When the Wind Blows

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What A Disgrace
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When the Wind Blows

#1 Post by What A Disgrace » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:01 am

Dual format edition available January 22.

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#2 Post by Caligula » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:56 am

From Amazon:

When the Wind Blows (DVD + Blu-ray)
Directed by Jimmy T Murakami
Screenplay by Raymond Biggs

Jim and Hilda Bloggs (Sir John Mills and Dame Peggy Ashcroft) are a middle-aged couple, who believe that the British government is in control as they prepare for Nuclear War. When the countdown begins they roll up their shirtsleeves and follow government guidelines that were actually distributed to households around Britain in the 1970s. They paint their windows white, build a fortress of doors and pillows, take the washing in and put away two packets of ginger nuts, one tin of pineapple chunks and a good supply of tea.

This cautionary tale is both humorous and macabre in its consideration of one of the most horrific possibilities of modern life. When the Wind Blows is a story about love, tenderness, humanity and hope. Adapted by Raymond Briggs (The Snowman) from his best-selling book, When the Wind Blows features an original soundtrack by Roger Waters, and title song by David Bowie.

Special features
Presented in High Definition and Standard Definition
Audio commentary with First Assistant Joe Fordham and Film Historian Nick Redman
Jimmy Murakami: Non-Alien (2010, 75 mins): feature-length documentary about the film's director
Interview with Raymond Briggs (2005, 14 mins)
The Wind and the Bomb (2005): the making-of When the Wind Blows
Protect and Survive (1975, 51 mins): public information film about how to survive in the event of a nuclear explosion
Isolated music and effects track
Fully illustrated booklet with new writing on the film by Raymond Briggs, Jez Stewart and Bella Todd, and full film credits
UK | 1986 | colour | 84 minutes | 1 x BD50 | 1 x DVD9 | Region B (Blu-ray) Region 2 (DVD) | Cert PG

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#3 Post by dda1996a » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:02 pm

This is a brilliant film, I'm so happy to see it finally released

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#4 Post by tenia » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:14 pm

Crap, another TT I bought bites the dust. :|

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#5 Post by L.A. » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:09 pm

TT’s disc had no optional English subs which was a major bummer.

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#6 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:41 pm

Here's the trailer

Wonderful news! Its a beautiful but incredibly harrowing and bleak film, one that perhaps could only exist in the wake of the huge acclaim for The Snowman (which itself has a pretty brutal 'circle of life', or rather 'water cycle' ending!). What other film features the characters building their own coffins, wrapping themselves up in their shrouds (in this case potato sacks) and performing their own eulogies in the upsetting ending.

Plus its got the fantastic opening title sequence with the one objective glimpse of the outside world, first in live action footage of bombs being transported through small towns in the dead of night, segueing into the animation as Jim takes his bus ride home from town. All scored to David Bowie's title song, which is up there with Art Garfunkle's Bright Eyes in getting the tears flowing! I also really like the animation style of the film, with the cell animation of the characters overlaid on top of physical sets, all the better to 'ground' the film in some sense of physicality, like a little minature dollshouse set that is soon to be destroyed.

I'll always treasure though my first viewing of the film when the VHS tape I was recording a television broadcast of the film on ran out just minutes before the end, but it cut off right in the middle of Jim's rose-tinted reverie about being a fireman during the Blitz, and just before the downward turn into the full effects of the radiation sickness start. For me (and I know it runs totally counter to the intentions of the film, which lightly nudges towards a critique of the previous generation that has allowed such apocalyptic situations to come about, because of their nostalgia for getting through previous conflicts with a cup of tea and a can-do attitude!), I'd always like to imagine the couple forever being left inside the comfort of their reminiscences, even whilst the world burns (and the milkman runs late) outside.

___

And that looks to be a fantastic package of extras too! The commentary and isolated score is presumably carried over from the Twilight Time release? The Jimmy Murakami documentary sounds really exciting too (he also directed Battle Beyond The Stars for Roger Corman a couple of years before doing his Raymond Briggs adaptations)

Protect and Survive is an inspired inclusion as another fusion of antiseptically distancing animation and discussion of the ultimate horror, and also for providing similar rules (busy work?) for the population to follow in the event of a nuclear attack as appear in the early sections of When The Wind Blows.(The pamphlet is apparently getting republished too!) It is perhaps the ultimate scary public information film (talking practically about tagging bodies with their names and addresses and moving them to another room in the house when a death occurs, and so on). Protect and Survive has been weirdly influential on protest music too, with the narration turning up in Two Tribes by Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Though perhaps the funniest is the song by The Dubliners!

