Special Media Guest

Robin Hardy

ROBIN HARDY is an author, playwright, film director and producer. Best known for his 1973 cult classic The Wicker Man, starring Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee and Diane Cilento, the film won the Grand Prix at the Paris Festival des Films Fantastiques et Science Fiction and Best Horror Film from the American Academy of Science Fiction and Horror Films in Hollywood. Today it is justifiably regarded as a classic of British cinema.

At the time, however, the film suffered when its producers, British Lion, were taken over by EMI, who insisted on extensive cuts before releasing it as a supporting feature to Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now. Due in part to the subsequent disappearance of the original negative, it took almost thirty years before the full-length version was seen in Britain.

He followed it in 1986 with the Irish serial killer thriller The Fantasist, featuring Christopher Cazenove and Timothy Bottoms, and he co-scripted and produced the rarely-seen Forbidden Sun (aka Bulldance, 1989), a mystery based around ancient Cretan rituals starring Lauren Hutton and Cliff De Young.

In April this year, Anchor Bay Films released The Wicker Tree, about a pair of evangelical American Christians who are invited to a local festival in a remote Scottish village, where they learn the true significance of the Celtic pagan rites. Neither a sequel nor a prequel, but inhabiting the same territory, it is written and directed by Robin Hardy and based on his novel, Cowboys for Christ (which in turn was based on his unproduced screenplay, The Riding of the Laddie).

A final entry in the loose trilogy, The Wrath of the Gods, is in the planning stage and would be based around Norse mythology.  

The Wicker Man     The Fantasist     Forbidden Sun     The Wicker Tree

Robin St. C. Hardy was born in Surrey in 1929. He was trained as an artist in Paris, where he studied under Fernand Leger and Matisse at their Ateliers. As an author, his editor was Jacqueline (Kennedy) Onassis, and his books include Ritual and The Wicker Man, while his novel The Education of Don Juan was a Book-of-the-Month-Club selection in America. In the theatre, his West End play Winnie was based on Winston Churchill’s exploits during World War II with added music.

For many years, Hardy and the late Anthony Shaffer (who scripted The Wicker Man) had one of the biggest and most influential commercials and information film companies in the world, Hardy Shaffer Ferguson Avery, with offices in Paris, London, New York and Frankfurt. It is believed that Marilyn Monroe made her only commercial for the company’s launch of Spring Cigarettes.

On television, Robin Hardy’s international credits include the epic dance drama The Ramayana in India, featuring Ravi Shankar; Paradise Lost with Sir Ralph Richardson as God; The Frozen Moment in Japan starring Sessue Hayakawa, and Cyrano de Bergerac in France with Claude Dauphin.  

FantasyCon 2012 is delighted to present an exclusive screening on The Wicker Tree on the Friday evening along with a Q&A with Robin Hardy and Stephen Volk about the film-maker’s eclectic and fascinating career.

“Structurally, there are definite similarities between The Wicker Man and The Wicker Tree, explains the director. “There are clues hidden everywhere in plain sight, and there’s quite a definite sense that a lot of the characters are not who they seem to be.”





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