The Moon and the Sledgehammer
The Moon and the Sledgehammer is a British 1971 cult documentary film directed by Philip Trevelyan and produced by Jimmy Vaughan which documents the eccentric lives of the Page family, consisting of the elderly Mr Page and his adult children Jim, Pete, Nancy and Kath, who live in a wood in Swanbrook, near Chiddingly, Sussex without mains gas, mains electricity or running water. The sons find employment by fixing mechanical things as odd jobs and maintain two traction engines.
The film consists of interviews with the Page family, interspersed with footage of them going about their lives in the forest. There is no voice-over narration, and shot using natural light. The film is 65 minutes long and is shot on 16mm colour film. The sound is mono.
The film was previewed at the 1971 Berlin Film Festival, and the first reviews were in the West German press. The British press subsequently picked it up resulting in short positive reviews by John Russell Taylor, David Robinson, George Melly, Dilys Powell. After its distribution it was also positively reviewed by Philip Oakes
In 2009 the film was released on DVD for the first time. To coincide with this it had showings at various cinemas. A reunion of the director and crew and a question and answer session was held at the London showing. This forms the basis for a companion DVD - Behind the Moon and the Sledgehammer, directed by Katy MacMillan - a documentary film about a documentary film. This also features film directors Nick Broomfield, Molly Dineen, Andrew Kotting and Ben Rivers and film historian John Russell Taylor discussing the film and its influence.
- Paul Simpson (2010). The Rough Guide to Cult Movies. ISBN 1-84836-213-7.
- Der Abend. 3 July 1971.
- Berliner Morgenpost. 3 July 1971.
- Telegraf-Illus. 4 July 1971.
- John Russell Taylor (July 7, 1971). The Times.
- David Robinson (8 July 1971). The Financial Times.
- George Melly (25 July 1971). The Observer Review.
- Dilys Powell (August 29, 1971). The Sunday Times Weekly Review.
- Philip Oakes (31 October 1971). The Sunday Times.
- Andrew Schenker. "Movie review: The Moon and the Sledgehammer". Slant Magazine.
- TM. "The Moon and the Sledgehammer". Time Out.
- Andrew Kotting. "RECLAIMED: The Moon and the Sledgehammer". Vertigo Magazine.
- S. James Snyder (June 4, 2009). "The Moon and the Sledgehammer Review". Time Out New York (714).
- Nick Rosen. "The Moon and the Sledgehammer". off-grid.net.
- Official website
- The Moon and the Sledgehammer at the Internet Movie Database
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