Thursday, July 11, 2013

Film — A Field in England

After a long drought, the local arthouse advertised and then actually showed* a film I thought worth going along to see, just to give an economic signal.

That film was A Field in England, which mixed arty experimentalism c1970 (black and white, "am I ominous yet" music, fragmented narrative and playing with crosscutting and overlays) with spaghetti Western sensibilities in a Civil War** setting. An alchemist's manservant hunting a magus who stole books from his master falls in with a number of deserters from a battle and finds his quarry camped in the eponymous field where the only sustenance to be found is a fairy ring of magic mushrooms. So after a while the "they're all tripping balls" effect leads to the arty stuff and an "I don't have to explain anything that goes on" approach to the narrative.

When it doesn't have its head up its fundament, and lets the (perhaps unintentional) spaghetti Western tropes surface, it's quite good; but on balance the "so edgy I could cut myself" approach gets the better of it.

*Back around Easter they'd put Dragon in the printed programme, but come the week it was supposed to show, nada, and no sign that it even came around earlier than expected.

**That's the 1640s, of course.

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