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Warwick researchers showcase independent film: Brown Willy

Brown WillyResearchers Dr Rachel Moseley, Director of the Centre for Television History, Heritage and Memory Research and Dr Gemma Goodman, Associate Fellow in nineteenth and twentieth century literature at the University of Warwick are presenting Cornwall in a new way.

To support their current research and teaching into representation of Cornwall, they will be showcasing the film Brown Willy on Saturday 17th June 12:30-15:30 in the Warwick Arts Centre.

The free screening will be followed by a Q&A with Brett Harvey the writer, director and editor as well as Simon Harvey who acted in and produced the film.

Brown Willy has been described by the New Statesman as, “Cornwall’s answer to Withnail & I”. The black and white, bittersweet comedy follows two 40-year-old former school friends who trudge out on to Bodmin Moor as part of a misguided stag do. Shot in just 10 days on location on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, Brown Willy is a micro budget comedy drama about friendship against the odds. The film features the pair’s desperate battle with the barren terrain, unforgiving environment and each other.

Dr Gemma Goodman said, “We’re bringing Brown Willy to a larger audience because we are both interested in the representation of region and we’re both writing books about Cornwall at the moment.

“We’re interested in the ways in which Cornwall is represented in a range of media. There is an emphasis on a particular aesthetic of Cornwall: sun, sea, sand. Cornwall as a place of escape. A romanticised 'Poldark' version of Cornwall is predominant at the moment.

“Our goal is to challenge this mainstream representation of Cornwall; for instance, Brown Willy is set entirely on Bodmin Moor. Immediately this is a very different Cornwall, one rarely seen on screen or in literature (except for Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn). Yet in this film the moor stretches to the horizon, there is no sense of the sea, or of an edge to the land. We think it is important to bring such versions of Cornwall to a wider audience, not just those living in Cornwall, but those who may have only ever encountered the Cornwall of seaside holidays.

“We’re also pleased to be able to support independent filmmakers such as Brett and Simon Harvey who, with their second feature film, have once again made a film against the odds.”

Dr Rachel Moseley’s forthcoming book is "Picturing Cornwall: Region, Landscape and the Moving Image" (Exeter 2018) and looks at the history of screen representations of Cornwall, and their inter-texts, since the beginning of the moving image, from early film, through newsreels and amateur filmmaking to contemporary television and Cornish film practice.

Dr Gemma Goodman's forthcoming book (2018), Writing Cornwall: Alternative Versions of Place examines the representation of Cornwall in literature published from 1880 to the present day. It identifies alternative literary ‘Cornwalls’ and seeks to understand them and their relationship to the dominant ways, most often for a tourist market, in which Cornwall is culturally produced.

"A voyage of existential contemplation and uproarious comedy"

UK Film Review


Register your attendance for this free screening and Q&A on the event website:


Alex Buxton
Media Relations Manager

University of Warwick
Tel: 02476 150423
Mob: 07876 218166