The word “whip” is not a film genre, according to RTE’s James Harkin.
Instead, the word refers to a series of films that feature the use of a wail of a whip as a means of entertainment.
In fact, this particular genre was created in the 1970s by the American filmmaker John Hughes and is widely credited with being one of the great films of the 1960s and 1970s.
“It’s one of those films that you would have to be absolutely crazy not to take,” Harkin told the programme.
“The term whip” came from the phrase “to whip, to dance” in the musical comedy Wrecking Ball, which was directed by Roger Corman.
“I’m not sure that it’s a word that would describe a film, but it’s one that’s so well known that it just seems to fit the whole thing,” he added.
Harkin was speaking to The Pulse Of Radio programme, hosted by the award-winning journalist Michael Crichton, about the impact of the genre on film.
“Whip it” is the name of a 1980 film by the British filmmaker William Wyler, which starred the film director James Bond and featured a character known as a “Whipman”.
Whip It was shot in New York in 1984 and was described by the director of the BBC documentary series The Wreck Of The Old Vic as “an example of what was happening to film noirs”.
“Wicked and twisted, the film was a kind of proto-whip film,” he said.
“There were no cameras, no sound, no editing.”
You just get this sense of something very violent and very theatrical.
“But it also had this sense that there was a certain element of innocence, a certain sense of wonder, and a certain sort of magic.”
If you look back on it now, it’s actually quite good, it seems, and I would say the first time I saw it, I thought, wow, this is the first film where I think it really came together, it really felt like a real film.””
Wick it” was not the first whip film, however.
In 1983, the US director Paul Thomas Anderson made a film called The Wicker Man, which also featured Bond.”
We had the opportunity to make the film, and we had some of the best film directors in the world working with us, and they came up with something really beautiful,” Anderson said in an interview with The Australian in 2008.”
That was the moment where I said, ‘We’ve got to make this film.’
I’ve made so many movies, so many wanker films, that I’ve been doing it since I was in my early 20s, and this was the one that I really loved.
“And that was one of my great joys.”
The film has since been made into a feature film, The Wickers Man, starring Sam Mendes.