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  1. #1
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    A cartoon adaptation of a Raymond Briggs (most famous for 'The Snowman')comic book.



    I can't believe this film is not more celebrated than it is. Probably the most poignant film ever made about nuclear war. It focuses on an old couple Jim and Hider, living out their retirement in a country cottage, and reminiscing about the war (WW2)as a new one is emerging. The first half has Jim following government guidelines on building a shelter while his wife fusses over the damage it is doing to their house. A bomb goes off some way from them half way through the film, and it's destruction is seen in a semi-abstract form as buildings are blown away, trains derail, and general catastrophe wrecks typical English motifs.

    They survive the bomb, but Hider especially is distraught by the mess it has caused. The rest of the film follows their efforts to come to terms with the outcome, including more reminiscing, and some abstract sequences where they daydream about happier memories. Jim keeps his faith in 'the powers that be' as they await government assistance, but eventually, as their health slowly deteriorates, they decide to return to the shelter and pray. As they do, we hear them as their consciousness keeps slipping. A spotlight on their shelter is superimposed over and disappearing into some clouds, and finally Hider says 'No more love'. The sun comes out of the clouds.



    Perhaps dated because it was about the cold war, but in terms of poignancy and understatement this is an underrated classic. David Bowie provides the sound track that is appropriately sympathetic, gentle, and a little angry.



    I'd love to see this released on DVD. The Animation subtly changes as the film progresses



    I hope others can remember this film. Look foreward to hearing from you.

  2. #2
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    Hi,



    it as you say "I can't believe this film is not more celebrated than it is. Probably the most poignant film ever made about nuclear war"



    I celebrate it often with a viewing and I have to say is still very powerful.



    David Bowie's theme is so apt and the voices of Peggy Ashcroft and the great Sir John Mills all add to a experience that should be participated in for all British cinephiles.



    Where this film seems so poignant is in it's animation, it would of been hard to deliver the naivety of this couple without the palate that has been put forward. We understand them and feel sorry for them only because of the method of portrayal.

    It is a long lost era of innocence something we may never retrieve but because it has been delivered in a animated form, it will remain for us forever.



    Third Man

  3. #3
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    I'm really pleased I read this. I had totally forgotten that this film was one of those films that I watched when I was young, and reading this made it all come back to me. Cheers!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    A warning still bang up to date



    By Nigel Kendall

    Raymond Brigg's nuclear fable When the Wind Blows resonates to this day





    When you enter the home of Raymond Briggs, the first thing you see is the downstairs bathroom door. Attached to it is a blue plaque, of the type that adorns the former houses of the great and the good. It reads: ?East Sussex County Council, historic sites and monuments. Raymond Briggs, septuagenarian drawer, colouring-in artist, wordsmith, speech bubblist, practical joker par excellence and inspired teacher hangs out here.?



    Briggs is waiting on the threshold, looking positively excited, not a condition often found in interview subjects ? still less, I am told, in Briggs. The multimillion-selling author of The Snowman, Fungus the Bogeyman and the nuclear Armageddon fable When the Wind Blows (just released on DVD) is notoriously reluctant to discuss his own work. It?s no surprise, therefore, to learn that his enervated state is due to the work of a rival artist. Open on the table is The Acme Novelty Library by Chris Ware, a book packed with joke versions of 1950s advertisements, colourful cartoons and thoughtful flourishes.





    ?Look at the printing!? Briggs exclaims in awe. ?I?ve just spent the morning deciphering the world?s smallest cartoon strip, which runs down the edge of the cover. Every page is so packed. I shudder to think how long it took him to draw all this.?



    He then delivers a ten-minute eulogy on the quality of the printing and paper, turning each page like an illuminated manuscript, before deciding that perhaps it?s time to discuss his own work, and heads into the lounge, where he sits with a sigh on a sofa that already carries his indentation.



    ?Oh God. What are we here to talk about? When the Wind Blows? Christ, I must have done hundreds of interviews when it came out in 1982. Would you like a cup of tea?? Barely waiting for a reply, he bounds off to the kitchen to postpone the inevitable chat for a further five minutes.



