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Author Topic: Just seen 'The Wicker Man'... Wow!  (Read 6339 times)
MONDO
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« on: June 22, 2004, 11:52:10 »

A truly awesome film. So dark yet so relevant.
Apparently there are other scenes to this film that got lost and the story goes that they are buried under the M25 motorway.
Did you see the special edition DVD with the documentry?

How dare they even think of remaking this movie. They need to leave it alone and love it for what it already is. No improvment needed.
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Nick
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2004, 13:37:53 »

Great review Douglas! It has been about twenty years or so since I last saw this film, yet I do recall it very well. The ending was quite powerful and the scene still burns in my memory.  I'll also never forget Britt Eckland as Willow, if you know what I mean, and I think that you do. [Wink] I'll now look for the director's cut.


Very best,
Nick
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2004, 13:37:53 »

logoVisit the website of Astral Pulse creator Adrian Cooper.

Home of the best selling book Our Ultimate Reality.

Astral Projection, Metaphysics and many other subjects.

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clandestino
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2004, 08:30:57 »

Hi Gandalf !!

Haven't yet seen the wicker man....its one of those films I've been meaning to watch for years. I'll definitely be getting it now !!!

Also...I hope Hollywood don't remake it ! Leave it be !!! They didn't need to re-make "The ring" either....but they couldn't help themselves.
 
quote:
I'll also never forget Britt Eckland as Willow, if you know what I mean, and I think that you do.

Nick, thanks for this further incentive for me to get the Wicker Man !! hee hee....

kind regards,
Mark
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Selski
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2004, 12:03:06 »

My favourite film of all time.  I've seen it about 10 times.

The scene with Britt Eckland (that scene) is not actually her, it is a body double.

Lord Summerisle is my hero.

I just love the conflict between two beliefs and the fact that both sides believe their beliefs to be right (that's a lot of believing!) [Wink]

I also own the soundtrack on CD - cracking stuff, although Edward Woodward's voice is edited out for some reason.  

Willow's song is an absolute corker.

And by the way, I'm female and straight.
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Gandalf
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2004, 12:14:45 »

Of course, the BIG question which everyone wants to know (I don't want to be too specific on details for those who hav'nt seen the film yet) is what the next year's harvest will be like!

btw Christopher Lee has some superb lines:

(mock offended tone): 'Sgt Howie, I assure you, we are a deeply religious community!'

and:

Sgt Howie: 'Have these people never heard of Christ?'
Lord Summerisle: 'The son of a virgin, impregnated I believe, by a ghost'.

Douglas
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2004, 12:14:45 »



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Selski
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2004, 12:20:08 »

The Americans will probably do a 'next year's harvest', save Sgt Howie at the last minute and everyone will live happily ever after.

I'll be damned if I go and see it!

There was loads of Christopher Lee's speeches cut out of the film.  He quotes that it is the best film he's acted in.  I think the unedited version was shown on UK TV (I think we videoed it), with all the extras in.

My worry was that if the next year's harvest failed, they may take Lord Summerisle himself, as the biggest sacrifice.

Hi ho.
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WalkerInTheWoods
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2004, 12:24:11 »

Sounds interesting. I might have to check this out. Which version do I want? I see Limited, Unrated, and Extended Editions. [?] Why do they have to make it so complicated? lol
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Selski
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2004, 12:30:17 »

You have three versions to choose from? - wow, lucky you.  For a start, I'd go for the limited version, it's probably the one that was released initially.

Mind you, I don't really know.  I thought there were only two versions.  I think it should be about 95 minutes long?  Maybe 100 minutes?

See if anyone else can help you here first.

Enjoy - I'm sure you will.
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Gandalf
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2004, 13:41:46 »

There are only two versions of the film *available*. The original 84 minute version. and the new *99* minute version released two years ago, to great celebration.

This new 99 minute version contains 15 minutes of footage thought lost for decades, although it was included in original cinema releases.

It is true that there is a third 'lost version' with maybe another two minutes, making the total film 101 or maybe 102 minutes long, but this version is well and truly lost, with rumours of it lying somewhere under the M25 motorway, but this cannot be confirmed.
Also the 2 missing minutes is not critical footage. The really critical footage was in the lost 15 minutes which, thank the gods, has been found and restored.

