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Post Info TOPIC: ~The Wicked Man Interview~


the mystery master

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Date: 7:38 PM, 06/08/12
~The Wicked Man Interview~
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I thought I had read some parts of this before but probably not on this forum.

 

http://www.talktalk.co.uk/entertainment/film/interviews/nicolas-cage

 

Nicolas Cage knows all about remakes. Following crime thriller Kiss of Death and heist movie Gone in Sixty Seconds, he has even dared to touch the untouchable, turning Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire into 1998's City of Angels. So it's no surprise that he should take on 1973 British cult classic The Wicker Man. With this new version adapted and directed by Neil LaBute (Nurse Betty, Possession), Cage plays a sheriff named Edward Malus, who is sent to a remote island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. Discovering an enclosed community (led by Ellen Burstyn) where the interference of strangers is not welcomed, Malus' journey is not for the feint-hearted.

For the 42 year-old Cage, who won an Oscar for his searing portrayal of an alcoholic in Leaving Las Vegas, approaching dark material is nothing new. He may be best known for his action heroes, in films like The Rock and Con Air, but it's in films like Lord of War (where he played an arms dealer) and Bringing out the Dead (a paranoid ambulance driver) where he made his mark. Nominated for an Oscar for playing a neurotic, masturbation-obsessed screenwriter and his brother in Adaptation, Cage is evidently unafraid by any role - which may be why he accepted the lead in his other new film this autumn, Oliver Stone's hymn to 9/11, World Trade Center. Like The Wicker Man, it stands the chance of being criticised - but it seems that Cage wouldn't have it any other way.

How did this new version of The Wicker Man start?
The whole thing generated because my friend, Johnny Ramone, who was a fan of horror films, had shown it to me. He had a list of movies he wanted me to see that I wasn't aware of. I mean, I knew about The Wicker Man because I recalled images of the poster as a boy, but for some reason the movie never got a proper release in the States. And then he mentioned the title, and I said, 'That sounds interesting.' I came over to his house and we watched it together and the movie left me with the most profound feeling, unlike any other film, really, in the way it ended - which I don't really want to give away. It made me think a lot about it. I was disturbed for about two weeks.

How did you get to know Johnny Ramone?
We both had an interest in posters. I met him though that way. He liked monster posters and I did as well. He came over to my house one day at a party and we got talking. He had a big collection. He had all that stuff. I didn't. I had one or two. So we got talking about that and then I found out how passionate he was about movies, and then we became friends on that basis.

What made you think the original film was ripe for remaking?
I thought a lot about the movie, and whether there would be any way to recreate another contemporary version of the story that might reintroduce the title to people, people who don't even really know about the original. Most people here in the States don't even know anything about The Wicker Man. So I thought it was an interesting way to bring something that was excellent back to people's attention. And the new version is a different track altogether. There's no way you really want to do something completely the same - you can't. There's no point in that.

How did director Neil LaBute get involved?
He came into the office and talked about it, and came up with a great idea. He made it a matriarchal society and he found different ways of introducing the themes of the original into a more contemporary concept, and how it could happen today. I like Neil's directing a lot. I like Nurse Betty. I thought Greg Kinnear was excellent in that. I like In The Company of Men. He's got an extraordinary touch for showing people who are suffering.

So you suffer in the film then?
Oh, yeah! There's no question. I'm on the receiving end! But I have to say that the MPAA cut a lot out. That was a problem. I was forced to deliver a PG-13 in order to get the movie made, and the stuff that I came up with that was really wonderful Edgar Allen Poe and grotesque, the MPAA cut. You will be able to see that on the Director's Cut DVD.

Can you explain more about the Poe influence on the film?
I wanted to bring in a Edgar Allen Poe feeling to the film. I remember when I first met with Neil on the set, I brought The Raven with me, and a book of Poe stories. I wanted to create that feeling of Gothic horror, if there was any way we could do that. The movie is not gratuitously violent. You're not going to have pop-ups or cheap shots. It's more about ambience and the eerie quality of the place and the people.

Is The Wicker Man, in your mind, very different from Neil's other films?
It is quite a bit different. It's dealing with a society of women who have been persecuted - most recently with the Salem Witch trials. So they have found sanctuary in an island that they have to themselves, and their Celtic ancestors are still informing them, in terms of their beliefs. Now I don't believe that people...nobody that I know would say that people today are doing these kinds of things. There's a whole culture out there that has Pagan ideals but they don't kill animals and things like that. Those things have progressed with the times - but maybe there are sacrificial aspects in existence. Who knows?

How aware were you of the cult fan worship of the original movie?
That I didn't know. I'm sure that whenever you tackle something like this - and I wasn't aware of that - I'm going to be under attack. But that's OK! Whatever inspires people. This is a very different movie. I'm not going to say we've made a better film or the same film. We haven't. We've just made a different film. Ellen Burstyn is excellent. She reprises the Christopher Lee role, and Christopher Lee was amazing in the original. In a way, I would say this was a tip of the hat, an homage, a thank-you for inspiring us, we liked it so much, let's see what else we can do with the concept.



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Nicalicious

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Date: 3:22 AM, 06/09/12
RE: ~The Wicked Man Interview~
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Thanks for posting this, Tues I enjoyed reading it, I don't think I have read an interview before with Nic from The Wicker Man times. Or maybe I should say Wicked Man. wink  I will have to watch it again to see if I can spot the Poe nfluences, I have only seen it the once. Anyone ever seen the Director's Cut DVD that Nic refers to?



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NIColicious Enchantress

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Date: 9:42 AM, 06/09/12
RE: ~The Wicked Man Interview~
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I did, Lady T.! I have it! But, it was a long time ago, I saw it! I think, he referes to the "not the bees"-scene, I suppose, that can be seen on the director`s cut, and only heard on the other version!

It is really a great interview! Thanks, Tues, for posting it! :)



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"When you think about magic, it is imagination plus willpower focused in such a way that you can create a conscious effect in the material world..."

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the mystery master

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Date: 11:38 AM, 06/09/12
RE: ~The Wicked Man Interview~
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Thank you for correcting me, Lady T, I wouldn't make this mistake if I had posted it in THIS thread I know you are brave enough to watch it once again. That's interesting to know Roxy, thank you too.

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Faery Queen of Cagealot Castle

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Date: 12:59 PM, 06/09/12
RE: ~The Wicked Man Interview~
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I kind of like 'the wicked man' instead Tues..this was the first topic that caught my eye today!

Yes Lady T, the directors cut is the default dvd version in the uk (atleast if you search somewhere like amazon, this is the only uk version. others are imports) 

I actually like the ending the film version had..gave it that neat cheesy horror to be continued twist at the end..and the unrated ending directors cut is far more horror in the horrific sense..this is why I have never been able to see thsi film in anyway as a comedy or absurdist.

Thanks for postiingTues, I like to read about Nic's 'The Raven' and gothic horror influence on the film. 



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the mystery master

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Posts: 2316
Date: 2:10 PM, 06/10/12
RE: ~The Wicked Man Interview~
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It was not a slip of keyboard Lula, I confess, the word 'wicked' does mean evil here, anyone else out there agree Edward is a VERY GOOD man?

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