Monday, 5 August 2013
A Field in Unmitigated England
I have been much exercised recently by thoughts concerning Ben Wheatley's new film A Field in England. On the first viewing I got to the end with my mouth open wide, and at the end of my second viewing I got to the end with my mouth open even wider. By turns it is: infuriating, brilliant, masterful, disorientating and beautifully atmospheric. Shot with great care in monochrome by Laurie Rose, many will, and indeed do, hate it. I loved it. So much so that I said to The Boys "Why don't we do an homage to it?" They readily agreed, rummaged around for big coats and hats that held an extremely vague approximation to a mid-seventeenth century look and got down to writing the script over a hastily disposed of supper. The restrictions were manifold. It had to be one shot, two lines of dialogue at the most and the location within a mile of Ashley Towers. I knew we'd have a problem with the wind buffeting the tiny mike on the camera, but we had great fun, and for what it's worth here it is. Have a look at the real thing, and if you experience it on DVD you can make up for any misgivings by watching all the 'making of' extras, which are amongst the most informative and entertaining I've seen. Particularly the uncensored views of performer Michael Smiley and the practicalities of blowing somebody's face off.