The Doomed Forum

A Field In England
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Author:  PerfectBastard [ Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:32 pm ]
Post subject:  A Field In England

I am surprised to find no mention on the site of Ben Wheatley's magnificent A Field In England. It seems as though tailor-made for the doom scene. A psychedelic occult western set in Civil War England where much of the action hinges on most of the characters being out of their gourds on mushrooms? Sign me up! This is one of those rare films that I knew ten minutes in would be an all-time favorite.

Any plot description threatens to disturb the careful structure of slow revelation that the film hinges upon. It's not that the plot involves sudden twists and surprises; rather that the texture of the film is intentionally hazy and shell-shocked, and that plot points emerge slowly and tentatively, like the return of one's hearing after an explosion. Very briefly, the film focuses upon five men who have momentarily left the violent milieu of the English Civil War by crossing a hedgerow into a field. Across the span of the film, they find that they have traded the war for a much stranger, possibly much more perilous place.

Shot on the cheap in black and white with a tiny cast and only one location, the film nevertheless seems broader in scope than most popcorn epics. The script was written to be reasonably faithful to period dialect, and the costumes and props are quite convincing, but there is something in the rhythms and staging that recall the apocalyptic absurdity of Samuel Beckett. The techniques of filmmaking employed are varied and sometimes quite hallucinatory, walking a fine line between poetic and over the top, in a very consciously 60s style.

The plot of the film is embroidered liberally with alchemical symbolism, runes, and the work of John Dee, and the film is definitely structured as an occult or initiatory experience, in the same sense
as 2001: A Space Odyssey or El Topo. If these sorts of films call out to you, you should probably check out A Field in England. Your third eye will thank you.


Author:  abigail [ Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A Field In England

I got it after watching "kill-list", which is a great movie, but haven't watched it yet. yesterday I watched the trailer for "down terrace" on another dvd, so I might get that, too...

Author:  bontempi [ Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A Field In England

Thanks for the above two recommendations. Watched A Field in England yesterday and have Kill List lined up to watch next.

Author:  abigail [ Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A Field In England

have to warn you, it's quite brutal, and you might need subs :D

Author:  bontempi [ Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A Field In England

The hammer scene was certainly a bit gruesome :shock:

Author:  abigail [ Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A Field In England

I finally watched Down Terrace, and did not like it very much. it's neither as good as Tyrannosaur, nor as brutal as Bait. sort of put me off watching aFiE as well. High Rise got mixed reviews, but I think I might.

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