Capturing the beauty and brutality, the magic and madness of rural Britain.
Immerse yourself in the films featured in Paul Wright's captivating archive odyssey.
Scouring 100 years of footage from archives around the UK, BAFTA-winning Wright has created an exhilarating study of the British people’s shifting - and contradictory - relationship to the land. Arcadia goes on a sensory, visceral journey through the contrasting seasons, taking in folk carnivals and fetes, masked parades, water divining and harvesting. Set to a grand, expressive new score from Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) alongside folk music from the likes of Anne Briggs.
Around the Village Green
Travelogue193712 mins Location: Finchingfield
Rural life in the Essex villages of Finchingfield and Great Bardfield - and the mixed reactions of older residents to changing times.
Documentary198423 mins Location: Newark-on-Trent
From shire horses to the Royal Marines, welcome to the annual Newark Show. A serious business for the farming community, with prizes to win and 800 gallons of beer to be drunk.
Springtime in an English Village
Documentary19447 mins Location: Stanion
An extraordinary and unexpected snapshot of rural life in wartime in which a young black girl is crowned Queen of the May.
"Oh to Be in England"
Amateur film194713 minsSilent Location: Harrow
Bluebells, wisteria and snowdrops feature in this lovely colour film showing the effect of nature on the London suburb of Harrow after the war.
Cuckfield Silver Jubilee 1977.
Amateur film197728 mins Location: Cuckfield
Cuckfield comes together to plan and celebrate the 1977 Silver Jubilee with contributions from the whole community.
Government sponsored film194517 mins Location: Fenlands, The
Fascinating documentary about the management of the East Anglian Fens, an intricate network of 17th-century waterways carved through peat bogs.
In Welsh Hills - a record of pleasant hours among the mountains of Snowdonia
Amateur film195015 minsSilent Location: Nant Ffrancon
A film highly commended in 1950 by the National Eisteddfod in Caerffili, the Scottish Amateur Film Festival, and Amateur Cine World magazine.
Here and There in the British Isles
Travelogue193129 minsSilent Location: London
Good composition and a keen eye for an unusual perspective turn what could be a hodgepodge compilation of short travelogues into a visual treat.
Documentary194210 mins Location: Lavenham
A peaceful depiction of Lavenham, Suffolk, the medieval village known for its use in the 1968 film Witchfinder General.
Amateur film195222 minsSilent Location: Radford Semele
The villagers of Radford Semele in Warwickshire know how to have fun: from the eccentrically costumed football players to the joys of the village fete.
Song of the Woods
Amateur film193712 minsSilent Location: Kent
You can almost hear the wind in the trees, the gurgling water and the bells for Evensong in this beautifully shot film from Frank Barnitt
Tribe of the Sun
The ill-fated dreams of Sid Rawls’ band of ‘ultra hippies’ attempting a self-sufficient communal life on John Lennon’s ‘Beatle Island’.
The Quiet Land
Travelogue197423 mins Location: Lough Erne
A rare portrait of Northern Ireland in a time of conflict as “a land where the pace of life is more friendly, where everybody cares and nobody minds”.
A Romany Summer
Documentary197743 mins Location: Yorkshire and the Humber
With their battered vardo, scruffy kids and assorted horses in tow, Cocker and Ellie are on an “endless odyssey”, visiting Appleby Fair, trying to eke out their own chosen life.
Alice in Wonderland
The first-ever film version of Lewis Carroll's tale, made just 37 years after the novel’s publication and eight years after the birth of cinema.
Amateur film193112 minsSilent Location: Arncliffe Cote
A magical dream sequence of dancing fairies that seems to draw upon very early moving images of staged dances of fairy tales, beautifully performed by enchanting children.
Getting It Straight in Notting Hill Gate
Documentary197025 mins Location: Notting Hill
Spaced-out sitar music and the prog rock grooves of Quintessence soundtrack this psychedelic flashback to Notting Hill Gate in 1970.
Solarflares Burn for You
Animation & Artists Moving Image19738 mins Location: St Austell
Come on a psychedelic journey to Cornwall in this stunning, sensual film.
Amateur film195017 minsSilent Location: Knole Park
Disrespectful townie hikers get what's coming to them when the woodland spirits of Knole Park take their revenge.
Tame Animals at Work
Interest film19096 minsSilent Location: Ampthill Park Ho
Ostrich-riding and other outrageous animal antics at a private zoo in Ampthill, Bedfordshire.
