File under: Trails and Influences. Other Pathways. Case #49/52.
I think this was probably one of the first/early films that I sat down to watch on the way towards/exploring towards A Year In The Country…
It is a sort of documentary view of a small village community that is slowly falling away into a gathering sleep.
Some of my favourite parts of the film are nearer to stills than film… contemplative views of the landscape, sometimes time-lapsed, sometimes with just one tiny figure/vehicle traversing the land.
I suppose in a way it shares a sense of an almost painterly/photographer’s eye for such things that General Orders No.9 does (see Day #51/365) and re-looking at the images it reminds me of art-photography views of the landscape such as Paul Hill’s work (see Day #24/365).
Although, in contrast to General Orders, this isn’t an overtly “otherly” view of the countryside/pastoralism but it is more than just a straight documentary. I’m not quite sure why, can’t quite put my finger on it but there’s a quiet, understated, gentle magic to it.
And gentle is an apposite word as in many ways this is a gentle film … gently soporific and (largely) gently soundtracked, a gentle (muted?) visual colour palette and gently visualised.
The soundtrack is (also largely) by The Aphex Twin… and apart from one brief venture into such things, is mostly subtle, quiet, keyboard refrains and motifs… nearer to classical sketches than the casual listener of his work might expect.
Throughout the film, indeed possibly the village itself, is threaded and woven together by the visits, journeys and returns of the mobile library van – a service that feels like its public service extravagance belongs to a previous, more municipally caring era and watching it wend its way amongst these few villagers I felt myself almost holding my breath for the time when it would do so no more.
Visit a place where “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously” here.