Couch Potato Pickings


The Wicker Man

I cannot believe that this film is showing on Sky Modern Greats. It may be modern but it is not great.

I don’t have time to list all the things that are wrong with this dreadful American remake of the brilliant 1973 British movie starring Edward Woodward. I’m going to have to save that for another time when I can put a few hours aside.

However, I will take time to point out what I consider to be the film’s greatest offence:

The tale revolves around the build up towards the seasonal rites of a nature-driven society. When Nicolas Cage’s Washington State cop Edward Malus arrives on Summersisle to investigate the disappearance of a missing child, it’s late April. The locals are gearing up for their  May 1st festivities when certain rituals are performed to mark the beginning of the growing season and ensure a good harvest.

Nicolas Cage

Now, as far as I’m concerned, without these May rituals there’d be no story. The season is key. And that’s why I find it deeply insulting to note that the filmmakers didn’t even bother to make the setting look right. There should be blossom everywhere, and there’s none to be seen. In fact, I’m sure I actually saw fruit-laden trees in some scenes, which would make sense since they shot it in late summer (June, July and August on Bowen Island, just off Vancouver).

Admittedly the original 1973 movie was also shot out of season – in October and November – but at least they added fake blossom to make it look authentic.

Ellen Burstyn

For info on where to see a May gathering like this here in the UK, click here.

If you want to see the brilliant 1973 version of this film, then you’ll be pleased to know that it’s showing on ITV1 this Thursday 12th March at 11.45pm