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The Temporary Autonomous Zone Fantasia of Savage Party: Revisiting 20/26

Viewed now the Savage Party trailer broadcast in 2012 for youth orientated British soap opera Hollyoaks seems notably prescient of mainstream interest in and acceptance of folk horror and otherly pastoral themes and tropes, which only seems to have more widely happened over the last year or two.

In the trailer, to a soundtrack of Stealing Sheep’s psych pop, people wearing horned head dresses, garlands of flowers and Wicker Man-esque animal masks enter a woodland party through iron gates in the middle of nowhere. They frolic, cavort, play and ride traditional fairground attractions, bid others to keep secrets, sit masked amongst an old-fashioned sitting room with no walls, are drenched by preternatural rainfall as nearby others walk in the sun and look terrified as they watch vintage disaster footage via a hand cranked projector.

The trailer is a joyful depiction of a temporary autonomous zone fantasia, shot through with moments of dread and a subtle sense of foreboding. It’s resolutely mainstream in its aesthetic and also seems to connect with ancient ways and “the patterns beneath the plough”.

The original post published during the first year of A Year In The Country:


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