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Written by Jack Hopkins on 2nd November 2017

Remember, remember, the 5th of November. Tonight’s the night you attempt to keep your pets indoors and pretend to be amazed by yet another bonfire.  In this entry we’re going to have a look at the traditions of bonfire night and how they continue to be a mainstay in the media. 

Bonfire night is more than just a time to inhale toffee apples and awkwardly wait for misfiring pyrotechnics, the tradition goes back years and is sourced from Guy Fawke’s gunpowder plot to destroy parliament. Many films have played with the idea of a rogue individual retaliating against the system. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves comes to mind with Kevin Costner portraying the rebel trying to topple the regime, the same can be said about Mel Gibson in Braveheart.

There are many films that focus on fire as a narrative piece, none more so than The Wicker Man. The film itself can’t be called a cinematic masterpiece but its cult following is remarkable. The fiery ending weirdly resembles a modern day gathering at a bonfire, just without all the singing and dancing. Although the film isn’t directly linked to the 5th of November it seems to give an alternative insight into the quirky nature of the night, and the obscure traditions that are associated with it.

One tradition in particular that stands out is fireworks. They can either be a spectacle or a hindrance but they remain to be part and parcel of the night. They can be quite frequently seen in films and television shows but two on-screen moments seem to stick in the mind. The beginning of Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of The Ring and Gandalf’s firework display in Hobbiton was a great way of kicking off the film. Equally, Eddie Murphy’s character in Mulan, shooting a firework at Shanyu in the film’s finale is just as memorable, creating a colourful pyrotechnic masterpiece in the process.

Whatever you get up to we hope you have a safe but explosive bonfire night!

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