Revision of Arcadia – a magnificent inebriating montage of the British rural past Television and radio


IIf the United Kingdom leaves the EU, Paul Wright's beautiful film Arcadia (BBC4) should be used by Donald Tusk to show why we should never come back. Cheesy rolling cheese, Morris dance, naked dance, crisp-rave, zebra-riding, dead poodle-grooming, fox-eviscerating, glue-sniffing, environment dispoiling, emotionally constipated, self-deceiving, fetish-favoring, gothically perverted, crypto-druidic fruitcake that we are. In truth, any other failed state, even Turkey, would be a healthier candidate for admission.

For 80 minutes, Wright impressed us with a poetic montage of footage from our supposedly green and pleasant land, most of which takes place in black and white. He mixed the wide-eyed nostalgia with the gothic horror, passing from the lost past of the municipal haymaking to a lonely child who was screaming disoriented in the midnight left.

In one clip, a group of probably Scottish women sat near the edge of the water, exchanging a piece of something on a table. God knows what they were doing. Symbolically reorganizing the patriarchal sporran as feminist scavengers? Adapting the beams of the Forth bridge from the old Irn-Bru cans? Or maybe they were witches who skined the body of Nicolas Cage for his ridiculous remake of The Wicker Man. Since his material was largely resource-free, Wright's film could be seen in such a pleasant mystification.

There was more naked excitement than you remember from personal experience of your old England, making me wonder if a researcher accidentally loaded a German naturist archive, exchanging a film of health and efficiency Wagnerian of Leni Riefenstahl for films at home of members of the Bloomsbury group. Luckily, the enticing clips of white-collar tweed workers with a light folk dance outside a Kent pub turned out to be a corrective. I'm not sure even of the origin of the chilling movie of the strange blackface type surrounded by a huge black circle, which is going out of my mind. Perhaps it was one of those ancient village rituals that have always been racist, but only recently recognized as such. Or something even more unacceptable: evidence that Peter Gabriel is preparing new costumes for an Autumn Genesis tour.

"And did those feet in ancient times", the soundtrack became inevitable at some point, "walking on the mountains of England green? And it was the holy Lamb of God, seen on the pleasant pastures of England "With all due respect to the Blake setting by Hubert Parry, it seems historically unlikely. Britain is not the favorite as you like to suppose.

The realm of Wright's past will be aesthetically familiar to the fans of the Public Service Broadcasting, juxtaposing the voices of the Noël Coward announcers with the beat music of the 21st century to honor the British trades of the past, or for fans of the British soundtrack Sea Power for the film by Penny Woolcock. Sea to the earth beyond. Much of Arcadia's extraordinary soundtrack was written by Adrian Utley of Portishead and Will Gregory of Goldfrapp. Never before did the 90s-style big beat feature a driving soundtrack for fox hunting; never, since Michael Nyman has assigned to The Draftsman's Contract by Peter Greenaway, piano arpeggios have evoked the barbarity of British civilization.

If there was a hidden message, and it would be simplistic to suppose that it existed, it was expressed in an anonymous voice: "Before we stop worshiping man in the image of God we will soon be able to return to earth. humility, a new veneration for the environment. "

Cut to Gerrard Winstanley, our communist leader-man, who is crying in the rain while his self-sufficient digging agricultural community in Surrey has been destroyed by the rich seventeenth-century figures. Wright selected this clip from Kevin Brownlow and the 1975 film by Andrew Mollo, Winstanley. The suggestion seemed to be the one with the moral justification of private property decanted in the philosophy of John Locke, with the enclosure of land that gave the verses of John Clare to their nostalgic tenor, and with the urbanization of Britain to serve the purposes of industry, Britain turned from Hobbiton to Mordor. To reiterate the point, there were intercept shots of helicopters spraying the grain with a ballerina writhing in front of Y-front in a cornfield like Theresa May's long-suppressed fantasy.

"Why can not we have heaven here?" Rather than waiting for him in the afterlife, Winstanley asked. Because, Gerrard, celestial Britain has been turned into a property hell. A television journalist asked a man why he needed a pet puma. "To protect my property with 25 claws and a pair of teeth." Obligatory repetitions followed by suburban sprawl and spaghetti junctions that erased the countryside. Arcadia did not become a rustic idyll but the name of the umbrella company of Sir Philip Green.

Can we build a new Jerusalem in the diabolical Great Britain, or should we colonize another planet as recommended by Stephen Hawking? "The truth is in the ground," he warned the voiceover. Do you now? In the mystical episode of Wright, the corpses sprang from the graves, the seedlings pushed through the pavement stones, and the rural philosophy of my unrelated Richard Jefferies reborn. "The past is gone, the future is not written", added the portentous voice.

Enough: things must be different in Brexit Britain. To begin with, there must be no occasion to repeat those mistakes of the past captured in blows of middle-aged white men dancing with bells around their calves waving hankies in sync with their crafted beer bellies. Understood?



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