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#7 Post by Costa » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:58 pm

tenia wrote:Crap, another TT I bought bites the dust. :|

TT had a major flaw in the audio.
i don't know if you noticed. The effects were lke having an echo or something.
There was an online youtube video somewhere that showed this.

I haven't seen this film, but i hope it's fixed for this edition because I'd like to buy it!

edit: Oh, here it is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LJHeiW ... e=youtu.be" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

the previously released DVD didn't have those problems, so it's not on the source.
Let's hope the issue is not baked on the HD source!

Is there somewhere where we can email them and notify them about the issue?

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#8 Post by MichaelB » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:01 am

If they weren't aware of the issue before, they certainly are now - thanks!

Usually this sort of thing is caused by the M&E tracks being accidentally muxed into the audio along with the official film soundtrack, and is easily fixable at the authoring stage - although you're right to flag up the possibility that it might be baked into the master.

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#9 Post by Orlac » Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:38 am

The actual soundtrack album for the film has a problem where they use dialogue from the film in between the songs, but its mixed so low in comparison to the music, you'd have to crank your volume up way beyond reasonable levels.

And I wonder if the BFI could fiind a way to include the disturbing nuclear war short A Short Vision - you can view it on their channel.

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#10 Post by MichaelB » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:25 am

Full specs announced:
When the Wind Blows
Written by Raymond Briggs
Directed by Jimmy T Murakami


BFI Blu-ray/DVD release on 22 January 2018

When the Wind Blows is a story about love, tenderness, humanity and hope in the face of nuclear war. Adapted by Raymond Briggs (The Snowman, Ethel and Ernest) from his best-selling graphic novel, it features an original soundtrack by Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) and title song by David Bowie. It will be released on Blu-ray/DVD by the BFI in a Dual Format Edition on 22 January 2018, packed with special features including interviews, a documentary on the director and the public information film Protect and Survive (1975).

Jim and Hilda Bloggs (voiced by Sir John Mills and Dame Peggy Ashcroft) are a middle-aged couple who put their faith in the government as they prepare for nuclear war. When the countdown begins, they roll up their sleeves and follow the advice contained in the real-life official booklet of the time, Protect and Survive. They whitewash their windows white, build a shelter out of doors and pillows, take the washing in and put away packets of ginger nuts, a tin of pineapple chunks and a good supply of tea.

This legendary, cautionary tale is both humorous and macabre in its consideration of one of the most horrific possibilities of modern life.

Special features
• Presented in High Definition and Standard Definition;
• Audio commentary with first assistant editor Joe Fordham and film historian Nick Redman;
Jimmy Murakami: Non-Alien (2010, 77 mins): feature-length documentary about the film’s director;
The Wind and the Bomb (1986, 25 mins): the making of When the Wind Blows, featuring interviews with producer John Coates, director Jimmy T Murakami and writer Raymond Briggs;
• Interview with Raymond Briggs (2005, 14 mins): the author discusses When the Wind Blows and other works;
Protect and Survive (1975, 50 mins): public information film designed to be broadcast when a nuclear attack was imminent;
• Isolated music and effects track;
• Illustrated booklet with a new introduction by Raymond Briggs, an essay by executive producer Iain Harvey, writing by Jez Stewart, Claire Kitson and Bella Todd, and full film credits.

Product details
RRP: £19.99/ Cat. no. BFIB1280/ Cert PG
UK / 1986 / colour / 84 mins / English language, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles / original aspect ratio 1.37:1 / BD50: 1080p, 24fps, PCM 2.0 stereo audio (48kHz/24-bit) / DVD9: PAL, 25fps, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio (320kbps)
When the Wind Blows launch screening & Q&A at BFI Southbank, Sun 28 Jan

This new release will be celebrated with a special screening at BFI Southbank (NFT3) on Sunday 28 January at 3.20pm, followed by an on stage Q&A with executive producer Iain Harvey. It is a part of the BFI’s year-long celebration of the craft and creativity of animation taking place from January – December 2018. Details will be announced soon.

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#11 Post by McCrutchy » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:02 pm

A review is up at Rewind.

Looks like the BFI fixed/doesn't have the audio issue that the Twilight Time disc does. That, plus the significant additional extra of the 50-minute public information film and booklet make the BFI an easy purchase. Glad I pre-ordered this one!