    Plastered across the ceiling is a gigantic map of the United Kingdom, while above the fireplace a revolving disco lamp throws moving multicoloured light across the bookcases that fill every wall. Behind the sofa is a life-size papier-m⣨頭odel of Briggs, hunched over a Zimmer frame, a plastic penis attached to a catheter dangling, grotesquely flaccid, from the flies of a soiled pair of trousers.



    The host returns with the tea. ?Oh that,? he says casually. ?I don?t even notice it any more. It was a 70th birthday present. There?s another one upstairs on a toilet bowl.?



    Briggs turned 70 last year. Did he notice any changes? ?God, yes. I mean, that?s your ration, isn?t it, the fabled three score and ten? I?m working on a book about death and so on at the moment, which I suppose came out of staring mortality in the face. I was watching the latest 7 Up on TV and realised that I probably won?t live to see the next one.?



    Whenever he does go, though, he will leave quite a legacy. Since Father Christmas appeared in 1973 Briggs has created a gallery of characters that have delighted generations of children. When the Wind Blows, nine years later, was the first of his books to have the same impact on adults, and was adapted for stage and screen.



    Was he conscious of changing his style for a different readership? ?Gosh, do you think I have a style?? Well, yes. Look at the lines of his draw- ings. Aren?t they characteristic? ?Just bad draughtsmanship, I expect. Anyway, I never think about things like style. I just write the book I want to write and the market decides who it?s for. When the Wind Blows grew out of my distrust of government and authority. The early 1980s were crazy; we all assumed that nuclear war was inevitable, that we?d all die horribly in a fireball, while the leaflets told us that we could survive if we hid under a door.?



    The satire of When the Wind Blows is made all the more trenchant by the touching naivety of the elderly married couple who attempt to follow the government guidelines to the letter. As the story progresses and the couple succumb to radiation sickness, the anger of the book?s creator bubbles just under the surface.



    ?Yes, I suppose that?s true,? says Briggs. ?There are still things that get my goat. I went on the Iraq demo, along with all those people, and it had no effect at all. It?s like we?re in constant need of an enemy. The Iron Curtain vanished, so another enemy pops up.?



    Twenty-three years on, both When the Wind Blows and its creator are as relevant as ever.

  5. #5
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    Raymond Briggs used to attend my old school, along with John Major. But not at the same time!



    Not a lot of people know that....



    rgds

    Rob

  6. #6
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    (Zest @ Apr 23 2004, 09:08 PM)

    David Bowie provides the sound track that is appropriately sympathetic, gentle, and a little angry.



    I'd love to see this released on DVD. The Animation subtly changes as the film progresses



    I hope others can remember this film. Look foreward to hearing from you.
    I remember seeing WTWB at a London cinema in 1987 as part of a double bill with Desert Bloom (a film set in Nevada during the 1950's A-Bomb tests). I think WTWB only got a limited release - I went into London to see it as the none of my locals were screening it.



    It is a moving story but also depressing which is probably why it doesn't get mentioned a lot. If I was allowed to have only one cartoon on my desert island then this would not be it.



    It has now been released on DVD (26 Sept 05): WTWB DVD



    Bowie only did the title track. Here's the track listing from the soundtrack CD:



    1. When The Wind Blows.....David Bowie

    2. Facts And Figures............Hugh Cornwell

    3. The Brazilian...................Genesis

    4. What Have They Done.....Squeeze

    5. The Shuffle......................Paul Hardcastle

    6. The Russian Missile..........Roger Waters

    7. Towers Of Faith...............Roger Waters

    8. Hilda's Dream..................Roger Waters

    9. The American Bomber......Roger Waters

    10. The Anderson Shelter.....Roger Waters

    11. The British Submarine....Roger Waters

    12. The Attack.....................Roger Waters

    13. Te Fall Out.....................Roger Waters

    14. Hilda's Hair....................Roger Waters

    15. Folded Flags...................Roger Waters

  7. #7
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    I saw this, just once, many years ago. Always wanted to see it again. Going to look into the DVD. If I recall correctly, doesn't the animation begin to "warp" after the bomb blast, paralleling the decay of the characters?

