Arcadia 2017
Using archival footage, Paul Wright's 'Arcadia' creates an emotive journey of juxtaposed audio and video. Presenting the British countryside as both the protagonist and antagonist, scenes of the landscape cyclically alternate between familiar and comforting, strange and eerie. With original music by Portishead’s Adrian Utley and Goldfrapp's Will Gregory, the eclectic score, that oscillates between techno, folk and classical, deftly and powerfully highlights the tension as the idyllic landscape erodes into the unfamiliar.

Wright crafts a dense poetic essay of wonder, hope, horror and decay – drawing on inspiration from 'The Wicker Man' to 'Winstanley'. Through an intoxicating array of material, we follow an unnamed protagonist from the future as she travels through the metaphorical ‘seasons’: Spring’s romantic agricultural idyll long gone; Summer’s innocence of a village fete side-by-side with dark earthy folk rituals and eruptions of Britain’s Pagan past; Autumn’s abandonment of the land, the emergence of urbanisation and the creation of new towns; and Winter’s political turmoil, extremism and division, as nature reacts with violent storms.

Director: Paul Wright
Country: UK
Genre: Documentary

DVD9 | PAL 16:9 | 01:18:30 | 7.55 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English

- Arcadia Q&A (2018, 27 mins): Paul Wright, Will Gregory and Adrian Utley discuss the film at BFI Southbank
- A Day in the Hayfields (1904, 4 mins): Edwardian midsummer captured on film
- Tame Animals at Work (1909, 6 mins): strange scenes from a private zoo
- Championship Ploughing Match (1912, 1 min): newsreel item
- Ancient Cornish Custom (1921, 1 min): the Furry Dance in St Ives
- The 'Kibbo Kift' (1923, 1 min): a meeting of the folkloric social movement
- ''Oppin Makes You 'Earty'! (1925, 1 min): hop-picking in Kent
- Old Norse Vikings Festival (1927, 9 mins): Shetland's Up Helly Aa
- Once We Were Four... (1942, 9 mins): young rabbits face the perils of rural Britain
- Peter and Ruby (1973, 35 mins): poignant portrait of traditional Dartmoor farmers
- Theatrical trailer (2018, 2 mins)