This includes an essential prologue set on the mainland, an early appearence by Chris Lee, the whole 'Gently Johnny' song, which was lost before, and other stuff.

If there are three editions on sale in america then one of these is some kind of collectors pack, perhaps with both versions, or maybe a booklet or other goodies.
For example, the copy I have here is called the collectors edition and contains two discs. one with the original 84 minute version, and the other with the 99 minute one (ie with the 15 minutes restored footage).

So basically, whatever version of the WM you buy, be it 'extended edition', 'collectors pack' or whatever name it goes under, just make sure that there is a *99 minute* version of the WM included in it.
Like I said, in the pack I have they include both, although I never watch the 84 minute now, as once you have seen the restored film you cant go back.

The 99 minute is the most complete version we are ever likely to see.
I am not convinced about the whole M25 motorway thing, and anyway, it only has about two extra minutes of non essential footage.

Regards,
Douglas

PS UK film critic Mark Kermode has written an extensive essay on this whole topic so those interested might like to check him out.
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kiauma
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2004, 14:12:02 »

Hmm...  The one at Netflix lists at 88 minutes.  I assume it is the short version with advertisements included, perhaps.

I would be very interested to hear how a film came to be buried under a motorway, if you know.  [Smiley]
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Selski
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2004, 14:31:30 »

The M25 motorway is a 'fairly' new motorway.  I guess a lot of things end up under motorways?  You'd be amazed where odd socks end up.

Hi ho.
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Nick
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2004, 17:45:48 »

Hi kiauma,

The extended version has not yet been released here in the states. I checked with amazon here, and you can preorder it for release in mid-September. [Smiley]


Nick
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WalkerInTheWoods
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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2004, 17:55:37 »

On closer examination the Unrated Edition appears to be the VHS 'Special Edition' version (possibly with the extra 11 minutes). The Limited Edition DVD is the version with the 11 minutes plus all the typical bonus stuff (trailers, etc). The Extended Edition DVD is not being released until September but it does not mention anything about the 11 minutes. Maybe this version includes it as part of the movie as a whole, otherwise why call it extended? Then there is the original release 88 minute DVD. This is for those available in the US.



quote:
Originally posted by Selski

You'd be amazed where odd socks end up.




Do you have information on the socks lost in the dryer conspiracy?
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kiauma
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« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2004, 20:33:58 »

Ah, thanks guys.  [Smiley]


So, what is the legend of how the long version came to be buried under a motorway?
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Gandalf
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2004, 01:14:39 »

Now that is a long story...

I believe film critic Mark kermode has written an extensive essay on the interesting history of the film, I will try to find a link. Some books have also been written about the WM.
Apparantly Christopher Lee thinks that the complete version was buried on purpose as part of some kind of conspiracy, but I'm not sure why he thinks this.

Cheers,
Douglas

PS apparantly the WM is Chris Lee's favourite film (that he's worked on).


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Selski
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« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2004, 07:45:22 »

Fallnangel177

Re: socks

This is a song called 'Lost Property' by the Divine Comedy

Postcards and letters
T-shirts and sweaters
Passports and Parkas
Mobiles and chargers
Two tennis rackets
Blue Rizla packets
A new sheep-skin jacket
I lost it all

All through my life there have been
Many rare and precious things
I have tried to call mine
But I just cannot seem
To keep hold of anything
For more than a short time
Possessions of a sentimental kind
They were mine, now they're not

Gym-kits and trainers
Asthma inhalers
Silk-cuts and Bennies
Ten-packs and twenties
C-class narcotics
Antibiotics
The holes in my pockets
I lost it all

All that I'd like is to know
Just where do those lost things go?
When they slip from my hands
Then one night in a dream
I passed through a sheepskin screen
To a green, pleasant land
I found them all piled up into the sky
And I cried tears of joy


I suspect the odd socks are here too!!

Sarah
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MONDO
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« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2004, 08:35:57 »

After reading this thread the other day I havent been able to stop thinking about the Wickerman, so I got up bright and early this morning and watched the director's cut (best version IMO).
Every time I watch WM I have an urge to go hang out in the woods all day and dance naked amoung the trees!
[Cheesy]
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Gandalf
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« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2004, 11:47:24 »

haha
Yes Mondo, the film does seem to have that effect.

Sounds like it is 'time to keep your appointment with the Wicker Man'.

