Archive of films A Field in England / A Field in England
2013, 90 min
Section: Official Selection - Competition
England, civil war. A group of men flee from a raging battle but they are captured and forced to take part in a hunt for treasure supposedly buried somewhere in a field. But before they start digging, they gobble up some strange-looking mushrooms and then everything goes pear-shaped. A beguiling piece with touches of mystery and farce.
Even history can be something of an adventure. You wouldn’t want to cross paths with the alchemist O’Neil (Michael Smiley) under any circumstances, especially not when you’re fleeing the battlefield. The English Civil War is raging, and the dark age, when the laws of the universe mean nothing to anyone and the idea of rotating planets is tantamount to heresy, throws up its fair share of strong language. In this story, skirmishes aren’t confined to the battlefield, either. Searching for hidden treasure, a small group of men are assisted by some peculiar mushrooms which shift everything to somewhat unforeseen realms. The film is set in a magical yet chaotic era and, even in its feistily stylised form employing both earthy and exalted dialogue, it manages to crank up an extraordinary tension. This edge is also apparent given the fact that, as a seductively constructed, eloquently scored black-and-white piece, it brings to light the period’s barbarity and squalor, scourges which might seem perilously evocative of modern times. Thus the appropriate derisive tone which pervades the film from beginning to end.
About the director
Ben Wheatley (b. 1972, Billericay, UK) is regarded as one of Britain’s most original contemporary directors. He began working in animation, short films and advertising, then worked for television (often for comedy programmes) and also tapped into the viral phenomenon. He made a name for himself on the feature film stage with his very first film Down Terrace (2010). The dark flick Kill List (2011) made its way to the American festival South by Southwest and then ended up at Karlovy Vary as well. Sightseers (2012) was premiered at Cannes and, like the director’s previous works, then screened at festivals all over the world, including Toronto, Rotterdam and Sundance. He also writes scripts and edits, and collaborates with his wife Amy Jump, who wrote A Field in England, Wheatley’s fourth feature title.
About the film
Black & white, DCP
|Section:||Official Selection - Competition|
|Dir. of Photography:||Laurie Rose|
|Editor:||Amy Jump, Ben Wheatley|
|Producer:||Claire Jones, Andy Starke|
|Cast:||Julian Barratt, Peter Ferdinando, Richard Glover, Michael Smiley|
Richard David Glover