Allegorical delights in the English landscape. Quietly combining lyricism, sexuality and mysticism into a metaphysical delight which seeps under the skin as seductively as the balmy summer afternoon on screen. A film diametrically opposed to all of Clark's other work. It's tragic to note that this was broadcast during peak-time on BBC1, something unthinkable now, both in terms of scheduling and actual production.
Slow and sophisticated, mystical and surreal. Rural England as a place of ancient legends, mythical kings and paganism. Young boy tormented by religious visions, while coming in terms with his sexuality. Ultimately, I believe that this is not a film about being gay, bat about being a Christian. About understanding for the first time it’s flaws and weaknesses. Truly powerful.
Clarke’s steadicams a present here.
"You talk about strikers holding the country to ransom. What are they supposed to do, play cricket? Besides isn’t that what government itself does? And by government I don’t mean those figure heads, who come to us every five years to get their license’s renewed. I mean the manipulators, the fixers, the psychopaths who have real power in the land."
I liked how dream and reality merged together. Serious themes, but light too. I liked the rural slowness, and how our hero was both a guy to feel sympathy for and to dislike. The film itself has a non-hurried pace I quite like. Favourite scene: The road sign being re-painted.
Rudkin's shooting script for this is a joy, the details immense. The periphery schoolboys in one scene who don't get a word of dialogue, have Rudkin in their descriptions, determining future professions for them such as "EVANS: other worldly Renaissance face - will one day be an austere Bishop."