Sunday, April 06, 2008

Scottish Sunday: The Wicker Man

I've been puzzling for weeks about which band I wanted to kick off Scottish Sundays with. Big Country, the band that ruled my late teenaged years? Pilot, whose hit "Magic" inspired me during the magical Spring of 1975? The Cocteau Twins? Pre-sellout Simple Minds?

Then it occurred to me that there's only one place to begin: the all-time subversive classic, the film they couldn't ban, The Wicker Man. The more I watch this film the more dangerous I realize that it is, and the more I realize why the powers-that-be were so eager to suppress it, going so far as to bury the negative under the asphalt of a highway. I start to (strongly) suspect that the roundly-hated remake of the film was no homage, rather a deliberate effort to discredit and tarnish the reputation of the original. Given all of this drama, it almost pains me to note that none of the stars of the film are themselves Scottish!

And on the heels of all the Hathor symbolism we've been looking at, what else but this ritual to the goddess of love and music and drink could be culled from that epochal film? This scene features Wicker Man soundtrack composer, the Italian-American (!) Paul Giovanni singing the lead.

Aside from acting as the setting of The Wicker Man, Scotland is the land of the Templar Diaspora, Rosslyn Chapel, the Edinburgh Beltane Festival, and a whole host of shamanic musicians whose work will be celebrated here in the weeks to come.


  1. Wicker man is a great film, and the remake is useful to see what 'changes' were made.
    Edward Woodward plays excellently, in fact the whole film almost induces a sense of 'innocence' in the sacrifice.
    The two communities are different
    The Scots community seems balanced socially while in the remake there seems to be a heavier militant feminist tone, as well as the entrapment by a woman, and the female 'community' is passed off as basically murderous and wanton.
    I think there has been usurping of the 'goddess' by 'feminism' for political ends.
    This seems true of most 'religions' whether male/female/andro.

    Scottish Bands - BAY CITY ROLLERS?

  2. Neil LaBute is a Mormon and a notorious misogynist. He used (or was used) that remake to attack and smear pagans and feminists and to degrade and diminish the original film itself. But it was so ineptly executed that at the end of the day all it inspired was unintentional belly laughs.

    To me the only high point was the lovely LeeLee Sobieski, who looked insanely gorgeous in it.

  3. I did get that heavyhanded impression. Unfortunately many fims, esp. remakes are. As if the title is enough, and the studios are going : ' U know the story just get the damn thing released'
    Cheers for the Neil LaBute info.
    Labut = SWAN in Czech

  4. I looked up director Robin Hardy on IMDB, wondering what he'd been up to since (not a lot until now), and apparently he's making some film called 'Cowboys For Christ', according to the blurb a 'reimagining of The Wicker Man', and shooting in Scotland starts in a few days' time. Christopher Lee's involved as well - interesting.

    Hold up, filming's been postponed again...