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THE PLEASURE GARDEN (1953)
Article 5346 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 1-15-2017
Directed by James Broughton
Featuring Jean Anderson, Lindsay Anderson, Maxine Audley
Country: UK
What it is: Experimental film

Several people converge on a public park in search of pleasure, but a cadaverous man tries to prohibit them from experiencing it.  Can a witch undo the damage?

Not all experimental films are difficult or incomprehensible; it's pretty obvious what this one is about.  If the title alone doesn't clue you off, it's about sex; specifically, it's about battle between the forces of repression (personified by a group of people in black who want to turn the park into a cemetery) and those of expression (led by the witch and her magic shawl).  It's about as daring as a movie could be made on this subject in 1953.  It's also quite a bit of fun, and since it only runs about 38 minutes, it doesn't wear out its welcome;  a bit longer and the movie would start to bore.  It makes fun use of music and has some surreal visual touches.  On looking up the oeuvre of director James Broughton, I suspect he made something of a career making shorts on this subject.

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