Thursday, May 18, 2023, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Instructor: Andrew Owen, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Lebanon Valley College
Film critic Robin Wood described the narrative of the horror film as “normality threatened by the monster,” where the bastions of societal morality and expectation become the victim of forces seeking to subvert and pervert them.
Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man (1973), famously described by Cinefantastique magazine as “the Citizen Kane of horror films,” utilizes this genre dynamic to examine the facets of conflict engulfing late 20th-century Western society. Amid the upheaval surrounding civil rights, the second feminist movement, the decline of the British Empire and intensification of the Cold War, the Wicker Man emerges, a potent symbol of rebirth amidst the Ozymandian ashes of social and cultural decay. It ridicules and chastises the Neo-liberalist dogma born of the Protestant ethic that had created and sanctioned such conditions. The puritanical and patriarchal doctrines of repression are pitted against the free expression of sentiment and sensation as embodied by an ancient pagan religious philosophy—one indicative of the permissive counterculture that emerged to challenge prevailing societal forces.
This seminar explores Hardy’s film as a countercultural document, seeking to hold accountable the unwavering judgmental forces of subjugation, intolerance, and oppression.
Are you interested in “just” seeing this movie? Visit the public screening page here.
Cinema Classics Seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the true classics of world cinema. All students receive an introductory lecture before the film and a guided discussion after the film. In addition, those in attendance receive a ticket to see it on the big screen, as well as popcorn and a drink. Please note: the screening associated with this seminar will be open to the public, as well.
If you are unable to attend this seminar on site, you can rent and stream it in our Remote Classroom beginning a week after the event date.
Please email BMFI Programs and Education Coordinator Jill Malcolm with any questions.
$25 for members, $35 for non-members
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March – May 2023