Thu 29th Sep 8.00pm: THE WICKER MAN (15) 1973. UK, 93mins. Directed by Robin Hardy, screenplay by Anthony Shaffer.

Cast: Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, Diane Cilento. Ingrid Pitt and Christopher Lee.

‘Hardy’s film, now a cult classic, situates horror at the boundaries of sanity and puts the moral high ground up for grabs. Emerging just after the death rattle of the utopian ideal of the 1960s, ‘The Wicker Man’ joins American shockers like ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (1974) and ‘Last House on the Left’ (1972) in grappling with societal disillusionment in the wake of the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, the 1969 riots, and increasingly fragile economies. ‘The Wicker Man’ reflects profound divisions: it’s a decisively British interpretation of the failure of hippie culture at the same time that it calls traditional authority into question; it challenges a reluctance to return to nature and the generation’s abandonment of community in favor of new individualism; and it both embraces and discards community, nature, sex, religion, tradition, capital, and the value of human life.’ (MoMA, Manhattan). Hardy’s ‘final cut’ is one of several versions that exist.