The Aetherius Society at Holdstone Down
News19635 mins Location: Holdstone Down
Aetherius people join together to help the planet at Holy Mountain
Elsie and the Brown Bunny
Advert19218 mins Location: Bournville
This early Cadbury advert plays like a surreal outtake from 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'.
A Dog's life by Bonzo
Amateur film195512 minsSilent
Pity poor Bonzo. Bought by a couple who quickly tire of his doggie antics, he's now the object of murderous intentions. But can Bonzo redeem himself in time to save his skin?
I Saw This, November 1940
Home movie194017 minsSilent Location: Swallownest
An enigmatic pot-pourri of a film of a village in wartime. Although life appears here as normal, an inauspicious motif seems to lurk within the avant-garde cinematic style.
The Silent Village
War194336 mins Location: Cwmgiedd
The villagers of Cwmgiedd re-enact a Nazi massacre in Czechoslovakia, in Humphrey Jennings’ unforgettable propaganda film.
Today We Live
Documentary193724 mins Location: South Cerney
A key social issues film documentary from the British Documentary Movement, this two-part film follows the establishment of social enterprises in England and Wales.
Documentary193423 minsSilent Location: St Pancras
A call to action contrasting the grand homes of the wealthy with "the appalling shelter of thousands of decent citizens" in London slums.
March against Starvation
Campaigning film193631 minsSilent Location: Hyde Park
Poverty and hunger compels angry, jobless workers - including Jarrow's crusaders - to make a historic march to London to petition government.
Death Is Their Destiny
Amateur film197813 mins Location: London
Fascinating amateur footage of London punks, and a glimpse of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, filmed on the King's Road in 1978.
Contrasts in Kensington
Amateur film193711 minsSilent Location: Kensington
Shocking scenes of Kensington slums and 1930s housing developments offer a sharp contrast with today's reinvented area.
Drama196512 mins Location: Highgate Cemy
A bittersweet short about a young girl who spends an afternoon playing in Highgate Cemetery where she discovers what the future may have to offer.
Punk Can Take It
This power-packed promotional film for the UK Subs also showcases the distinctive talents of unconventional writer and director Julien Temple.
The Airy Tomb
Drama196313 mins Location: Pontrhydfendigaid
An isolated life can mean that home is nothing more than an “airy tomb”, as imagined by poet and rural parish priest R S Thomas.
Road to Yesterday
Widgey Raphael Newman, the short-lived, extraordinarily-named director of this period piece, has assembled attractive images of Wales but beware the commentary!
Amateur film197021 mins Location: Pinner
A tour of Pinner Village during its celebratory Pinner Week highlights local landmarks, fun, fancy dress and festivities.
Partying like it's 1997. We follow a rave DJ instigator rigging up decks in abandoned warehouses, a nosebleed 'techno tourist' who chases the hardcore around Europe and a girl addicted to... partying.
Somewhere in Hackney
Documentary198050 mins Location: Hackney
An entertaining study of community arts projects in Hackney, Hoxton and Dalston, before hipsters and Tony Blair.
Harewood by George: A Profile of the Seventh Earl
Documentary198239 mins Location: Harewood House
A life unfolds, from fear of asking for the loo as a child, to being imprisoned in Colditz and sentenced to death by Hitler, and on to becoming a leading player in the world of opera.
A Light through the Clouds
Documentary195537 mins Location: Heslington
What a mental health nurse learns at York Retreat, 1954: from lectures on “failure in human relationships” and insulin, to psychotherapy, electric shock treatment and dancing.
Wonders of Yorkshire
Amateur film197410 mins Location: Kilburn
Rocks resembling alien creatures, a giant white horse, wooden mice, a cave where a famous prophetess lived, and a teddy turned to stone.
Blowing Up the Dales
Documentary198726 mins Location: Ribblehead
The pros and cons of quarrying in national parks, and the irony of a state of affairs where what aids the enjoyment of landscape also destroys it.
Wildlife in London
Nature and Science programme196125 mins Location: Hackney Wick
The beginning of a ground-breaking, award-winning documentary series that would lead the way in wildlife photography.
The Finishing Line
Instructional film/TV programme197721 mins
In this surrealist short, John Krish and Michael Gilmour tell a perilous tale at the railway station. Mind the gap - this is going to get scary.
Documentary198728 mins Location: Eardisley
What does the future hold for Herefordshire's children? A farming inheritance is no longer a given and even the historically rock-solid village life is losing its permanence.