Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Edith Walks

I picked a film at random last night.

Andrew Kotting's Edith Walks looked like fun- and so it is. Five old geezers and a younger woman in a long white dress walk from Waltham Abbey to St Leonards as a tribute to King Harold II and Edith Swan-neck his "handfasted wife". They are all artists of some sort. The woman is the singer Claudia Barton, one of the geezers is the percussionist David Aylward, another is Jem Finer of The Pogues, a third is the psychogeographer Iain Sinclair. The other two are Kotting himself- wearing some sort of pixieish Anglo-Saxon hood or hat- and the photographer Anonymous Bosh. On the way they meet up with "comics magus" Alan Moore- who propounds the theory, first mooted in the Dr Who Annual for 1985- that Harold escaped the Battle of Hastings and carried on the fight against the Normans as Hereward the Wake- and suggests that since time doesn't really exist everything that ever happened is happening at once (an opinion with which I wouldn't quarrel.) Claudia sings, the musicians make music with found objects, Finer records the sound that Claudia's train makes as it drags over rough terrain. Their progress is  recorded, shakily and blurrily, on super 8- and just occasionally in a format that offers greater clarity- with interjections of footage- shot in 1966 by three school teachers- of primary school children in homemade costumes "re-enacting" the battle of Hastings. It is shambolic, wayward, silly, magical, deliberately artless and must have cost next to nothing to make.

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