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#12 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:31 am

I must admit that I'm curious about how that theatrical screening of When The Wind Blows went! It is not exactly the kind of film that sends an audience out of the theatre with a spring in their step!

Major spoilers:

I rewatched the film over the weekend in the new Blu-ray edition. The animation is certainly dated in some respects, though I love the kind of 'grounded' simplicity of the almost chamber piece-like two-hander inside the house contrasting against the variety of different styles in the various flashbacks, reveries and fantasies (and the pre-bomb punctuation of the abstract visions of rocket silos, submarines and bomber planes, which I seem to recall in the graphic novel overwhelmingly took up entire double page spreads of just one single, terrifying image of the approaching death machine, much more scarily impersonal than the caricature Allied heroes and Axis villains in Jim's fantasies). Memory and fantasy getting mixed up, but reaching a specific revelatory 'truth' about a specific character's internal life that is much more important. The more limited, claustrophobic present is unbounded in the fantasy scenes.

The historical facts are irrelevant against what it tells us about the present character's feelings about their memories - in that sense this film and Nicolas Roeg's Insignificance have a lot in common. And it is strange that two films involving concerns about a potential future nuclear war involve characters only being able to deal with it through abstracted memory. Perhaps it is because nobody will actually know what the aftermath will be like (or it would be too bleak to contemplate - I even think this harrowing film still interestingly rose tints the apocalypse, but more on that below!), with it being such a new form of war (or is it even 'war' at all, just mass genocide at a faster pace?) that it is almost impossible to comprehend, except through previous precedents.

I find the constant patter between Jim and Hilda very interesting too. On early viewings I had a 'look and listen to these deluded fools' approach to their behaviour. How can they be so naïve and blinkered? Why will Jim not just shut up and stop trying to fill the air with constant chatter, even when it is obvious that he is so, so, so wrong in his musings? Why the hell does Hilda treat a nuclear war as something that is just going to cause a lot of mess to clean up, and just another thing to accommodate into her household chores? Are they so utterly stupid they don't know to be afraid?

Perhaps not. They're coping with things much bigger than themselves in the only way they know how, for as long as they can. The old 'Blitz spirit' applied to a nuclear holocaust. Is it any more or less delusional than the information in the Protect and Survive handbook? At least it provides some shred of comfort in a modern society where no such comfort is being offered, just dry practicalities and lists of rules to follow (but even those supposedly emotion free practical lists for survival end up seeming hollow in their technical assurances by just going over the preparations for the bomb and taking a 'fingers crossed' approach to the aftermath. Perhaps because they know that after that point nobody will be around to care about what to do! Or complain that the booklet got things wrong! The Protect and Survive film on this disc only emphasises this even more, laboriously covering and re-covering a couple of key points over and over, as if unwilling to move on to other matters).

I think it is also important that Jim actually seems to happily regress into a second childhood at points ("I am two years younger than you, dear!") - enjoying making all the preparations for war, literally pretending he is a child with Hilda in the refuge, and jumping and lying on the table firing an imaginary gun at the pesky Ruskies near the end. It is the logical extension of a kind of nostalgia getting overlaid onto a very different contemporary conflict. One that is dangerously regressive to have pre-bomb (especially if politicians have it!) but does not really matter too much afterwards. Let Jim and Hilda keep their comfort blankets at that stage.

On the 'rose tinting of the apocalypse' (and this is something that Protect and Survive film only emphasises), there is still that sense in the film that Jim and Hilda really did 'get lucky', in not being in the radius of the bomb and being killed outright. And it is a rose tinted film in the way that their house is ruined but did not collapse, or the way that amusingly only one milk bottle has been knocked over! At least until it falls once the camera is looking at it! Rooms need a broom brushed through them to start looking at least a little bit presentable again. But everyone's dead, the infrastructure of society has collapsed and the air is thick with radiation. Perhaps that aspect of 'survivability', even if just in the very short term, is the ultimate delusion that the film never makes explicit, and in a sense is condemning the Protect and Survive film for being similarly blinkered.

And of course in the face of utter bleakness and nothingness post-bomb, does it really matter that the characters are living in a fantasy? As long as they are sharing their last moments together, that is all that matters. The reveries that seemed charming and naive in the pre-bomb sections become the last sparks of human feeling and consciousness, the last vestiges of abstracted human society and values left flickering in the encroaching darkness.

