strange_complex: (Dracula Risen hearse smile)
20. Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb (2014), dir. Shawn Levy

I watched this on DVD from Lovefilm in August while writing my half of a co-authored chapter on Augustus on screen, so that I could check a) whether this latest entry in the franchise cast any further light on whether Octavius (Steve Coogan's character) is meant to have anything to do with Octavian / Augustus or not, and b) what exactly was meant by the character listed on the IMDb cast-list as 'Augustus statue'.

In case you too are burning to know the answers to those questions, I can report that Steve Coogan's Octavius still has no connection to the historical Augustus - it's just a classic case of name-borrowing. There were some distinctly slashy moments between him and the cowboy Jedidiah, though, that were just subtle enough to go unnoticed by children and a certain type of adult, but very definitely there for those of us who like to look for that sort of thing. Meanwhile, the Augustus statue turned out to be a bust of Augustus wearing the civic crown, who shouts to Octavius and Jedidiah from inside his glass case to try to warn them that they are standing inside a model of Pompeii, and are about to be killed in the eruption. In fact, the entire scene is on Youtube, so we may as well have it here:


This film is set in the British Museum, but oddly they don't have a head of Augustus anything like the one seen in this clip. In fact, as far as I can tell, the bust in the film is actually modelled after this one in the Glyptothek, Munich, also known as the Bevilacqua Augustus (after an Italian collection it once belonged to). The British Museum does have a very famous head of Augustus - the Meröe head, which was even the subject of its own little exhibition at the end of last year. So you might ask why they didn't use that. But we flip back and forth between careful reconstructions of actual British Museum galleries and completely invented spaces throughout the whole film, and besides it's not like this bust even needs to be Augustus at all anyway. Titus would have been a rather better choice, given that Vesuvius actually erupted during his reign.

The rest of the film was much as we've all come to expect from Night at the Museum films - fun, but not exactly life-changing. But there was one other scene which deserves noting down here for its Classical receptions relevance. The premise of the film is that Larry (Ben Stiller's character) brings the magic tablet which has been bringing museum exhibits in America to life to the British Museum, where obviously it has the same effect on the exhibits there. So as he and the pals he has brought over from America explore the galleries of the British Museum for the first time on the night of their arrival, all the exhibits around them are also coming to life for the first time - and behaving rather confusedly and erratically as a result. Put that idea together with probably the most famous of all the British Museum's galleries - the one containing the Parthenon sculptures - and what you get is the strange spectacle of figures from the relief friezes groping and leaning outwards, while half-broken marble bodies from the pediments limp and writhe weirdly across the floor.

It's good as an early scene in the film for building up creepy tension before the later and more threatening exhibits, but I also liked the angle it cast on the sculptures themselves. Art historians wax lyrical about how 'mobile' these sculptures are, but seeing them literally trying to move in a fantasy film throws into sharp relief what a rather silly thing that is to say about a solid stone statue. And then we get all caught up in stuff about Greek ideals of bodily beauty, including this recent exhibition which was actually at the British Museum (though after this film came out), which rest very heavily on looking straight past the badly damaged condition of a lot of surviving Greek art to a perfect original which now exists only in our imaginations. So, similarly, seeing these statues as broken bodies moving with a far-from-ideal grace rather punctures all that stuff too, and perhaps allows the statues to be the rather fragile artefacts they actually are, rather than the icons of something else which they are often treated as. So, in short, I came to this film for Augustus, but stayed for the Parthenon marbles.


21. The Wicker Man (1973), dir. Robin Hardy

We've reached late August now, when I went to see this with the lovely Andrew Hickey, miss_s_b and magister at the Hyde Park Picture House. We were so convinced it was going to be the (so-called) final cut which came out two years ago that we got ourselves all confused when it wasn't, and couldn't work out what version we had seen. But I think on sober reflection that it must just have been the short version - i.e. the film as it was originally released in cinemas in 1973. It's just that who ever watches that when you have longer versions available? So to us it seemed strange and unusual - hence our confusion.

