Fire your imagination at ARCADIA!Posted on 15th January 2019
This arresting collage of archive footage is notionally a movie that explores our changing relationship with the land, and opens with scenes of a bucolic and idealised countryside that will have the viewer settling in for a cosy, if unchallenging, experience. What then develops, however, is something far darker, weirder and altogether more compelling than you might have expected.
Director Paul Wright has done a masterful job of bringing together images of Britain that will confound expectation, fire the imagination and unsettle the mind. Set to a superb score by Adrian Utley of Portishead and Will Gregory from Goldfrapp, the film is somehow reminiscent of both Julien Temple’s music documentaries and Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi. This superbly crafted portrait of the UK, in all its eccentric and maddeningly contradictory forms, may well illicit contradictory responses, depending on the prejudices and preconceptions of its audience, but it is utterly mesmerising in its juxtaposition of startling imagery and evocative text.
More than just a documentary or extended music video, the film is a blend of folk horror and hallucinogenic fever dream that bypasses the intellect to create a profoundly unsettling emotional response that will leave an indelible, disturbing imprint on your mind for days after viewing.
By David Vass