c’est le refus de tourner les scènes la nuit, pourtant une des caractéristiques du cinéma d’épouvante classique – à plus forte raison britannique. Cela pouvait certes diminuer l’ambiance pesante et l’impression de danger imminent, mais au contraire il en résulte un respect des codes du genre à mesure que le récit avance. Dès son arrivée sur l’île pour enquêter sur la disparition d”un jeune fille, le sergent Neil Howie se rend compte du caractère très communautariste des habitants. A chaque nouvel habitant interrogé, les secrets de Summerisle refont surface et il en apprend un peu plus sur les étranges coutumes du coin. Comme il est assez courant dans la production des années 1970, le cinéma d’horreur se mêle ici à des ingrédients du polar, de la petite enquête de police qui débute au départ comme un exercice de routine. Comme le disait dans un entretien le réalisateur Robin Hardy, l’objectif était de faire “un film d’anti-horreur”, et l’essentiel du film étant tourné en plein jour renforce ce parti-pris. On peut remarquer que quelques années plus tard du côté de l’Espagne, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador tourne lui aussi un pur film d’horreur sous un soleil méditerranéen et également sur une île ( ¿Quién puede matar a un niño?/Les Révoltés de l’An 2000, 1976). Sans doute faut-il y voir la volonté de renouveler un cycle du cinéma fantastique qui cherche un nouveau souffle. Read the rest of this entry »

Robin Hardy to appear at BOZAR film screening in Brussels

1 03 2014


En présence de Robin Hardy

Robin Hardy réalisateur
avec Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento
Nous avons l’immense honneur, privilège et plaisir de présenter la projection director’s cut du cultissime The Wicker Man de Robin Hardy. Peu de films ont réussi à atteindre l’aura particulière que dégage le film original. Et ce n’est certes pas le remake de 2006 avec Nicolas Cage qui pourra nous convaincre du contraire. Le film retrace l’enquête d’un détective confronté aux coutumes tribales des autochtones hallucinés et exaltés d’une île écossaise. Sous-estimé lors de sa sortie en salle, monté sans tenir compte du point de vue de Hardy et distribué comme une série B sans intérêt, le film était voué à une mort prématurée. Ce n’est que fin des années 1970 qu’une version longue fut projetée et appréciée à sa juste valeur, parfois saluée comme le Citizen Kane du film d’horreur sans pour autant être le film que Hardy désirait ardemment montrer. Quarante ans plus tard, il peut désormais nous présenter en personne sa propre version!
Ravensteinstraat 23 | Rue Ravenstein 23
Brussels, Belgium
+32 2 507 82 00
Dimanche 16.03.2014 – 20:00 > 22:00
Prix à la caisse 
€ 8,00: tarif standard
€ 6,00: tarif réduit

VO: Anglais