It was a really nice, sharp clear print, though, with full rich colours and every tiny detail standing out in bold, eye-catching fashion, so I spend most of the film just wrapped up in small points of set-dressing and the behaviour of extras. I have seen it a lot of times, so as with the Dracula films, it doesn't take me long to tread the familiar paths of thought which the film provokes, and after that I am at my leisure to go off the regular pistes and into strange territories of my own. This time for some reason (perhaps because I was watching it in a gas-lit cinema), I became fascinated with the question of whether or not Summerisle has its own electricity supply. The answer is that although you see plenty of oil-lamps in interior scenes, so the islanders clearly aren't solely dependent on electricity for their lighting at least, Summerisle definitely does have an electricity supply as Howie switches on an electric light using a pull-cord when he breaks into the chemist's dark-room. So we must then ask how it is produced, because I can't somehow see Lord Summerisle entering into any kind of contract with a mainland electricity supplier. I think something like the hydroelectric power system at Cragside in Northumberland provides a suitably independent and Victorian solution, though, except that of course on Summerisle the source of the power would probably be tidal instead.


22. Tempi duri per i vampiri (aka Uncle was a Vampire, 1959), dir. Steno (aka Stefano Vanzina)

Finally, while I was in Whitby with DracSoc only three weeks ago, we had an early dinner on the Sunday evening, and then all piled into one couple's hotel room to watch this. Like so many of Christopher Lee's films, and especially the ones in which he plays vampires, I have wanted to see this for literally decades, so it was very exciting indeed to be hanging out with people who felt the same way. OK, so it is a '50s Italian comedy, with lots of jokes about put-upon men and busty ladies, which I probably wouldn't find interesting in the normal course of things. But what makes it so fascinating is that it features Lee playing Dracula-by-any-other-name (he's actually called Baron Rodrigo), only one year after his first iconic appearance for Hammer, and years before he would play the role again for anybody else. Well done to the Italian director for spotting the commercial potential of Lee in that role so early, and for helping Lee to establish himself as a European, as well as British, film star along the way.

Irritatingly, the English-language version of the film uses someone other than Christopher Lee to speak his lines, so you don't get his trade-mark voice. But the way he plays the ancient and noble Rodrigo is very much in line with his performance as Dracula in the Hammer films - demonic outbursts, anguished looks and all. Indeed, it would I think be possible to slot this film into the Hammer Dracula canon, since it is set at the time of its release, and no other Hammer story occupies that time-period. So this could be a little Italian vacation which the Hammer Dracula enjoys before turning up in London in 1972 to be 'resurrected' by Johnny Alucard. Certainly, he talks of having to move from tomb to tomb and castle to castle (presumably in order to keep his identity a secret), so we only have to add that 'Rodrigo' is an assumed name, and he can easily be Dracula in disguise.

The direction is quite different from the Hammer films, though, and doesn't always lend Lee quite the same gravitas as they managed. I felt the lack of shots allowing him to loom over the viewer, or close-ups of his blazing eyes. In fact, this director just didn't really seem to do close-ups at all. His characters were consistently shot at most from the waist up, and often in full length, almost like an early film. And actually the take on vampirism is pretty different, too. Lee's Baron Rodrigo is tired of his life as a vampire, and half-way through the film manages to pass the curse onto his nephew, meanwhile allowing him to retire to his tomb for uninterrupted eternal rest. I'd reconciled myself to that being it for Lee's appearance in the film, but about half an hour later he reappeared, thanks to a Buffy-like scene in which the nephew shook the curse back off again after a moment of true love, and eventually managed to end the film in happy comedic style, walking off set with an attractive young lady on each arm.

Quite an oddity, then, but I'm very pleased to have seen it, especially in company with fellow aficionados. And actually it turns out the whole thing is on Youtube, so I can give it another look whenever I feel like it. Meanwhile, there's just One More Time and The Magic Christian to go, and I will have seen every Lee-as-basically-Dracula appearance there is. A sad thought. :-(


And for now - that's me up to date! On films, at least. Books are a whole nother matter...

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strange_complex: (Wicker Man sunset)
I read this would-otherwise-be-forgotten 1960s novel for the same reason that everyone who reads it now does so - because of its relationship to the film, The Wicker Man (1973). The logistics of this relationship are set out in chapter 3 of Allan Brown (2000), Inside The Wicker Man, but for those who don't happen to have a copy to hand they go roughly as follows. In 1971, Christopher Lee, Peter Snell and Anthony Shaffer bought the rights to Ritual for a collective total of £15,000, with the intention of turning it into a film, but when Shaffer started work on the process in earnest, he realised that a direct adaptation wasn't really going to work as a drama, and gave the other two their money back. Instead, he began researching and writing his own story, and got Robin Hardy involved in developing it and turning it into a film in early 1972. Shaffer always adamantly denied that the resulting script for The Wicker Man had anything to do with Ritual, but Pinner has remained distinctly disgruntled about what he sees as extensive unacknowledged borrowing.