I think it is very much intentional to have the characters talking about nothing in particular without shutting up, because eventually it feels as if you don't want them to stop. Because that means they are truly exhausted and approaching their end. That moment when Jim breaks down when there's no water left to make a cup of tea(!) is upsetting because that's when his mask slips and the situation overwhelms him. Hilda seems both more off in the clouds and more practical, the mask slipping once all the crockery is broken and lost (on this viewing I noted Jim just absent mindedly dropping the cup and plate into the dustbin a scene or two before her breakdown, which I had not noticed before. That actually made me cry, as if it was Jim subconsciously noting that they would not need them anymore), then does not get truly upset again until her last line of the film. If they can just keep talking away the magnitude of the situation, even death might not seem to be too bad.

The use of language is extremely important here, and that is where all the (extremely black, ironic) humour is lying. All of the official language and lists of items to gather becomes utterly absurd in the extreme for members of the general public to easily be able to gather! All of Jim's malapropisms make him seem dumb and failing to grasp the situation. For all of his interest in current politics, he cannot remember the names of any current politician, and can only see it through WWII nostalgia (is that a function of getting older? That you still long for the generation above you to be securely in control of the country, yet instead even the politicians are likely a generation younger than you are!). Yet all of his mistakes in word choice seem more horribly apt than the thing he had actually been intending to say in the first place. It is as if he is accidentally finding the right, devastating, word in his attempts to keep his conversation light and cheerful. Which of course is all building to the final addled scene, when both Jim and Hilda ironically agree that they would prefer to be cremated (which they implausibly escaped) than buried (which is not happening anyway), and then Jim's mangling of a prayer for the dying eulogy, something which Hilda encourages until Jim mentions death explicitly by name, at which point it all gets too overwhelming.

___

Probably the most problematic scene in terms of the animation is Jim's gleeful reciting of what all of the overwhelming number of acronyms stand for in the book on nuclear war he got out of the library (N.O.R.A.D. and so on), which takes the form of the acronyms stretching and distorting on the screen. Though it now looks a bit like a premonition of certain sequences in Godfrey Reggio's Naqoyqatsi film from 2002! But although there are obvious limitations there are lots of lovely character moments between Jim and Hilda too (I especially like Hilda's reactions while Jim is on the telephone to their son, who isn't taking the talk of making preparations for nuclear annihilation with the appropriate gravity!)

It is difficult to articulate but I do remember as a kid being somewhat obsessed with the texture of the walls of the house in this film when I first saw it. It was around the time that I was discovering Jan Švankmajer's work, which also features 'live action sets' against which animated (in that case stop-motion or Claymation) beings are being contrasted. There is a frisson that I have always found incredibly disturbing by that simple contrast - something like Tetsuo: The Iron Man fits here too - almost as if their existence itself is inherently unnatural and artificial. Like the characters are fluid and mutating before a concrete, physical backdrop. It is as if these filmmakers have hit on something powerful about the contrast of physicality and animation, of reality being made to feel 'unreal', which of course in When The Wind Blows ties in with the wider themes as well. Something about that final scene plays into this too for me - suddenly the potato sacks are stop motion physical objects that have shrouded the cell drawn characters within them. They crinkle and move in staccato stutters, but only for a moment until the characters lie down for the final time.

(EDIT: To add to that, there seems the interesting way that the animation perhaps shows a shift in 'dominance'. Early on in the pre-bomb sections there are moments where Jim and Hilda turn objects into cell animated ones, such as when Hilda passes Jim a teatowel to wipe the dishes with. In the first introduction of the potato sacks, with Jim trying it out whilst Hilda stifles a giggle at how absurd he looks, the sack itself is a cell animated one. I am very much open towards there being no particular meaning behind this at all aside from practicalities of animating certain moments or not (for instance all the bottles to fill with water in the pre-bomb section are laid out in the hall as physical glass objects, because the characters are not interacting with them; whilst the two milk bottles on the doorstep outside on the post-bomb stroll around the garden are cell animated, if only because one of them has to move and roll!), but there was something interesting about the way that the vitality of the two living characters is able to literally animate otherwise lifeless objects (not to mention conjure up vivid images from their minds that seem to occupy the real world briefly), and the way that twists towards the end to that heavy physicality of the destroyed world around them literally surrounding them. The characters almost not even having enough strength to assert themselves over their shrouds. But again, this could just be my reading too much into it!)

