timespace coordinates: 1973 remote Hebridean island SummerisleThe Wicker Man is a 1973 British mystery horror film directed by Robin Hardy. It stars Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, Diane Cilento, Ingrid Pitt, and Christopher Lee. The screenplay by Anthony Shaffer, inspired by David Pinner‘s 1967 novel Ritual, centres on the visit of Police Sergeant Neil Howie to the isolated island of Summerisle, in search of a missing girl. Howie, a devout Christian, is appalled to find that the inhabitants of the island have abandoned Christianity and now practise a form of Celtic paganism.
In 2011, a spiritual sequel entitled The Wicker Tree was released to mixed reviews. This film was also directed by Hardy, and featured Lee in a cameo appearance. (wiki)
spacetime coordinates: AD 140 Roman Britain > estate near Calleva (modern Silchester) in southern Britain > territory of the Picts north of Hadrian’s WallThe Eagle is a 2011 epic historical drama film set in Roman Britain directed by Kevin Macdonald, and starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell and Donald Sutherland. Adapted by Jeremy Brock from Rosemary Sutcliff‘s historical adventure novel The Eagle of the Ninth(1954), the film tells the story of a young Roman officer attempting to recover the lost Roman eagle standard of his father’s legion in Scotland. The story is based on the Ninth Spanish Legion‘s supposed disappearance in Britain.The film was an Anglo-American co-production. It may be considered a sequel to the film Centurion, written and directed by Neil Marshall, because Channing Tatum’s character in The Eagle is Marcus Flavius Aquila, the son of Titus Flavius Virilus who led the Ninth Legion that was lost in the far north of Britannia, and who was therefore the same person as Dominic West‘s character Titus Flavius Virilus in Centurion. Historically, the purported disappearance of the Ninth Legion in Northern Britain is a subject of debate and dispute
Macdonald intended the film to be historically authentic, but as little is certain about the tribes that the Romans encountered—they were generally Celtic peoples, though some may have been Picts—he made concessions. For example, the tribespeople spoke Gaelic, even though the language probably did not enter widespread use in the region until the 5th century AD; Pictish is the more likely language to have been spoken at the time. “It’s the best we can do,” Macdonald said. “All you can do is build on a few clues and trust your own instincts. That way, no one can tell you you were wrong.”Macdonald described his view of the Seal people: “They were a more indigenous folk than the Celts, who were from farther south … They were probably small and dark, like the Inouit [sic], living off seals and dressed in sealskins. We are going to create a culture about which no one knows much, but which we will make as convincing as possible. We are basing it on clues gained from places like Skara Brae and the Tomb of the Eagles in Orkney, so that we will have them worshipping pagan symbols, like the seal and the eagle. The reason they have seized the emblem of the Roman eagle from the legion is because to them it [was] a sacred symbol.” (wiki)