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British Movie Toons

           Jim and Hilda Bloggs

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When the
  Wind Blows
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producers: TVC / Recorded Releasing
   animation: cel and photographic techniques
      run time: 85 mins


"The story of the Bloggs and the Bomb..."

    There's going to be a war, and Jim and Hilda Bloggs intend to prepare for it
    with the aid of official government guidelines. Their plucky spirit and stiff upper
    lip helped defeat the Nazis. Now they'll do it again. Only, this is a different kind
    of war altogether, fought at a distance, by an unseen enemy, with terrifying
    consequences. And sadly for Jim and Hilda, no amount of camaraderie or
    steadfastness can defeat it...

    This is TVC's adaptation of Raymond Briggs' courageous picture book.
    The original work was a tough read, produced at the height of the Cold War
    with Ronnie Reagan's finger hovering over the Big Red Button and our own
    government issuing woefully inept documentation to steer us all through the
    effects of nuclear war. If anything, the animated version is even tougher than the
    book. The filmmakers animate the Bloggs in traditional cel form, overlaying them
    against a blend of  three-dimensional sets and photo-art backgrounds which
    heightens the surreal reality of the Bloggs' decline. Their escapist thoughts
    are presented in free-flowing sequences, their wedding memories are a sepia
    vignette. What a contrast with the reality of their situation. Their bright little
    home has the colour blown out of it, a grey mist descends, and their own
    cheery faces mottle and turn like time-lapsed fruit.
     When the Wind Blows

    Critics appear to be united about the film's impact and integrity, whilst directing
    any criticism at its lack of commercial prospects. They're probably right. But this
    was never conceived as a Disney film. There are no Happy Ever Afters here, no
    fluffy sidekicks to deflect the mood. The Bloggs are dying, and we're going to watch
    them die. The fact that it's two 'sweet' hand-drawn and painted cartoon characters
    being subjected to these horrors makes it even more affecting.

    Jim and Hilda take to their makeshift shelter. They get sick. They get lesions.
    Their hair falls out. But right up to the end they never once complain. Their
    optimistic belief that The Powers That Be will see them through is heartbreaking
    to watch. But the film makers don't want us to be too sad or sentimental for
    these two old-timers. Roger Waters' bitter score urges us to respond, to
    reproach the authorities who let this happen. For this is supposed to be a
    warning - as that edgy title track from David Bowie says - this is what will
    happen, when the wind blows...

» The film was the second collaboration between Briggs and TVC - the first being
        the award-winning short film The Snowman. Adaptations of Father Christmas
        and The Bear have followed...

» The score for WTWB was given a distinct edge by Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd
        fame. It's as bleak and uncompromising as the images it accompanies...

    » Jim and Hilda are based in part upon Briggs' own parents Ethel and Ernest.
        Ernest spent the greater part of his working life employed as a Co-op
        Milkman, doing the rounds day-in, day-out in Wimbledon...

» Jim and Hilda Bloggs first appeared in Raymond Briggs' 1979 picture book
        Gentleman Jim. It's a lighter tale in which we see Jim in his capacity as a
        lowly toilet cleaner for the council. He runs into trouble whilst attempting to
        live out his fantasies for a more exciting life and eventually finds himself up
        before the magistrates, charged with highway robbery. Though not as
        dramatic as "Wind" it shares the same theme of the proletariat, hamstrung
        by Red Tape and officialdom.

    » Executive Producer Iain Harvey now runs Illuminated Films, where he and
        director Jimmy Murakami teamed again to bring us Christmas Carol:The Movie
      Harvey and Illuminated have also
produced the multi-award winning film
        War Game...


     When the Wind Blows on DVD

     UK DVD
When the Wind Blows
             Region 2 / Channel 4 / September 2005


director:       Jimmy T. Murakami
     producer:    John Coates
     exec prod:   Iain Harvey
     writer:        Raymond Briggs - from his book
     music:        Roger Waters
                      title track sung by David Bowie
     voices:       Peggy Ashcroft (Hilda Bloggs)   
                      John Mills (Jim Bloggs)
                      Robin Houston (Announcer)
                      James Russell
                      David Dundas
                      Matt Irving


      On the web

Reflections of Jimmy T Murakami
      The director's web site....

      prev »   next »    

© TVC /ITC/ Recorded Releasing / F2010