Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Day in the Hayfields - 1904

Very often when people think of England, they conjure up images of an idealised rural landscape on a hot summer's day; in 'A Day in the Hayfields', Cecil Hepworth gives us just that. We see the men and horses reaping and stacking as the village babies play in the piles of hay, throwing themselves into the soft grass with unalloyed abandon.
The film is a classic example of the 'interest film' - in one of its manifestations, the interest film would document agricultural or industrial process from beginning to end - here we see the haymaking from reaping to the finished rick, filmed with an eye for the picturesque.
Although made before the book was even written, the film will strike a chord with anyone who has read Flora Thompson's 'Lark Rise to Candleford' - this is the genuine article. (Bryony Dixon)

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