Wheatley is such a versatile director! Expecting a Kill List vibe did not prepare me for this movie, which was really good at reflecting (a) a non-consensual mushroom trip and (b) tensions in power dynamics among suspicious strangers during the English civil war. I also liked how nothing was very explicit which I found to be very captivating (partially because I was a little confused)
A directed movie. I imagine the script was 20 pages long, at most. With influences from Dead Man and Waiting for Godot. It's designed to alienate; every decision is made for the purpose of making you not want to watch more of it. You can't like this movie, only that it does do what it does. Because it's a fucking slog to watch.
Seeing it again three years or so after release, I was a touch less wowed and a little less beguiled but it's still quite extraordinary in ambition and in realisation. I was also intrigued by what must be a deliberate reference to the (Scottish) Engagers which means that if taken literally we are in 1648 rather than the First Civil War and so closer to the Commonwealth being established. I thought that significant.
Part of this is my fault: based on virtually nothing, I built up a very different film in my head. I imagined something stark & subtle, Cormac McCarthian, an abridged Bela Tarr. Instead I got a Ben Wheatley joint. Even without my inexplicable expectations, it's all broken: music, script, direction; cheap digital b&w transfer, tedious character/plot tropes, plus a truly bad movie-scream. Uncompelling.
This is one of my absolute favourite movies, coupled with one of my absolute favourite soundtracks – it's all very cleverly created in symbiosis, with the music production tying into the mental state of the main character. A beautiful, surreal and powerful film best screened on a large screen with really good sound.
Pas grand chose à ajouter aux autres commentaires. Un exercice de style formaliste, intriguant et plaisant à suivre, notamment grâce à des acteurs investis. Il est néanmoins très dommage que le scénario - complétement négligé et sans doute écrit sur un coin de table en moins d'une 1/2 heure (!) - n'ait pas bénéficié d'autant d'attention que l'image. :-///
WHEATLEY - quel immense réalisateur - casse les genres. De la misère de la guerre avec de pauvres bougres qui font penser à Shakespeare ou Kuroswa on passe à l'horreur, au fantasmagorique. Photo & musique saisissantes. === Bold & haunting. WHEATLEY what an immense artist! These poor devils remind us of Shakespeare or Kurosawa. Then all at once we're in a fantasy/horror film. Gripping music score, awesome photography.
Like most of Ben Wheatley's pictures, "A Field In England" won't appeal to everybody. But if you are prepared to fully abandon yourself to a trippy exceptional experience about the individual power relationships in the England Civil War, you're in for a ride. The image is superb, the actors are great, the music is top-notch and Wheatley is at his best. Not for everybody, but I hope you'll be part of the happy few.
On aura beau gloser sur l'étrange folie qui traverse l'oeuvre de part en part, échafaudant quelques scènes d'une étrange fascination hypnotique, pointer avec raison une étonnante plasticité visuelle qu'un magnifique noir et blanc rehausse , il faut avant tout savoir raconter une histoire, ce que Ben Wheatley ne sait plus faire, engoncé dans une pesante prétention narcissique. www.cinefiches.com