A Field in England: Review

afieldbannerA Field in England (2013) was a unique experiment in marketing by Film4. It was also a film by Ben Wheatley. The film takes place in an unknown time in a field in England. The narrative follows a group of men who desert from their Civil War allies and find themselves imprisoned by two men who force the group to dig for treasure. As the men dig deeper, paranoia starts to creep in and the group slowly lose their minds.

It’s certainly a very different film for Ben Wheatley, but then aren’t all his films rather different? A Field of England is almost blend of Ingmar Bergman, Werner Herzog and well Ben Wheatley. Combining horror elements with a contemplative drama around morality, Wheatley manages to strike a balance between The Seventh Seal and The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser. Filming in black and white helps to set the period and the high contrast creates a gritty realistic feel to the piece. The cast works well especially the addition of Michael Smiley who gives a much needed presence to the overall film. The editing is experimental and helps to enhance the feeling of madness descending on the group.

seventsealfieldA Seventh Field in England

However, does it work as an engaging and entertaining film? For me, not so much. There’s too much confusion, too many unexplained things that happen in the narrative that overall, it’s difficult to care. Ben Wheatley made the film he wanted to make but unfortunately the fundamentals are absent thus making the film a rather empty experience to watch.

Matt.

Snow Day

Yet again I’m in a period of being snowed under by the responsibilities of updating this blog everyday and this morning that feeling has become quite literal. Today it snowed across the UK making everyone abandon their prior responsibilities and head for their nearest Sports Direct in hopes on getting one of the last sledges in stock. And if that failed, going to Argos and picking up a cheap inflatable bed that could be used on the slopes. Or was that just me?

Anyway, I couldn’t think of anything creative or interesting to write about film so here’s a screenshot from Werner Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World. It’s good.

snowday

That is a penguin committing unintentional suicide.

Matt.