The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #125093   Message #2767592
Posted By: Jack Blandiver
17-Nov-09 - 05:02 AM
Thread Name: Film: The Wicker Man
Subject: RE: Film: The Wicker Man
and the louche landlord - who was that?

None other than mime artist Lindsay Kemp - theatrical mentor for both David Bowie and Kate Bush.


My feelings on The Wicker Man have changed over the years. I started off on the pro-pagan foot (pagan that I was back then) and it wasn't until watching Frankenstein one rainy day in 1997 that the TWM analogue hit me, thus sending me back to the notorious Milgram Experiment and similar themes of individuality and mass compliance explored in The Prisoner, which runs pretty close in terms of a certain Zeitgeist. My love of the film hasn't changed though, nor yet my love of the soundtrack which I regard as a triumph - not least for Lesley Mackie's singing, who covers the ground between Highland Widow's Lament and Willow's Song in a single fire-leap. Others have tried, but no one comes close; see HERE for an interview.

That TWM has served as a pamphlet for the proscriptive Frazerian absolutes of neo-paganism (even the Green Man scrapes in by the skin of his teeth as the name of the pub!) is, I feel, unfortunate - especially as much of that thinking still remains current in both the pagan & popular imaginations. Couched in such absolutist terms, it has become the theology of a very persistent Zeitgeist we are somehow loathe to let go of - or else is loathed to let go of us! Stopping off in Glastonbury last summer it was evident just how overloaded such a dogma has become; a conservatism entirely at odds with the freedoms it would otherwise claim to espouse.

At the end of the day, I am with Sergeant Howie - I was never a one for being part of a mob. Sure, he is the despised sibling of Number Six (who at least did escape) - but in that respect he serves as a timely reminder that human individually is often most marked in the outcast & outsider.