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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The making of the film Wicker Man

The film Wicker Man was a truly astonishing film, although it was clearly not to everyone's taste. Indeed, the first time I saw it I thought it was seriously weird. Now it is being re-released on its 40th anniversary.

The London Daily Telegraph has his report that is worth reading. Go here.

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Here, the Guardian examines how remarkable story of how the film was made:

How we made The Wicker Man

Director Robin Hardy and musical director Gary Carpenter remember a descent into paganism that started in a Manhattan hotel room and ended up with the film company rubbishing their own work

Christopher Lee in The Wicker Man

Incantations to the gods … Christopher Lee in The Wicker Man. Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar

Robin Hardy, director

I was making commercials in the US and doing very well. Then a film company sent the writer Anthony Shaffer out to lure me back to the UK. When I opened my door in Manhattan, he said: "I am with the FBI and we are investigating you to see if you have communist sympathies." It was the first of many jokes.

We spent a weekend devising the plot, about a policeman called Howie who is lured to a Scottish island to investigate a missing girl; he is ultimately sacrificed by the pagan locals to save their apple crop. Paganism gave us lots of ideas, like the little girl being given a frog to put in her throat to stop it hurting. Essentially, one must think of The Wicker Man, as a game, with clues gradually suggesting Summerisle is not run in accordance with Christian values of Howie. Setting it in Scotland was crucial: in the early 1970s, Christanity was still widely practised, and it had a very puritan aspect. It might not have been as believable set in Woolwich.

Read the full story here

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