Perception Of Landscape in A Journey To Avebury (1971) – Derek Jarman.

Celluloid Wicker Man

Out of all of Derek Jarman’s pre-feature length film work, his short capture of a 1971 walking trip, A Journey To Avebury, is perhaps his most interesting and subtly complex piece of short film work.  These were the early days of Jarman’s experimentation when his work as a painter and even a set designer still seemed to dominate over his purely cinematic interests.  This was of course the same year that saw him design the sets for Ken Russell’s The Devils; a film that wallowed in the historical urbane of human presence and depravity.  Coupling the films together, one appears to be the heady syndrome of a realist whilst the other seems a cathartic escape from populated zones and into the very heart of the green and pleasant hills.

Yet A Journey To Avebury is not a simple home movie.  Its format belies such readings as it was…

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