Oh, and I should note something else that I only noticed on this Blu-ray viewing that had never come through on my old recorded from television in 1998 copy of the film - that image of the single solitary fruit pastille that is all Jim and Hilda have left to eat gets a loving close up and even a little sparkle from the sugar coating it. I loved that moment for being both devastating and hilarious at the same time! The most ironic, heart-rending sparkle bling in all cinema?
Last edited by colinr0380 on Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:45 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#13 Post by Orlac » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:14 pm

Great thoughts!

I find the film a bit too talky at times, and the book had a bleaky old-fashioned feel removed in the film by the catchy pop songs and trite dream scenes. Plus, John Mills lacks the everyman feel that I imagine Peter Sallis brought to the radio version.

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#14 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:27 pm

It is definitely from the same era that brought us the re-scored Giorgio Moroder version of Metropolis! But since I love that too (I even bought the Moroder version on the Kino Blu-ray edition from a few years back!), I am fine with all the incongruous seeming modern pop songs! But yes, I doubt Jim and Hilda would ever have been big David Bowie fans, aside perhaps for his Bing Crosby duet!

I suppose that soundtrack also plays into the sense that we are supposed to pity the retired couple as an outside observer rather than particularly place ourselves in their shoes. I get the impression that if the audience is meant to be represented by anyone in the film, it is the scoffing son on the other end of the telephone call! (I bet he likes Bowie!) It is one of the aspects that I could see aggravating people with the film in that it has a definite polemic point to make, especially in its closing credits song (that nuclear war is bad and the government of the day might bungle their way into causing the apocalypse on behalf of people who have a nostalgia about previously successful wartime endeavours) and the audience is meant to nudge each other and nod sagely every time the characters try to put a ridiculously deluded brave face on things. But even with all that, watching people struggle and inevitably fail to survive a nuclear dark night of the soul is still powerfully upsetting.

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#15 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:32 am

Going through the extras, they are all extremely worthwhile. I know we tease Nick Redman and the whole methodology behind Twilight Time's limited release model a bit on the board but I always enjoy his moderation on commentaries (particularly guiding the discussion between the scholars on the Peckinpah films, and for his fascinating comments on The Inn of The Sixth Happiness which had a personal relevance to him), and this was another really great example. I have to admit that I was really just expecting to hear the sound of people quietly sobbing for the last half hour of the commentary, but they held it together!

The Wind and the Bomb is a nice contemporary making-of piece which does a valuable tour of the cramped premises of the animation studio (with a scene of the panicked camera swirling around the location, replicating the panic of someone told they have three minutes left until a missile strike!) and provides some fantastic footage of early animation tests. There is nothing really about the voice recording and scoring of the film (things that are usually emphasised in extra features on Disney or Simpsons discs, probably because they provide the moments of most visual 'action') but more emphasis is placed on the creation of the animation itself, and this has some wonderful moments of the footage wavering from pencil tests up through to finished animation and back again, or illustrating people working with various levels of the cells of animation on work boards to help the animators move the action forward (the moment of Jim cutting the loaf of bread gets focused on, with the loaf going from full to half cut in a flick of a wrist!), and eventually all of the cells being put together and photographed.

And the highlight of the set is the Jimmy Murakami: Non-Alien documentary, which follows Murakami travelling from his home in Dublin back to California to visit his brother and sister and then go on a coach excursion with other children of the camp back to the Tulelake camp where he and his family were interned for four years during the war. While it might be a bit provocative to describe a prison camp in the United States as a 'concentration camp', that is how Jimmy Murakami sees it and still feels marked by decades on. I would perhaps more agree with the brother's comments that it was as much for the safety of Japanese-Americans (from reprisal attacks after Pearl Harbor), even if it was still the wrong thing to do to round innocent people up for having committed no crime but that of being of a particular ethnic background.

Even worse than the internment though is that forced question being asked of all those living there - to pledge complete loyalty to the United States, which in some cases would have involved giving up Japanese citizenship - which is combined with the language of the document describing Japanese-Americans as 'non-aliens' rather than as American citizens (so you have to give up any claim to belong to Japan and having a loyalty to your heritage, but are still given no compensation for that loss and are not being treated as a full American citizen, both on paper and in terms of being interned in a camp). There is something fantastically disturbing about the mundane way that language can sometimes unintendedly reveal certain truths in the process of being normalised that would be vehemently denied if someone called them on it. Of course you are 'non-alien': you aren't the real 'alien' inhabitants that we are looking for and could potentially remove from the country as undesirable. We have to still accommodate you. But you are still not 'fully human', or at least treated as a full American citizen, either. At least during the war period.

