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EXPLORING: THE MOON AND THE SLEDGEHAMMER

2:45PM: film and conversation 5PM: discussion - Ruralism on film

This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Moon and the Sledgehammer, a documentary dedicated to the Page family who lived off-grid in a six-acre wood near Chiddingly, East Sussex. Through observations and conversations with the mechanically ingenious Pages in their leafy junkyard, they reveal the nature of their lives and ambitions as they co-exist with the modern urban world. Why does this film continue to fascinate? Does it make us ask about what we value and how we live now? Does it speak to a life which has gone and to one which is coming? For this special screening, the film will be explored by Barney Snow, a TV factual and documentary film-maker interested in folk stories and rural themes, and Joanna Pocock, author of the award-winning Surrender (2018) and part of the Dark Mountain Project – a cultural movement that is engaged with our current ecological, social and cultural unravelling.

Following the film, Barney will describe his interest in the expression of English ruralism on film and introduce the research he is conducting for a new documentary feature that will draw upon archive films of rural life. The event is chaired by Frank Gray, Director of Screen Archive South East at the University of Brighton.