IDFA on Stage: Arcadia Live


IDFA on Stage: Arcadia Live

Paul Wright


Sorry, there are currently no available shows.
IDFA on Stage: Arcadia Live
Paul Wright

This startling collage of archival footage of the British countryside is a cross between a historical document and a psychedelic trip. The pulsating soundtrack is performed live by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) plus band.

Festival IDFA

Run time 78 minutes
Genre film
Language English

Arcadia Live

This depiction of a lost paradise, composed entirely of archive footage, is a portrait of the British countryside that is at times surreal, as well as a feverish search for what binds us together. Images of idyllic farming life make you long for the sense of community of yesteryear, for the wonder of Alice and the White Rabbit, or pagan feasts around a fire. At the same time, they create a tension: not everything was better in the old days.The montage juxtaposes long-standing rituals such as dancing around the maypole with the collective trance at a techno festival.
The British landscape as it once was, when plows were still drawn by horses, makes way for rows of smoking chimneys and mad cow disease. In carefully chosen audio excerpts, we hear speeches describing utopian futures. The hypnotic soundtrack of this astonishing musical film essay was written by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp), who perform it live with a band. They use folk, dance and rock to give the recurring images new layers of meaning. Arcadia Live is produced by Sound UK. Funded by Arts Council England.


Director Paul Wright
Production John Archer for Hopscotch Films
Executive producer Mark Bell, Mary Burke, Clara Glynn, Ross McKenzie
Co-production Mark Atkin, Adrian Cooper, BFI, Creative Scotland, BBC
Cinematography Paul Wright
Editing Michael Aaglund
Music Will Gregory, Adrian Utley, Ross Hughes, Lisa Knapp, Victoria Oruwari, Emma Smith, Francesca Simmons, Zami Jalil, Ivan Hussey
Involved TV Channel BBC Arts
World Sales BFI
Distribution Sound UK


IDFA stands for the power of creative documentary. Documentaries that can connect, inspire and excite. Documentaries that expand the view of ourselves, the environment and the world around us. Under the label IDFA on Stage, the space between documentary film and performing arts will be explored. During this edition of the festival, ITA hosts daily screenings of documentaries and special performances.

See the entire IDFA programme