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February 14 , 2010

The Wicker Tree


A black comedy of religious sexuality and pagan murder, which inhabits the same territory as The Wicker Man. If I am a Rabbi, Jehova is my God. If I am a Mullah, Allah the merciful is He. If a Christian, Jesus is my Lord. Millions of people worldwide worship the sun. Here in Tressock I believe the old religion of the Celts fits our needs at this time. Isn't that all you can ask of a religion? Gospel singer Beth and her cowboy boyfriend Steve, two virgins promised to each other through 'the Silver Ring Thing', set off from Texas to enlighten the Scottish heathens in the ways of Christ. When, after initial hostility, they are welcomed with joy and elation to the village of Tressock, they assume their hosts simply want to hear more about Jesus. How innocent and wrong they are.REVIEWS: 'Erotic, romantic, comic and horrific enough to loosen the bowels of a bronze statue.' – Christopher Lee'Robin Hardy looks set to snare a new generation of followers with the long overdue follow-up... another tale of faith, sex and sacrifice.' – Sunday Herald'... the writing style is typical of the genre and Hardy has upped the stakes. After a slow set-up, the plot romps along, with unexpected twists and turns, to its inevitable and frustratingly avoidable conclusion. Those who identify with the youthful protagonists will find it thrilling and horrible, a story to disturb sleep.' – Scottish Review of Books'Let's face it, there are strange communities in the world.' Purity rings in hand, a young evangelical Christian singer and her devoted fianc? 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 [...] 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, Director of Fantasia Film Festival, on the motion picture The Wicker Tree
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