Arcadia

Paul Wright (Director)

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

Abstract

Created entirely through archive material Arcadia is a documentary exploring the beauty and brutality, magic and madness of our changing relationship with the British land and each other.Building upon the different versions of Britain in the nations psyche, the film takes sound and images from the past 100 years to present these contrasting histories in a strikingly original way. The film looks at both the well-known and more esoteric parts of our land to explore themes of identity and community. The main aim of the film was to explore the questions of how we relate to the land and each other and how this has changed over the last century, as well as what this journey tells us about where we find ourselves now?These questions and the timely themes have ignited conversation and passionate debate with audiences at scrennings, online and in film journals.As well as a lot of varied research of mostly rural, political and cultural history, a big part of the research process came from the viewing of the archive itself – around 1000 hours’ of varied footage from the past century. This, along with further online and literary research, was key in going deeper with the questions posed in the film.During the process of making the film a lot of further discoveries were made including the uncanny mirrors between the past and the present as well as the role capitalism has played in shaping our relationship to the land and each other over the years. Funded by the BFI, Screen Scotland and the BBC, the film premiered at the London Film Festival in 2017 before getting a UK wide cinema release and screening nationwide on BBC Four. The television transmission and later availability online helped to effectively share the film with a wider audience that may not have usually seen such a piece. The film also played in numerous other festivals including internationally in Berlin and at MOMA in New York.Arcadia was film of the week by respected film critics Mark Kermode and Peter Bradshaw as well as Sight & Sound magazine.I believe the film works as an original exploration of not only Britain’s complex past but also as a way to help understand where we are today. Part of the films goal was to become a conversation starter with audiences, to show them striking contrasts and contradictions within the country and its inhabitants and I believe this has proven to be the case.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBritish Film Institute
Media of outputFilm
Size80 mins
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2017

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Cite this

Wright, P. (Director). (2017). Arcadia. Digital or Visual Products, British Film Institute. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/249672204