855 – The Secret of Kells (2009)

timespace coordinates: 9th century Ireland

1118full-the-secret-of-kells-posterThe Secret of Kells is a 2009 French-Belgian-Irish animated fantasy film animated by Cartoon Saloon directed by Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey.

The film is based on the story of the origin of the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament located in Dublin, Ireland.

It also draws upon Celtic mythology; examples include its inclusion of Crom Cruach, a pre-Christian Irish deity and the reference to the poetic genre of Aislings, in which a poet is confronted by a dream or vision of a seeress, in the naming of the forest sprite encountered by Brendan. Wider mythological similarities have also been commented upon, such as parallels between Brendan’s metaphysical battle with Crom Cruach and Beowulf‘s underwater encounter with Grendel’s mother. 

The Secret of Kells began development in 1999, when Tomm Moore and several of his friends were inspired by Richard Williams’s The Thief and the Cobbler, Disney’s Mulan and the works of Hayao Miyazaki, which based their visual style on the respective traditional art of the cultures featured in each film. They decided to do something similar to Studio Ghibli‘s films but with Irish art. Tomm Moore explained that the visual style was inspired by Celtic and medieval art, being ‘flat, with false perspective and lots of colour’. Even the clean up was planned to ‘obtain the stained glass effect of thicker outer lines’. (wiki)

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833 – The Wicker Man (1973)

timespace coordinates: 1973  remote Hebridean island SummerisleTHE WICKER MAN - Australian Poster 1The Wicker Man is a 1973 British mystery horror film directed by Robin Hardy. It stars Edward WoodwardBritt EklandDiane CilentoIngrid 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)

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