Director – Paul Wright
Producers – John Archer, Mark Atkin, Adrian Cooper
Music – Adrian Utley and Will Gregory
UK 2017, 78min
A Hopscotch Films, Crossover, Common Ground production with the support of the British Film Institute (BFI) National Archive.
Sales and screening inquiries:
Adrian Cooper:
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Limited edition artwork
Vale of the White Horse by Stanley Donwood commissioned by Common Ground to celebrate the release of Arcadia.

Arcadia is a provocative and poetic new film about our contradictory relationship with the land, crafted from archive footage. 

“Arcadia is a seductive piece of work. Approach it as you might a rich and strange piece of music.” PETER BRADSHAW, THE GUARDIAN

An exhilarating audio-visual journey” SIGHT & SOUND

Arcadia is like a revolutionary document . . . Here is aboriginal Britain. You thought it was gone beneath a deluge of motorways and malls and screens and engines and scurrying human feet. Much of it is. But what remains? What remains, and what will you do with it?”

“Scouring 100 years of footage from the BFI National Archive, BAFTA®-winner Paul Wright constructs an exhilarating study of Britain’s shifting – and contradictory – relationship to the land. Wright (For Those in Peril) crafts a dense poetic essay of wonder, hope, horror and decay – drawing on inspiration from The Wicker Man to Winstanley. Through an intoxicating array of material, we follow an unnamed protagonist from the future as she travels through the metaphorical ‘seasons’: Spring’s romantic agricultural idyll long gone; Summer’s innocence of a village fête side-by-side with dark earthy folk rituals and eruptions of Britain’s Pagan past; Autumn’s abandonment of the land, the emergence of urbanisation and the creation of new towns; and Winter’s political turmoil, extremism and division, as nature reacts with violent storms. Set to a grand, expressive score from Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp), Wright’s captivating film essay was conceived before Brexit, but it’s impossible not to see the film through the prism of it.”

“One of the most intriguing horror-themed films came from an unexpected source. For Those in Peril director Paul Wright returned with Arcadia, which repurposed rural-themed films from the BFI national archives into a disturbing Wicker Man-inspired cine-essay exploring our dark relationship with the countryside. It was a further sign in the festival that the most interesting Scottish filmmakers were the ones willing to innovate with form.”
THE SCOTSMAN (Glasgow Film Festival Round-up)

“We were amazed by Arcadia – so provocative and fascinating. What a treasure trove the archival material proves to be.” SUE CLIFFORD, WRITER AND ENVIRONMENTALIST

“With a soaring score by Portishead’s Adrian Utley and Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory, this film is a hypnotic blend of archetypal imagery that casts a spell over the viewer. Like ancient magic, it’s unpredictable, carrying one down into darkness as easily as up towards the light.”

“Amazing ****ing film”

“If you have the opportunity to see Arcadia, you should … Wright’s optimism and poeticism leaves you wanting to celebrate our land and our humanity.” LIPPY REVIEW

“There is magic in this film” UNCUT

“A dreamy study of rural life that’s both nostalgic and nightmarish … The sequences, although open to individual interpretation, have their effect guided by a score, from Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp), that colours the visuals with emotion. Repeating images demonstrate this when they are accompanied with either a haunting and sparse electronic beat or an uplifting harmonic string quartet.”

Arcadia is produced by Hopscotch Films, Crossover and Common Ground, with the support of the British Film Institute, Creative Scotland and the BBC.



An film exploring our relationship with the land