Thursday, June 07, 2007
The Wicker Man (Director's Cut)
I really enjoyed this, the original in Director's Cut form (not the Nicholas Cage vehicle, tho' I'm sure I'll watch that at some point), though it isn't clear to me why it is classed as a 'horror' film (though the ending is clearly horrific, it's not "horror" horrific. I suspect that distinction doesn't ultimately make sense, but anyhow...)
Half way through the film I had very little sympathy for the policeman - I thought his position was self-righteous and arrogant. In his shoes I would either have 'smelled the coffee' and headed off for reinforcements, or I would have thought 'this is too embedded for trivial interference' and left them to it. My views changed a bit over the course of watching it, partly because Girard exercised his influence, and I started to see it as a question of stopping the scapegoating, and that the sergeant does end up as a genuine martyr to the faith (ie not just executed for being stupid).
It was a very sinister film, in the best sense of that word, especially the use of masks (made me think of John Fowles' Magus; the book, that is, as I haven't seen the film). I also kept thinking of Wittgenstein's Remarks on Frazer: "It is now clear that what gives this practice depth is its connection with the burning of a man" (see here for a much fuller explanation of what I'm on about!). You should also check out what John Morehead has to say here.
I purchased the 'collector's edition' DVD, ie the one with extra material and commentaries, so I think I'm going to spend some time studying this; I think it's one of those films that repay close attention.