Monday, December 20, 2004

The best of 'Scottish' film

Ah, December ... a time for family, giving, and putting together "Best Of" lists. In keeping with the season, The Scotsman compiles its 10 Best Scenes In Scottish Film. The newspaper notes that it has "stretched the definition of 'Scottish' to include anything with even a tenuous connection," so Trainspotting appears alongside Braveheart. But what I'm really pleased to see is the inclusion of Robin Hardy's 1973 classic The Wicker Man:

"Robin Hardy’s weird horror movie centres on the religious battle between evangelical Christian policeman Neil Howie, played by Edward Woodward and the pagan community of an isolated Scottish island led by Christopher Lee’s Lord Summerisle.

"The Wicker Man's plot does stretch credibility slightly with the notion that what the inhabitants of remote Scottish islands love best of all is getting their kit off at every available opportunity despite the weather. The reality is also that you would be more likely to find an evangelically Christian island and a pagan copper from the mainland than the reverse. Nevertheless, as what must be one of the world’s only serious musical horrors, the clash of styles would be worth a viewing alone even if it produced no memorable moments.

"And so to the reviewer’s dilemma, because what is undoubtedly the best scene from this film is the ending. Suffice to say, the theological battle between hedonistic paganism and puritanical Christianity is resolved in a suitably symbolic way. Just seems bad form to spoil it for you with further details, so you will just have to watch it yourself."