Douglas
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Selski
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« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2004, 11:56:18 »

I was listening to the soundtrack last night.  I love the maypole song, the one that goes "in the woods, there grew a tree, and a fine fine tree was he"

Marvellous stuff.

Sarah
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« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2004, 12:19:28 »

I actually like the cameo appearence by Hammer icon Ingrid Pitt....gods she is lovely!

Douglas
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Gandalf
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« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2004, 11:43:23 »

I have at last got round to watching this world famous pagan themed cult movie from the early 1970's; now I see what all the fuss was about.... what an awesome film, and not just a straightforward horror movie either, but an intelligent film that deals with important topics! And the music...
(btw if anyone wants to see this, I strongly urge them to get the director’s cut which came out two years ago and contains 15 mins of essential footage thought lost for decades!)

There have been several books written about The Wicker Man, I haven’t read them but my take on the film is as follows:

Brief synopsis: Scotland, 1970’s:  strict Presbyterian police sgt. Howie of the West Highland constabulary is told of the disappearance of a young girl on the remote island of Summerisle off the west coast of Scotland. Summerisle is famous for its apples and other agricultural exports (the climate is warmed by the Gulf Stream which affects certain part of the west coast, which is a real phenomenon) and the island is overseen by the local Laird, Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee). Howie soon finds his strict Christian upbringing shocked by the apparent pagan blasphemies which the islanders have taken up, fully supported it seems, by Lord Summerisle himself.

Firstly, the more straightforward horror element plays on the familiar theme of being stuck in some backwoods environment with some weird inbred locals whose close relatives have probably been a little too close, and the film plays up this fear very well indeed!

Secondly and more importantly, the film is certainly not 'anti pagan'. Those who come to this conclusion are completely missing the point of the whole film.
The point is that the film is 'anti religious extremism', and makes the WM more topical now than ever before.
In the film it is the pagan community that descends into religious extremism and the disaster that this leads to, but the point can be applied to any religion.
Just as an aside, most neo-pagans whom I know absolutely love this film.

Thirdly and in connection to this, it is not a straightforward case of ‘christians vs. pagans’, since it is somewhat difficult for the viewer to completely sympathize with Sgt. Howie’s viewpoint either, he represents another form of extremism… christian fundamentalism (unless of course you live in the bible belt, which is probably filled with ‘sgt. Howies’, in which case you will back him to the hilt!)
Even his other officers have problems with his views.

From the moment he steps on the island and is confronted with this pagan community, he finds himself unable to sympathize with it in any way.

This is another of the films main points: Both sides, Lord Summerisle, and Sgt Howie, are completely convinced of their own self righteousness, and neither side is able to accept the other’s point of view. If only someone with some decent negotiation skills had been on hand then perhaps both sides could have met each other half way!
Instead, neither side is able to communicate in any meaningful way, which ultimately leads to disaster. This also is an extremely topical point in today’s world.

The music is also awesome, with the extended edition; new tracks have been recovered which were thought lost. The music which tried to sound like authentic folk music really worked, helped by inclusion of actual songs/poems by Robert Burns but used in specific ways. The folk music is wonderful and evocative but which also has a dark and somewhat disturbing underside to it. 'Willow’s song', 'Gently Johnny' and 'Corn Riggs' are particular examples.

Although the film is set on the fictional island of Summerisle off the west coast of Scotland, the film was actually shot on the coast of the southwest of Scotland in the Galloway region. I was over there last year and visited the pub (The Green Man in the film). The pub is full of memorabilia and is a must for any WM fan. This is what got me interested in seeing this film.
You can also visit the cliffside where the WM stood and you can still see where the wooden stumps actually stood!

On the whole, highly recommended. However, do not watch expecting some instant ‘shock horror’ style Hollywood movie which is immediately forgotten on exiting the cinema. This is an intelligent ‘slow burn’ film, which will disturb you and linger with you long after you have watched the film. The film also has a distinct sense of humour which also works well. It will likely be one of the most distinctive and unique films you will ever see!

Some will be interested (and or/horrified) to hear that there are plans for a Hollywood remake, set in the US with Nic Cage in the sgt. Howie role……please no!
I just can’t see this working; it’s in a completely different cultural environment!
Well, we’ll see!

Regards,
Douglas


 
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