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A work of art
on 13 August 2011
An obscure British experimental film from the former editor of Lindsay Anderson's IF. David Gladwell also directed "Memoirs of a survivor", a story that seems apt given the recent youth-led riots!
This is a virtually dialogue free film built scenes of an old man tending graves in a village. As he tends graves his voice-over reminisces about the people that he once knew buried there. While he tends graves, he sees the dead rise and re-enter the village church for a sermon. Then it starts to get experimental.
This is intercut with contemporary images of village life, mainly snippets of a meeting in which the village leaders attempt to form a protest against local development plans, and also of the past with plenty of slow motion shots of lost village life. Images of the present predominate when bikers invade the village.
Clearly made on a low budget, on 16mm film, this is beautiful and absorbing piece of work. The soundtrack consists of pastoral, atmospheric woodwind driven music - similar to the contemporary works of British jazz musician Bob Downes - and hymns.
The whole bundle is excellent value for money, with a detailed booklet containing notes about the film plus an interview with the director. There's also a blu-ray disc and a DVD.