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I think Ben Wheatley, together with partner/writer/editor Amy Jump, is one of the most interesting directors working now. He makes genre films that are, thanks to Jump’s scripts, very sharp and perceptive, but also very weird, and not at all afraid to push audiences out of their comfort zones. A Field in England is emblematic of the films they make together. It’s a story about a few men during the English Civil War, some coerced to work for others, and how they all come together in a mad frenzy of power and influence.

I spoke to Wheatley a while ago about A Field in England, and for those who have seen the film, which is in US theaters and on VOD now, you might be happy to know that he explains a few plot points that might seem pretty obscure. But he also talks about why he doesn’t like explaining story elements, within his films or in interviews, and what he and Jump had in mind for audiences as they were putting this story together.  Read More »

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Last summer Ben Wheatley‘s film A Field in England started to see release, with a simultaneous drop in theaters, on disc, and on cable and VOD in the UK. It went on to play festivals and finally opened in the US last week. Along with the film’s UK release last year was a “digital masterclass” on the making of the movie — a thirty-minute behind the scenes doc that is really terrifically detailed. This isn’t fluffy filler, but rather a nuts and bolts look at making an indie movie with relatively few resources. It’s fantastic stuff, but loaded with spoilers (naturally) about the film.

So now is a great time to point it out to you once more, as the film is in release pretty much everywhere at this point. Below you’ll find a good deal of behind the scenes footage, and links to even more. Read More »

A Field in England

It’s not like Down Terrace, Kill List, and Sightseers were safe and conventional to begin with, but Ben Wheatley‘s latest feature is by all accounts his weirdest yet. A quick glance at the new trailer, and you’ll see exactly what we mean.

Set during the English Civil War, A Field in England centers around a group of soldiers who follow an alchemist on his search for treasure. They come into a strange field with a mushroom circle, and then things take a turn for the intensely bizarre. Watch the latest promo and a new poster after the jump.

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The Congress

“A middle school student prone to wild daydreams devotes his waking hours to stretching and flexibility exercises with the ultimate goal of one day being able to lick his own penis.” Yes, Fantastic Fest 2013 is quickly approaching and the second wave of programming has just been announced.

That graphic description is of a Japanese film called Maruyama The Middle Schooler and it’s a great example of the kind of madness audiences can expect to see on screen from September 19-26 at Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline in Austin, Texas. Other films announced in this second wave include Elijah Wood and John Cusack in Grand Piano, Ben Wheatley‘s A Field in England, Robin Wright in The Congress (above), the David Cronenberg-narrated documentary Tales From the Organ TradeAlex de la Iglesia‘s Witching and Bitching and many other potentially crazy genre films. Read the full list and see some images below. Read More »

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As we’ve said before, Ben Wheatley is among the most interesting genre directors working right now. Kill List was a wild thriller, but also a fantastic explosion of ideas of masculinity and impotence; Sightseers is a fantastically funny, bloody comedy that also plays with the extreme results of frustrated creative impulses.

His next film is A Field in England, a fairly small production about a few guys who flee the front lines of the English Civil War in the mid-1600s. They’re captured by two men, one of whom is an alchemist, and pressed into assisting in the search for a treasure. But that treasure may in fact be something that drives them totally crazy (at least for a while).

This new teaser really ups the psychedelic factor — it is an almost assaultive collage of color, sound, and shapes. For the audience that is already pre-disposed to respond to a film like this, the trailer is going to be pure crack.  Read More »

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Ben Wheatley hasn’t been making features for very long, but he’s sure good at making his time count. In the four years since his first, Down Terrace, he’s managed to direct three more, each one wonderfully dark and twisted in its own special way.

His black romantic comedy Sightseers is still in theaters over here in the U.S., but there’s already a new trailer for his follow-up release, A Field in England. Even by Wheatley’s standards, this one looks pretty unusual. Set in 1648 during the English Civil War, it follows a group of deserters who get captured by an alchemist and descend into a psychedelic trip. Check out the video after the jump.

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Ben Wheatley (Down Terrace, Kill List) is making some of the best, smartest, and weirdest genre films going right now. His terrific black comedy Sightseers opens in some US theaters and on VOD this week, and now his follow-up effort has a distributor. Drafthouse Films has just announced the acquisition of A Field in England, which is being described as “a psychedelic trip into magic and madness.”

What kind of madness? Get a load of the plot description: “a group of English Civil War soldiers in the 17th century are captured by an alchemist and led into a vast mushroom field, where they fall victim to violent and nightmarish forces.”  Yes, please, let’s see that now. OK, we can’t see it now, exactly, but, Sightseers won’t be Wheatley’s only theatrical release in 2013. Drafthouse Films plans to have A Field in England out this year as well.

We don’t yet have a trailer to share, but in addition to the new image above, you can see the film’s poster below. Read More »

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