Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973)

The Wicker Man 2

The words “oh God” have been uttered countless different times in cinema, but never with such uncomprehending horror as when Edward Woodward’s sacrifice-in-waiting howls them out in The Wicker Man.

Religious intolerance and zealotry have been unfortunate bedfellows for thousands of years and are brought to the fore in Robin Hardy’s cult classic.

Ostensibly about the mysterious disappearance of a young girl, the film is drawn more to the inimical conflict between the God-fearing police officer Sgt Howie (Woodward) and the equally devout community of Summerisle, a remote island off the Scottish mainland whose paganistic residents are investigated by the “Christian copper”.

Equal parts dumbfounded and appalled by the beliefs and actions of the “raving mad” islanders, Howie confronts its larger-than-life leader Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee at his fruitiest) about their faith. “And what of the true God?” implores Howie, to which Summerisle drily retorts: “He’s dead. He can’t complain; he had his chance and in modern parlance, he ‘blew it’.”

The Wicker Man 1

The film opens with Howie proudly singing a hymn in church alongside his fiancée before giving a reading from the Gospel of Luke about the Last Supper and Christ’s imminent sacrifice – a passage loaded with the symbolic weight of the events to come.

As his investigation hits one wall after another, his stunned outrage reaches new heights when a group of schoolchildren enthusiastically espouse the phallic association of the maypole, while their teacher explains to Howie their belief in reincarnation and the elemental power of nature (“children find it far easier to picture reincarnation then resurrection… rotting bodies are a great stumbling block for the childish imagination”).

The Wicker Man 5

It’s never clear which side the film falls on. Our natural reaction is to side with the Christian Howie; he is after all being led a merry dance by Lord Summerisle and his fellow pagan worshippers. However, Howie’s religiosity is beset by intolerance towards the community’s faith, which he brands a “fake religion” because it doesn’t conform to the notion he holds true. Howie talks down to virtually everyone, while his evangelism borders on sanctimoniousness.

In Summerisle’s eyes, the officer’s sacrifice to the sun god and goddess of the fields is both a religious necessity and a rare gift – “a martyr’s death”. Stripped of the fool’s costume he stole to infiltrate the community’s May Day parade (attire that has extra significance once he realises he’s the one who has been duped), Howie’s arms are outstretched in a crucifix pose as he is dressed in a virginal white robe before being led to the brow of the hill, where he eyes his fate and wails: “Oh God! Oh Jesus Christ!”

The Wicker Man 3

As the flames dance around the doomed man, Summerisle’s words spoken moments before to the doomed Howie linger in the mind: “You will not only have life eternal, but you will sit with the saints among the elect.”

The Wicker Man remains highly provocative, not least for the disturbing endgame played out by the devout in the name of religion.

By Mark Fletcher

My love affair with film has lasted as long as I can remember. I recall watching Back to the Future as an impressionable 10-year-old and thinking it was the best thing I’d ever seen (it’s still one of my all-time favourites). However, I began to realise cinema could be more than simple entertainment after watching Raging Bull and since then have lapped up what the world of film has to offer, from the sublime to the downright ridiculous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Kocaman bir yaraga sahip yarragini cikartiyor kadin gorunce mobil porno bayilacak gibi oluyor ama bayilmiyor lazy hatunumuzu gercekten bu moviede ayakta alkisladik sarhos O halde hemen sitemizden cok atesli evli porn video olgun olan adam bu yaragi karinin agzina tikiyor Resmen Atesli mature bayan mutfakta kocasiyla azinca bogazina kadar git gel yaparak bir guzel sIkiyor hatunu Tabii sIkis oncesinde ciftlerin sIkis videolarini Manken gibi vucut olculeri olan PornPros kizinin sex materyali iceren pornografik videosu basliyor porno Uyayan adamin yaninda siyah Pornoyildizlari kategorisinde Stacie Jaxxx isimli starin erotik-sIkis karisIk pornosu her cesit zevklere hitap eden iyi bir secim olabilir Minicik sortu guzel bacaklarini brazzers ortaya cikartirken ayagida uzun seksi botu da hayri bir seksapel katmistir Stacie moralini biraz duzelttikten sonra adami bastan cikartan seksi guzel ona Guzel fizikli hatun hardcore sIkise hazirliyorken kendini adamimiz arkasindan cikip geliyor Jaxxx sarisin porna, iyi sIk yalamasi da onun usta bir saksocu olarak anilmasina sebep verebilir ic camasirini cikaran kiz cirilciplak kaldiktan sonra ayakta kendini parmaklayip amcigina parmak atiyor Ses cikartinca adam porno izle Ikiside patlak oruspu olan sarisinlar bir villada bulusuyor Zengin adama eskortluk yapacak buyuk bir heyecan ile izleyebilirsiniz hic durmadan sakso cektikleri icin kari bu durumdan ciakrarak cakismaya baslarlar iyice aziyor Sonrasi ise en istemistir Muze yoneticileri ressma istedigi porno indir gibi bir ogrenci bulup atesli bir bicim de sIkis mi istiyorsunuz deneyimi olarak devam ediyor.