Becks Price: £19.95
£-19.95 ()

The Moon And The Sledgehammer is a film about real people: Mr Page; his two sons, Jim and Peter; and his two daughters, Kathy and Nancy. Mrs Page died long ago. Their ramshackle house is situated in six acres of woodland, which they own themselves, in the heart of the commuter-belt, 20 miles south of London. The trees cut the Pages off completely from the outside world, and isolated in their island-clearing, they let the 20th Century slowly pass them by.

It is a simple life without running water, electricity or gas. Peter and Jim earn what little money the family needs by doing casual repairs to tractors and farm-machinery in the neighbourhood. Machinery is the permanent obsession of Mr Page and his sons. The wood is littered with rusty iron carcasses: parts of old engines, disembowelled car-bodies: a pile of gigantic spanners.

Most spectacular are the archaic steam traction-engines which the men tinker with and drive thunderously about the woodland to no apparent purpose. The girls, too, have their special preoccupations: Nancy sits at her embroidery; Kathy tends her garden and plays comforting tunes on the harmonium in the house, or on the piano rotting away outside.

As the film unfolds each member of the family spells out their personal fantasies and philosophies to the camera. For all their prodigious skills, they seem at first eccentric, quaint; their ideas tangential to our own.

But in the end it emerges that they are in control of their world in a way that we can never be in control of ours. As Dilys Powell says, the film is bizarrely entertaining; quite unlike anything else, passionately filmed by Philip Trevelyan, who is now an organic farmer and tool-maker. Since the film was made, with the passing of time, the Page family's philosophies are ringing eerily true. Their self-sufficient frugal lifestyle fits into that advocated today where global warming is a real issue.

By the end of the film, you will be left with much to reflect upon.

DVD Info:

Region: 2
Running Time: 65 minutes

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