  8. #8
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    Hello



    WOW!! And I thought that I was the only one that enjoyed this film, I played it to my wife not long after it came out on dvd, She siad" I dont get it, what is it about, hiding under a door will save you".



    Oh well



    Great film still





    Scott

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: Scotland lostintown's Avatar
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    I remember going to see this with my flatmates at college.



    The plan was ...we go see the film and then go out onthe tiles and have a wild night full of drink, women etc.



    After watching the film though we just looked at each other, went



    "early night?"



    "OK"



    Depressing but in the best way.

    What was it about the 80's?



    We were always looking over our collective shoulders for an imminent Trident missile?

  10. #10
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    Hope it's okay to resurrect an old thread (I'm new here :-) )



    I too love When the Wind Blows. I realise it's not British, but has anyone here also seen the Japanese Anime 'Grave of the Fireflies'? If not then I'd highly recommend it - it's similarly heart-rending and depressing, but also extremely good. It takes place in Japan during World War 2 when the Americans were fire-bombing Japan's towns and cities.



    Amazon are selling it for a pittance - �6.97



    Watch it with the Japanese soundtrack and English subtitles if you can - the Japanese voice acting is much better than the English language version. :)

  11. #11
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    I was lucky enough to do the PR for the UK DVD release of When The Wind Blows. Raymond was lovely to deal with - great dry sense of humour and it was great to get to introduce a new generation to a film that I thought although a little dated now is actually even more potent now. The weapons have not gone - we now just don't know where half of them are!



    As for the Bowie song I have a soft spot for it (mainly because it's so 80s excessive) but it was only added to help the film appeal to US audiences.

  12. #12
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    Just watched this last night (title no reflection on the weather up here honestly!) and still think this is a real classic after many years - what do others think?



    I think the "reality" in a rural perspective is the main appeal of this film

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rotovator
    Just watched this last night (title no reflection on the weather up here honestly!) and still think this is a real classic after many years - what do others think?
    I think the "reality" in a rural perspective is the main appeal of this film
    I saw it again recently. Even though The Cold War era is gone, it still had a great effect, not least because of Mills and Peggy.

  14. #14
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    I thought it was pretty bad in terms of characterisation, but it's interesting and very much of its time.

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    As far as "nuclear war consequences" movies go, this and "Testament" are the best, in my opinion. The Day After was not particularly realistic, and Threads also didn't quite get right some of the likely effects of a blast. I agree that the animation ends up adding much to the down-beat message of the movie.

  16. #16
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    I agree about it being weird that this isn't more celebrated. i picked up a VHS for 50p at a car boot last summer, not actually watched it yet so hope it's ok ... we were shown this about 15 years ago at 6th form and were pretty shocked. The scene that has stayed with me all that time is the one were they try to hide behind the door against the wall with their hair already falling out, its just awful. I didn't remember there was a soundtrack .. will have to get that vid out.

  17. #17
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    I remember buying the book as a hardcover in '82 (I think). It's surprising how the movie is able to pick up on the basic artistic subtleties of the book - the changing of the colour from bright, happy colour to dower grays and browns. Beautifully drawn book. Mind you, I have yet to see a successful graphic novel to film adaptation. I have concluded that it simply can't be done.



    Want to see a frightening nuclear war film (as I am sure we are all clambering to do) - watch The War Game, which came out in 1965. Horrifying.

  18. #18
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    I really like this film, I'll have to watch it later on youtube! We watched it in history for GCSE about 4 years ago, and I went home to find we have the book as well.



    I loved it, and I like how the innocence and ignorance of the couple show how vulnerable we really were if the wind actually did blow in that direction, as if a door is going to save you from the blast! And it has such power, even now. Its dated of course, but I like things that are dated..much prefer the olden days.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: England cumberbatches_woman's Avatar
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    i remember watching this many years ago, my ex husband got it from the local video shop with some other films to watch, i agree with u CastleAnthrax, it eerily brings it home how everyday people would react in this situation.

  20. #20
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    Once seen, not easily forgotten - as good as it is, I'm not sure I could sit through it again.

    The Day After, though flawed both scientifically and as drama was still a powerful piece of propaganda back in the day.

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