The truth is that although The Wicker Man is clearly a different story from Ritual, the thematic concerns of the two, their overall structures and many of their motifs remain very, very similar indeed )

So, yeah, Shaffer was pretty much lying to himself if he really thought there was no connection at all. There self-evidently is. But as I've said above, they are quite different stories )

A novel full of unlikeable people coming into conflict with other unlikeable people doesn't have to be a bad one, of course. It could be hard-hitting, tense and powerful. But it could also be free of mannered, trying-too-hard writing like this:
Although the final blood of sunset is two hours in the future, already the sky is a glass of honey. A fringe of cloud haunts the skyline of the sea. And the sea is searching out the secrets of the shells on the wet beaches. Seaweed, the clutch of the crab, and the starfish wait for the next wave. With foaming claws, wave crashes on wave. Hear the shingle sing as the wave sucks and plucks, in his salt armour, plucks and sucks the shingles back. The green gauntlets are greedy for stones. They thrust starfish and seaweed home into the starving sea. This happens minute by minute from now until the end.
So much of that, at every available opportunity.

This isn't to say I hated the novel in and of itself. It was fine, I guess. OK. But The Wicker Man is well-paced, well-photographed, conceptually-strong and blessed with irresistibly-quotable dialogue, while Ritual just isn't the textual equivalent of any of those things. In my view, what happened in the early '70s was that Anthony Shaffer took Ritual and made it better. Much better. The result now is that although Ritual is very much worth reading if you are a Wicker Man fan, so that you can see the seeds from which the film grew, otherwise it isn't. Thankfully, if you are a Wicker fan, reading Ritual for yourself is now easy, because it has been reissued in a lovely paperback edition quite openly designed to capitalise on its connection with the cult film. I am only grateful to the bookshop at the end of the British Library's Terror and Wonder exhibition for getting in a lovely big pile of copies, and thus bringing the opportunity to my attention.

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strange_complex: (Lord S not unenlightened)
I had a pretty epic day yesterday, going down to London for a second crack at the British Library's utterly excellent exhibition, Terror and Wonder: the Gothic imagination, followed by giving a talk on Augustus in the medieval period to a 200+ audience at the British Museum as part of a joint Roman Society / Association for Roman Archaeology conference. Both of those deserve posts in their own right, really, but between them they left me knackered to the extent that I didn't wake up until almost noon today, and meanwhile what I actually want to do with the tiny fragment of the weekend which remains to me is write about this interactive film screening which I attended with the lovely Andrew Hickey and magister on Thursday. So there it is.

Obviously, I have seen this film a few times before (previous LJ reviews are collected in the 1970s section of my Christopher Lee film list), including four times on the big screen. But it's one I will never knowingly miss in any format, still less an interactive sing-along version. So it was with high excitement (and only moderate transport-related shenanigans) that I made my way to the Holbeck Urban Ballroom with two equally enthusiastic friends - and we were not disappointed.

The full experience actually involves quite a lot more than merely singing along. On entrance, we each received not only a pagan 'hymn book' containing all of the lyrics for the film's famous songs, but also a goodie bag containing a special selection of items for later use. The point of these was to eat or do appropriate things mirroring what was going on screen at various stages during the film, and as it happened I was accidentally given two of the bags as I went in. Although I declared this fact very honestly, the chap giving them out advised me to keep quiet about it and waved me through, so I was able to bring my second goodie bag home at the end of the evening and photograph its contents. In the order in which were instructed to use them (left-right, top-bottom), these were as follows:

