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BY OUR SELVES (2015)

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BY OUR SELVES (2015)

Very Rare - UK Quad Single Sided 30x40 - Heavy Paper

Condition: C9 Near Mint Condition


Type Feature

Approx. Running minutes 81

Release dates 30/11/2015, 02/10/2015

BBFCInsight infrequent very strong language

Genre(s) Drama, Documentary

Director(s) Andrew Kotting

Cast includes Toby Jones, Freddie Jones, Alan Moore, Ian Sinclair, Eden Kotting, Simon Kövesi, Iain Sinclair, Dorothy Eden Kotting

Summary BY OUR SELVES is a drama documentary about a journey through England taken by the poet John Clare in the 19th Century.

Film-maker Andrew Kötting again takes inspiration from that great psycho-geographer Iain Sinclair – with whom he recorded an unclassifiably strange journey by pedalo in the 2012 film Swandown. Now he has been inspired by Sinclair’s book Edge of the Orison, about the fascinating and melancholy 90-mile walk undertaken in 1841 by the nature poet John Clare, from a mental asylum in Epping to Northampton, on a pilgrimage to find Mary Joyce, the woman with whom he believed himself to be in love. 

Kötting has Toby Jones recreate the scenes of Clare’s great journey or ordeal, often amid bizarrely alienating and alienated scenes of modern life. Jones recites some of Clare’s work in voiceover, and Kötting also asks Jones’s father Freddie Jones to recreate his performance as Clare from a 1970 Omnibus documentary, from which he samples the patronising narration assuring us that Clare “was a minor nature poet who went mad”.

Engagingly, oddly, and rather disturbingly, Kötting himself dresses as a “straw bear” who ambles about the place like some occult folk sacrifice and Sinclair undertakes an interview on the subject of Clare with Alan Moore, who describes Northampton as so drenched with literary and poetic association that it is “a kind of vision-sump”. Kötting’s critical reading of Clare emphasises his transgressive quality but the film allows us to suspect that Clare was quite as sophisticated and self-aware as anyone making this film.

Engagingly, oddly, and rather disturbingly, Kötting himself dresses as a “straw bear” who ambles about the place like some occult folk sacrifice and Sinclair undertakes an interview on the subject of Clare with Alan Moore, who describes Northampton as so drenched with literary and poetic association that it is “a kind of vision-sump”. Kötting’s critical reading of Clare emphasises his transgressive quality but the film allows us to suspect that Clare was quite as sophisticated and self-aware as anyone making this film.

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