(Of course there could be a J.G. Ballard link to be made here too, with that author's Shanghai childhood experiences marking him for the rest of his life, and making him see peacetime life through different eyes, applying the traumatic event to the alienating structure of post-war society)

It is a fascinating period of the Second World War, and it is great to see this subject getting tackled again outside of the film Come See The Paradise.

The documentary itself follows Murakami visiting a museum about the events, speaking with his brother and sister about their personal experiences and then visiting the site of the camp in a guided tour and speaking with some of the other people also making their pilgrimages there. It is much more focused on this central experience of Murakami's youth, and if you are looking for something dealing with his animation work it is not dwelt on in too much detail. There is a moment in Dublin at the beginning of Murakami saying he worked on Battle Beyond The Stars and describing the plot of When The Wind Blows to a young barman in a pub, but rather than the more celebrated features this film dwells in more detail on his more personal works and how they tie into his life. For instance a great lengthy clip from Murakami's short film Breath gets made very personally powerful when put in conjunction with Murakami's voiceover describing his failed marriage, drinking problem and the birth of his children, as the character on screen rhythmically inhales women and alcohol and exhales a child.

And throughout the film we are shown Murakami painting, beginning with Irish landscapes and then revealing his paintings of his memories of when he was interned with his family, which themselves get animated by the film. That is perhaps the power of a painting, that it can capture not the actual objective truth of a situation but the subjective feel of what it was like to be in a certain place at a certain age, tucked up in bed whilst your parents are awake next door worrying about their future.
___

Watching the film a few more times with the commentary and isolated score I also noted another upsetting detail that made me cry a couple of times - that in that final scene they've pulled the mattress out of the 'inner core or refuge' and it is in the centre of the (ironically named in this context) living room with Hilda laying dying on it, as Jim lies delirious on the couch. Then they both decide to get into their potato sacks and back into the 'inner core or refuge', which of course without the mattress means the characters just lying on the bare floorboards. I guess being comfortable does not matter at that point but it just emphasised that bleak, sparse, ascetic end for a couple who did not deserve such hardship.

And I forgot to add David Lynch to the comments about 'physicality and animation' above. I am thinking of his early short animations like The Grandmother and of course Eraserhead, but that final image of the film of showing the wooden doors of the refuge getting halo'ed into an iris and then floating off into the clouds as Jim and Hilda speak their last lines could be seen as being as bizarre, upsetting and beautiful as Laura Palmer's creation myth in the recent Twin Peaks series!
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Re: When the Wind Blows

#16 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:25 am

One of the other things brought up in one of the booklet essays is that this film is one of the "first five UK animated features" which comprise:

1. Animal Farm (1954)
2. Yellow Submarine (1968)
3. Watership Down (1978)
4. The Plague Dogs (1982)
5. When The Wind Blows (1986)

Of course there are many, many animated short films produced in the UK, but it is interesting that so few feature length animated films were made in the country. It also got me curious to find out what UK animated features there have been since this time. Do we just jump straight to the Aardman Animations period of Chicken Run (2000), Wallace & Gromit in "The Curse of The Were-Rabbit" (2005), Flushed Away (2006), The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists! (2012), Shaun The Sheep Movie (2015) and Early Man (2018)? With the non-Aardman Lovng Vincent (2017) in there too. Or have there been any other feature length UK animations?

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#17 Post by MichaelB » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:55 am

My former colleague Jez Stewart has done the legwork for you. Although, as he acknowledges, even if you allow for the fact that British animation has always been a cottage-industry affair, with typically tiny individual companies generally quite unable to muster the time and financial resources to make a full-length feature, the number of features we've produced has still been unusually low for a country widely recognised as one of the more creative producers of animation across the board. As you say, Aardman is pretty much the only company that's managed to sustain a regular feature output.