Sing-along-a-Wicker-Man goodies

And their purposes were:
  • Smartie - communion wafer from Howie's scene in church on the mainland
  • Shoe-lace - the poor wee lass's navel string
  • Lollipop sticks - for re-consecrating the abandoned church adjoining the graveyard
  • Frog - for curing our / Myrtle's sore throat
  • Crispy bacon - one of the foreskins from the chemist (yum!)
  • Foam banana - the closest available approximation to the apple which Howie munches while Lord Summerisle is showing him around his gardens
  • Smiley sticker - for anointing each other ready for sacrifice in the Wicker Man
I think you can already see from the list alone a) how much fun that was but also b) how it actually really did work to blur the distinction between audience and characters, making us feel on some level like we were participating in the action of the film. The singing, of course, did the same - and that, too, was more than just singing. In a warm-up session beforehand our hosts, David Bramwell and Eliza Skelton (daughter of Roy), talked a bit about the film and some of its lore, and got us laughing along at some of the stories about it - like how Lindsay Kemp (who played the landlord, Alder McGregor), stormed off down to London part-way through the production, and had to be sweet-talked back by Robin Hardy and Anthony Shaffer. We then collectively learnt the right actions for the Maypole dance, and got our singing voices in gear by singing 'Gently Johnny' to their live accompaniment (on the grounds that it wouldn't be in the film itself, as we were going to watch the short version). Then, as the film played, David and Eliza held up signs telling us when to sing each 'hymn', when to eat our goodies, and when to hold up our hand-bags in tribute to Lindsay Kemp's flounce, as well as commenting on some of the film's incongruities (like the bizarre rock guitar music used during the cave chase scene), and prompting us to join in with some of its big iconic lines - like Howie's screams of "Oh God! Oh Jesus Christ!" as he perceives his fate, or the islanders' communal prayers as the sacrifice is prepared. Also, every time Howie got his photos of Rowan Morrison out to show to people and ask if they had seen her, Eliza and David came up to the audience with copies of the same image, asking us to pass them around. You might think on a casual viewing that Howie only does that a couple of times during the film, but actually when you get passed the picture yourself too on each and every single occasion, it turns out to be six - by the last of which the thing itself had of course turned into a running joke.

Basically, it was all about a collective celebration of a film which (nearly) everyone there knew incredibly well and loved dearly. Just being part of such a cheerful love-in, surrounded by people who greeted all the best lines with the same enthusiasm as me, was fantastic fun, but the immersive experience of participating in so much of the action really did offer a new way of engaging with the world of the film that went beyond the surface tongue-in-cheek tone of the evening. You feel something more of Howie's helpless isolation in the closing scenes when, like him, you have just had your neighbour stick a yellow circle in the middle of your forehead, and a disturbing complicity with the villagers as you are belting out 'Sumer is i-cumen in' while he burns to death. And coming still relatively fresh from my Wicker Man holiday in 2013, so that I have recent memories of having actually stood at more or less every location used in the entire film, the two experiences together combined to make it all seem very, very real indeed.

Me walking along the sea-break at Plockton
Me walking along the sea-break at Plockton
Photo by [livejournal.com profile] thanatos_kalos

Sing-along-a-Wicker-Man tours the country regularly and widely, and I thoroughly recommend looking out for it if you are a fan. It would probably be better to catch it in spring or summer than autumn or winter if you can - though cold days and dark nights are generally very conducive to the watching of horror films, this viewing did drive home to me that The Wicker Man really isn't a winter film, and works best when the sap is rising. But any time is very definitely better than none.

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strange_complex: (Lord S not unenlightened)
Teal dear summary - both of these films are incoherent messes, and Christopher Lee isn't even in them terribly much, but the moments when he is on screen are excellent!

29. 1941 (1979), dir. Steven Spielberg )

30. Scream and Scream Again (1970), dir. Gordon Hessler )

If the world were a truly good and beautiful place, someone would by now have extracted all of the scenes with Christopher Lee in them from 1941, and all of the scenes with Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Vincent Price in them from Scream and Scream Again and stuck the results on Youtube. However, as far as I can tell, they have not. We must suffer onwards in our imperfect and fragile existence.

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strange_complex: (Wicker Man sunset)
This was my third viewing of The Wicker Man this year (previous iterations reviewed here), my fourth on the big screen (one previous experience here; the other two were in Oxford before I had a livejournal), and my goodness-only-knows-how-manyth all told. But given that this is its anniversary year, that it's supposedly been restored to its 'original' form, that a bunch of lovely friends were going along to see it too, that the showing was followed by a Q&A session with none other than the director Robin Hardy, and that it all took place in this building...

The Stockport Plaza

...I was hardly going to miss out on the chance.

The showing was part of this year's Grimmfest, and constituted the northern premiere of the newly-restored, re-released version of the film. Despite the best advance efforts of a Facebook page to imply that this would include the lost cutting-room footage allegedly buried beneath the M4, what it actually is is a cleaned-up print of the so-called 'middle version' - that is, the version put together from an early preview copy sent to Roger Corman, and released in America in 1977 (there's a full explanation of all the different available versions here). So we got to see footage which I have never seen on the big screen before, or indeed at all in such a good-quality print, like the 'Gently Johnny' sequence, and that was good. Call me a curmudgeonly old grump, though, but as far as I'm concerned this is not the 'final cut' of the film )

Afterwards, Robin Hardy was ushered onto the stage as promised for the Q&A session )

