11 August 2012 | tim-764-291856
'As English as Cricket'...
Quite why this little docu film should find its home on Sky Arts is odd/interesting and thinking that it'd be so specialist that no-one would have reviewed it online, I found it varied, with a few on Amazon but less here.
Now, as a photographer I often get to photo-document traditional fairs and local events and my home-town does have its own Morris group. I don't consider Morris-ers any more weird or different to anyone else at these celebrations but the subject is one that is seen to be way too uncool to actually quiz its protagonists about directly. So, this neat little offering from film-maker Tim Plester and Robin Curry seemed ideal to balance that.
Already receptive and open-minded, I found the approach and structure - and indeed opinions - interesting, wide and fair and the people human. Did I just write that? Yes, of course, I did and when Tim talks of groups such as Fairport Convention greatly helping to revive the cause, my actually having seen Steeleye Span live comes uncomfortably close to that of Fairport!
That is the delicious and tangible truth about it all - we (some less, some more) are all connected to traditional folklore and its music and dances. Morris just so happens to be the nearest - and oldest surviving - that England has, so either accept it and appreciate it, or... (censored!)
Most of us also like to join and be part of a social group and Morris just happens to be one of them. There's an undoubted attractiveness about any group obviously enjoying themselves and we find ourselves becoming envious. Left-wing singer/songwriter and ultra-cool social commentator Billy Bragg adds some very welcome and well balanced philosophy on the matter, too.
All in all, this compact 70 minute, well-photographed documentary film sets out what it means to. To educate, entertain and show us, Morris, or not, the many facets of this solid dependable movement, for which I personally appreciate for having seen.