The Moon and the Sledgehammer celebrates the lifestyle and philosophies of the Page family. Philip Trevelyan's document of their beguilingly strange existence - living off-grid and riding steam engines - screens with Luke Fowler's Bogman Palmjaguar, about a man who becomes distrustful of people and withdraws into nature.
The Moon and the Sledgehammer: The Pages live in a ramshackle house situated in six acres of woodland, which they own themselves, in the heart of the commuter-belt, 20 miles south of London. The trees cut the Pages off completely from the outside world, and isolated in their island-clearing, they let the 20th Century slowly pass them by. It is a simple life without running water, electricity or gas. Peter and Jim earn what little money the family needs by doing casual repairs to tractors and farm-machinery in the neighbourhood. Machinery is the permanent obsession of Mr Page and his sons. The wood is littered with rusty iron carcasses: parts of old engines, disembowelled car-bodies: a pile of gigantic spanners. Most spectacular are the archaic steam traction-engines which the men tinker with and drive thunderously about the woodland to no apparent purpose. The girls, too, have their special preoccupations: Nancy sits at her embroidery; Kathy tends her garden and plays comforting tunes on the harmonium in the house, or on the piano rotting away outside. As the film unfolds each member of the family spells out their personal fantasies and philosophies to the camera. For all their prodigious skills, they seem at first eccentric, quaint; their ideas tangential to our own. But in the end it emerges that they are in control of their world in a way that we can never be in control of ours.
Bogman Palmjaguar is a portrait of a man who became distrustful of people and withdrew into nature. Bogman is passionate about the threatened habitat of Scotland's Flow Country. But Bogman's early life and subsequent diagnosis as "paranoid schizophrenic" conditions his relationships with other people. Describing himself as "the hidden cat" and "wild outlaw of paradise", Bogman is taking legal action to remove the label "paranoid schizophrenic". His is both a search for justice and an attempt to find reason in the course his life has taken over the past three decades. Lee Patterson's evocative field recordings accompany the images.
We're delighted that both Philip Trevelyan and Luke Fowler will be present for the screening with discussion led by Nick Jones.
Nick Jones After forty years in Cumbria's Eden Valley, milling stoneground flour by waterpower and promoting the arts, moved to Northumberland to spend more time writing short stories, and drawing...inspired by Berwick, Edinburgh and the Borders. He has contributed to "Wilsons Tales of the Borders" and recent work includes a trio of stories about Edinburgh's Waverley station, and "Garbage Tales", a load of rubbish!
The Moon & the Sledgehammer - Guardian Article
Depositions - Luke Fowler
< Back to Programme