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A Year In The Country: Cathode Ray And Celluloid Hinterlands

The Rural Dreamscapes, Reimagined Mythical Folklore and Shadowed Undergrowth of Film and Television

ByStephen Prince

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The book undertakes in-depth studies of films, television programmes and documentaries and wanders amongst depictions of rural areas where normality, reality and conventions fall away and the landscape becomes deeply imbued with hidden, layered and at times dreamlike stories, taking in modern-day reinterpretations of traditional myth and folklore and work that has become semi-obscured from view through being unofficially available or otherwise having become partly hidden away. It explores film and documentary hinterlands including, amongst others, the embracing of the ‘old ways’ in The Wicker Man; John Boorman’s creation of an otherworldly Arthurian dreamscape in Excalibur; the alternate retelling of folk legend in Robin and Marian; the unreally vivid seeming snapshots of folk rituals in Oss Oss Wee Os; the slipstream explorations of The Creeping Gardenand stories from the ‘haunted borderlands’ in Gone to Earthand The Wild Heart. The book also investigates the hauntological spectral and ‘wyrd’ undergrowth of television, including, alongside other programmes, the unearthing of mystical buried powers in Raven; the utopian meeting of starships, pedlars and morris dancers in Stargazy on Zummerdown; teatime Cold War intrigues amongst bucolic isolation in Codename Icarus; the layering of time and myth in anthology drama series Shadows; Frankenstein-like meddling away from the mainland in The Nightmare Man; the magical activation of stone circles’ ancient defence mechanisms in The Mind Beyondepisode ‘Stones’; and the ‘Albion in the overgrowth’ recalibrating of mainstream television in Mackenzie Crook’s Worzel Gummidge. The book is released as part of the A Year In The Country project, which via the posts on its website, music and book releases has carried out a set of year long explorations of an otherly pastoralism; the flipside of bucolic dreams, the further reaches of folk music and culture, work that draws inspiration from the hidden and underlying tales of the land and where such things meet and intertwine with the lost futures, spectral histories and parallel worlds of what has come to be known as hauntology. The A Year In The Country project's main website is


Publication Date
Jun 6, 2022
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Stephen Prince


Perfect Bound
Interior Color
Black & White
US Trade (6 x 9 in / 152 x 229 mm)

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