I haven't yet bought the DVD of the restored version, and indeed am not sure I ever will given that the box set of the long and short versions which I already have includes every single second of footage it contains, albeit not always in such high quality. What I would buy is what I'll call the 'ultimate mash-up' version of the film - that is, all of the high-quality footage from this middle version, but supplemented with everything it doesn't include from the long version, and with the watering graves footage restored to its rightful context in the scene when Howie digs up Rowan's grave, rather than amongst the night-time orgy scenes which he sees during his first night on the island. That version could presumably be thrown together quite easily now by anyone with a bit of decent processing-power and some editing software (perhaps even including me if I could be bothered), so I am hoping it is only a matter of time before it becomes available. Then, then will I finally be satisfied... well, at least until any of that genuinely-missing cutting-room floor footage actually does turn up (I can dream!).

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strange_complex: (Willow pump)
I'm starting to despair a little of ever getting time to write up my recent holiday spent touring around Wicker Man filming locations in Scotland with [livejournal.com profile] thanatos_kalos. It's partly busy-ness, and partly of course the fact that such things are rather more fun to do than to write about. But maybe I can get the juices flowing a bit by writing up my impressions on watching the film at the start and end of the holiday?

3a. Before - moustaches and world-building )

3b. After - location scouts and the hazy line between fiction and reality )

I promise that I'll put up some of the pictures from our holiday shortly in their own post, but for now I will just share my own favourite photo of the week, taken by the lovely [livejournal.com profile] thanatos_kalos. I am sitting on the wall outside Anwoth Old Kirk in bright sunshine, just like the musicians in the may-pole scene from the film. I think it very well captures how vivid the experience of going to these places is - and how much the weather did to contribute to the requisite summery atmosphere! Do feel free to compare it to the Youtube video of the relevant scene, below:

Me on the wall at Anwoth Old Kirk




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strange_complex: (Willow pump)
I popped this on my Lovefilm list just over a year ago, after Mark Gatiss in his A History of Horror documentary likened it to two of my favourite horror films of all time: Witchfinder General (1968) and The Wicker Man (1973). He dubbed them ‘folk horror’, on the grounds that all three portray worlds of rural magic and superstition, drawing freely on the hippy aesthetic of the late ’60s. I get what he meant and I do see the links between the three films. Blood borrows Witchfinder’s broadly 17th-18th century (it’s a bit hazy) period setting, and its basic focus on a government official (in this case the local Judge) rooting out witchcraft. It also anticipates Wicker in its portrayal of Bacchanalian rituals, including buxom young ladies taking their clothes off and offering themselves to upright religious men. But there are also an awfully large number of ways in which Blood is a very poor relation to the other two.

Why Blood just isn't as good as Witchfinder or Wicker )

In other words, if you watch this film hoping for another Witchfinder General or The Wicker Man, you're likely to come away pretty disappointed. And I wish Mark Gatiss hadn't set me up for that, because Blood isn't actually a dreadful film, and I'd probably have enjoyed it a lot more if I hadn't had my hopes raised so much.

Blood on Satan's Claw in its own right )

In short, then, it's a decent workaday horror film which certainly helps me to understand the wider context of Witchfinder General and The Wicker Man rather better than I did before. But it just isn't really in the same league as either of those films in its own right.

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strange_complex: (TARDIS)
Fourth Doctor: Genesis of the Daleks )

Fourth Doctor: Terror of the Zygons )

Still, OK on the whole, and it has furnished me with the splendid new icon I'm using here. This comes from the end of the last episode, when the Doctor is about to depart, and the moment I saw the shot I knew I had to have it. It captures the essence of both Tom Baker and the Doctor / TARDIS relationship perfectly, and begs the viewer to follow, speaking of promise and adventure. I had to make it out of a YouTube capture, so it could be a little sharper, but I don't care - just looking at that image fills me with joy. It'll now be my 'generic Who' icon, to replace the 'TARDIS in space' image I had before.

Hmm - I was also going to include some non-episode specific observations about Classic Who here, but I'm pretty tired now, and I really need to put in a solid day's work tomorrow. I think I'll have to save those for some other time.

strange_complex: (Wicker Man sunset)
I didn't have great expectations of high literature when I bought this book, as I had already read the novelisation of The Wicker Man, which was written up by Robin Hardy in the late '70s. Robin Hardy may be a great director (well - actually even that's up for debate), but he's not a great writer - the true genius behind both story and dialogue in The Wicker Man is Anthony Shaffer, whose original scripts were used as a basis for Hardy's novelisation.