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#18 Post by knives » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:50 am

colinr0380 wrote:One of the other things brought up in one of the booklet essays is that this film is one of the "first five UK animated features" which comprise:

1. Animal Farm (1954)
2. Yellow Submarine (1968)
3. Watership Down (1978)
4. The Plague Dogs (1982)
5. When The Wind Blows (1986)

Of course there are many, many animated short films produced in the UK, but it is interesting that so few feature length animated films were made in the country. It also got me curious to find out what UK animated features there have been since this time. Do we just jump straight to the Aardman Animations period of Chicken Run (2000), Wallace & Gromit in "The Curse of The Were-Rabbit" (2005), Flushed Away (2006), The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists! (2012), Shaun The Sheep Movie (2015) and Early Man (2018)? With the non-Aardman Lovng Vincent (2017) in there too. Or have there been any other feature length UK animations?
Huh, I was under the impression that Loving Vincent was considered primarily Polish?

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#19 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:57 pm

I was just going off of the UK co-production credit on imdb, so I definitely could be wrong on that attribution! Similarly I'm curious about Sylvain Chomet's film of a Tati-script The Illusionist, but despite its loving recreation of Edinburgh I presume it counts as a French production!

But it is good to be able to add A Liar's Autobiography to the list! And I had forgotten about Arthur Christmas as another Aardman feature, as mentioned in that article! I do like Aardman very much but even there it is strange that few of the feature films have yet achieved the cultural impact of the Wallace & Gromit shorts, Creature Comforts or even the Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer video!

I should also note that Jimmy Murakami directed another feature length UK animation: a 2001 version of A Christmas Carol with Kate Winslet and Simon Callow doing the voices. And Nicolas Cage voicing *someone called* Marley!

On looking through the BFI site, there is also a review of When The Wind Blows to tie in with its Blu-ray release. It also shows a picture of those stand-in real models for Jim and Hilda inside the model sets, which would be replaced by the animated characters in the final film. Which itself reminds me that in that Jimmy Murakami documentary there is a brief shot of stuffed toys of Jim and Hilda that were presumably being sold at the time of the film's theatrical release. It seems a little bizarre to have actual dolls made as merchandise to tie in with such a bleak film, but also a kind of brilliant move as who wouldn't want to hug their dolls of the couple a little protectively closer after watching the film!

I also casually wonder how many of the talented artists and animators in the UK have moved into the booming video game sphere rather than filmmaking.
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Re: When the Wind Blows

#20 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:36 pm

SpoilerShow
Something that was also interesting to note on listening to the isolated score and effects track is that in the final scene when Hilda says "My hair's coming out!", which kicks off the score that runs through to the final moments of the film, that line gets echoed on the soundtrack (as part of the score and effects track) first on Hilda's line itself and then two extra times, almost subliminally appearing underneath the rest of the dialogue in that last scene, underscoring the horror much as "The cake will be burned!" line did during the bomb sequence.
___
I do keep thinking about When The Wind Blows - this time about the use of the various rooms of the house. I particularly like that Jim mostly sits at the table in the room next to the kitchen while Hilda is cooking to continue their conversation. In a way the lounge or living room is almost completely unused (at least until the final scene), and nobody turns the television on there until there is no signal left to tune into! (The transistor radio on the table in that back room is far more important). I guess the lounge is the room used to receive guests, but sadly nobody is coming!

On that note the dining room is the room for eating during big occasions (I assume that it is used if the son and his family come to visit) while the table in that back room, with its view out over the countryside through the windows, is where Jim and Hilda normally eat. So it makes sense that the under-used dining room is the one that gets 'sacrificed' to build the 'inner core or shelter' in!
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Re: When the Wind Blows

#21 Post by Gregory » Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:58 pm

colinr0380 wrote:I should also note that Jimmy Murakami directed another feature length UK animation: a 2001 version of A Christmas Carol with Kate Winslet and Simon Callow doing the voices. And Nicolas Cage voicing Bob Marley!
Not Jacob Marley? How was his Jamaican accent?

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#22 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:03 pm

Sorry, wrong name! Maybe that will be for the modern remake! :P

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Re: When the Wind Blows

#23 Post by Orlac » Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:31 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
SpoilerShow
Something that was also interesting to note on listening to the isolated score and effects track is that in the final scene when Hilda says "My hair's coming out!", which kicks off the score that runs through to the final moments of the film, that line gets echoed on the soundtrack (as part of the score and effects track) first on Hilda's line itself and then two extra times, almost subliminally appearing underneath the rest of the dialogue in that last scene, underscoring the horror much as "The cake will be burned!" line did during the bomb sequence.
The soundtrack album included several sections of dialogue, from various parts in the film, but all so quiet you could barely hear them.

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