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The Wicker Tree

World Premiere

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  • U.K.
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  • 2011
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  • 95 min
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  • HD
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  • English
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Hosted by Writer/Director Robin Hardy and Actor James Mapes

Screening Times


“Erotic, romantic, comic and horrific enough to loosen the bowels of a bronze statue” — Christopher Lee

Credits

Director: Robin Hardy
Screenplay: Robin Hardy
Cast: Graham McTavish, Brittania Nicol, Henry Garrett, Jacqueline Leonard, Sir Christopher Lee
Producers: Peter Snell, Alastair Gourlay
Print Source: Anchor Bay Films

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Description

“Let's face it, there are strange communities in the world.” Purity rings in hand, a young evangelical Christian singer and her devoted fiancé leave the comfort of their Texas home to journey into heathen parts of the earth, hoping to spread the word of God across the land. Their mission takes them to a bizarre Scottish town whose people and practices turn their world inside out. To call it a culture clash would be too gentle. To reveal anything further would be a blight against the heavens.

38 years after directing THE WICKER MAN (and following a 22-year filmmaking sabbatical), celebrated iconoclast Robin Hardy has reunited with producer Peter Snell and returned to the Pagan pantheon with this hugely eccentric successor film, THE WICKER TREE. The distinction is an important one to make, as this is neither sequel nor re-imagining, but rather a film narrative cut from the same universe (or as its maker refers to it, “a spiritual sequel”). Hardy is a one-of-a-kind filmmaker, and THE WICKER TREE is brimming with the stamp of his personality. It has ample Scottish colour, reaching out through tons of catchy folk songs interspersed throughout the film. Clever plays on religious iconography and an acute understanding of Pagan ritualism. Ethereal locations. A charged sense of the sexual. A dreamlike sense of the magical. Costumes, dances and animal masks.

An off-centre look at the absurdities of faith (in this case, neither Christian nor Pagan get off easy), THE WICKER TREE could be called a black theological satire, a strange breed of irony-fuelled comedy-musical-horror-thriller-drama. Call it however you like, it will bring a smile to your lips — and, perhaps, a torch to your belief system. Based on Hardy’s novel COWBOYS FOR CHRIST, and featuring appearances by Christopher Lee, members of the Beltane Fire Society and a compellingly show-stopping Graham McTavish, this is a film that’s been brewing for many years, one that has proved exceedingly difficult to mount. Now, finally, it is here. Prepare to ride the laddie and join us in celebrating the second coming of one of cinema’s great seers. May Day is upon us. THE WICKER TREE is about to burn.

—Mitch Davis

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