29 dicembre 2017

Mike Westbrook commenta la recente scomparsa del regista Peter Duffell (1922-2017) ripescando un frammento della colonna sonora del film TV Caught on a Train, prodotto per la BBC nel 1980, cui contribuì in modo significativo con la sua Brass Band: in formazione con lui c'erano allora Kate Westbrook, Chris Biscoe, Alan Wakeman, Phil Minton, Brian Godding, Georgie Born, Steve Cook e Dave Barry.

For a television drama, Caught on a Train displays a particularly filmic sensibility. The influence of Hitchcock (notably The Lady Vanishes, 1938) is evident throughout, from the gradual accumulation of mysterious and often insignificant details, to the claustrophobic atmosphere on the train. Poliakoff plays on the anxieties and sense of insecurity that rail travellers experience as they find themselves adrift, somewhere between home and their destination. However, the drama balances this foreboding by acknowledging the romance associated with train travel - the relative freedom, the opportunities for chance encounters and the sense of liberation from external communication such as telephone and letters (at least in 1980). The jazzy score by Mike Westbrook perfectly complements the atmospheric images of urban European landscapes, reflecting the inner feelings of the main characters, while the use of contemporary music from the likes of Blondie clearly locates the piece in its time.