Short, but very interesting.
'The release of the third of twelve films I made to accompany PJ Harvey’s album Let England Shake, is probably the one I had most sketched-out in my head before shooting. The dark, slightly hysterical lilt of the melody made me think of a fairground run by Alfred Hitchcock on a bender. I thought a carousel with rider-less horses could work well and filed it away as something to look out for.
I was driving the motorway one night and saw a Ferris Wheel lit up like a beacon in the distance. I was exhausted having spent a frustrating day shooting in Liverpool, so I was pretty reluctant when I took the next exit to investigate. It was a Christmas fair in Chester, and as I walked in… there was my carousel, turning without a customer in sight. The Ferris wheel turns up at the end of a later film for the track “On Battleship Hill”.
Punch and Judy also suggested themselves for this track, a suitably dark children’s’ entertainment with overtones of domestic violence. It is seen in England as being so very English, yet its roots can be traced to the 16th century Italian commedia dell’arte. Mark Poulton of Poulton’s Puppets at Paignton (sounds like something Punch would say) makes the puppets himself and was happy and generous enough to perform off-season.
The fairground that opens the music on the film is on Canvey Island in Essex, shot on a bright freezing day in December. Earlier that day I shot the two tankers in a shamefully un-reported shipping collision off Southend. This catastrophe was knocked off our front pages by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The opening of the film with Farmer John Diment of Dorset, is one of 7 of the films that has someone speaking the opening lines of the song that follows. I wanted these vignettes to be a record of the characters one could meet on travels around England. I also wanted to focus attention on the lyrics themselves, which I think sound strange but poetic and beautiful without the music. Polly researched deeply for this album, delving into books, archives and reading letters, many from young soldiers who would write and express themselves in very personal ways. She manages to capture this in the songs and I was hoping the lyrics spoken by a non-actor would reinforce that intimacy.'http://www.newsweek.com/2011/02/15/the- ... video.html