I can't preach...so all I can do is tell you about what I'm up to in Oxgodby, in the church there. Well, I'm cleaning the wall, because behind the dirt and layers of paint...there's a...picture. So there I am up there scraping away until I get back to the picture itself...patient sort of work, but I don't get any second chances, that's what makes it so exciting. One dab too few and some poor chap won't get back from five centuries ago , one dab too many, wiped him out forever... Makes me sound rather like God doesn't it? Though really I'm just a servant, like every one of us except I'm the servant of the painter. I hope I'm good enough to serve this painter, for he deserves the very best of servants.A little throwaway comment later on hints that the children didn't really understand his symbolism, however, a nice piece of observation by Carr.
Look behind you, Keach. That's what you're praying to. He doesn't want your prayers, he wants some answers. Did you feed the hungry? Did you give drink to the thirsty? Did you cloth the naked and needy? What about me, eh? Any of you offer me bed and board? You smug Yorkshire lot. I'll have a word with him about the way you treated me. I'll get you yet.Later in the film, Keach decries how he feels the congregation do not take him, or his message seriously. However, as we've encountered something of Birkin's personal experience at the time through several encounters during his summer, the vicar's complaint seems almost pathetic by comparison.
1. Actually, any film that features a railway somewhere in the story goes up in my estimations. What is it about steam engines that is so cinematic? I suppose one of the first films ever shown was of a steam train...
2. Channel 4 films have a bit of a habit of doing this, I notice. Brassed Off (1996), for example, which follows the plight of miners facing redundancy through a focus on a colliery band, was presented as if it was some sort of romantic comedy. The underrated and at points intensely moving Hillary and Jackie (1998), meanwhile, with its clever duel-biopic narrative, is likewise hampered with a rotten title and twee, almost girly posters.
3. Another criticism of the brilliant Channel Four Films; they also never show their films on their own channel, despite the fact that they made them. Film4 have produced many of the best British films of the last three decades. Surely they own the rights?
4. There is more information available about the production of this film on my Wikipedia page about it.A Month in the Country
|Company:||Channel Four Films/Euston Films|
|Duration:||1 hr 30 mins|
|Details:||1.66:1 colour, stereo.|
|Writers:||J.L. Carr (novel), Simon Gray (adaptation)|