In Cowboys for Christ, Hardy doesn't even have Shaffer to give him a leg-up, and it shows. While Shaffer's Wicker Man script is a masterpiece of structure and symbolism, in which every individual scene is a key element building towards a subtle and complex whole, Hardy's Cowboys for Christ is just - kind of random. Stuff happens, and then some more stuff happens, and it's all happening to the same people in the same places, and indeed effect follows cause and there is a perfectly clear plot-line running through it all. But somehow the sense of overall design and purpose, of meaning to the work, is absent. There are even whole characters - particularly the policeman, Orlando - who are developed and fleshed out and given an internal life of their own, only to be completely dropped from the plot to the extent that they really never needed to be there in the first place. Why? Maybe it was conceived by Hardy as a clever play on readers' expectations based on prior knowledge of Sergeant Howie? But it didn't really work.

The writing itself is competent, but not inspired, and in particular falls foul of that basic tenet of creative writing classes everywhere: don't tell, show. The first few chapters were pretty heavy going, because they were just an endless onslaught of character back-stories - all of which could so easily have been allowed to emerge bit by bit via actions and interactions, instead of hammered out baldly and uninspiredly as they were. It's actually a great strength in the film of The Wicker Man that each character obviously has their own back-story, even if it doesn't emerge on screen. So, for example, if you pause the film while Sergeant Howie is flicking through the register in Miss Rose's school-room, you will find that each child in that room not only has her own name, but also a date of birth and a specific home address. Maybe Hardy was responsible for creating some of that when he directed the film, and indeed one of the main reasons for reading his novelisation is that it reveals more about the backgrounds of characters you're already invested in from the film. But if that same material had been made explicit in the film in the first place, it really wouldn't have improved it. The real genius is that it's there for the finding, but it isn't shoved in your face.

It was also painfully obvious that Hardy was trying to make his novel as 'accessible' as possible to a wide range of different readers, who might not all be familiar with the settings he was using. So, we were treated to sections like the following - and, remember, I am not making this up:
"Lachlan finished his brief conference and then headed for what is sometimes called Scotland's Second City, after Edinburgh - but which Glaswegians claim to be the first in both commerce and enterprise. Recently, encouraged by its nomination by Brussels as a European City of Culture, some have called it 'the Paris of the North'." (p. 21)
I mean - WT-everliving-F? Whole paragraphs sometimes sounded like they had been culled from Wikipedia, and it all reminded me rather of the recent Cassie Edwards plagiarism case.

Anyway, all that said, the book rollicked along at a fairly decent pace once it got going, and managed to arouse my sympathies for at least some of the characters - particularly the Christian evangelists, Beth and Steve, and the fiery and passionate stable-mistress, Lolly. I don't regret reading it, not least because it finally seems like the film version of the same story is actually about to move into production at last (after about five years of languishing around on IMDb as an obvious non-starter), and I will definitely want to see that. But then, I am a huge Wicker Man fanatic, and probably prepared to go to greater lengths for its sake than most would bother to. If you're the same, you'll want to read this book. But if not, don't bother.

Late showing

Saturday, 12 March 2005 16:28
strange_complex: (Wicker Man sunset)
On the basis that I have been dragging myself out of my sick bed all week to teach people, last night I decided that I was damn well going to drag myself out to do something for me instead. So I went out to a late showing of The Wicker Man at the Queen's Film Theatre with [livejournal.com profile] captainlucy. The bargain was that if I was still awake at 11pm, and had a temperature of anything under 38, I would go. Well, I made sure I was awake (not too hard, with the prospect of a Wicker Man screening at stake), and the thermometer said 37.9, so I downed some Neurofen and off I went.

Longer version vs. shorter version )

Always something new to spot )

At the end of the film, I worried for a moment that I might have seen the powerful and chilling climactic scene enough times now that it wouldn't really have much effect on me. But I needn't have. My mouth fell open with the sheer emotional impact of what was happening, and both of us sat still in our seats afterwards, gaping and silent in wonder.

Meanwhile, today I am a little tired thanks to staying up until nearly 2am. But I had the best night's sleep I've had in ages, and woke up with a normal temperature! Maybe it was the restorative power of The Wicker Man, or maybe rather I was able to go out to The Wicker Man last night because I am genuinely starting to feel better. But either way, I think there is a real chance now that I am finally recuperating. A little more rest over the weekend, and I hope I'll be properly back on my feet again.

About to be substantially cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] christopherlee_

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