Free Film Series Brings the Beauty of the British Landscape to the Clark in January

For Immediate Release

December 19, 2007

Marvel at the beauty of the British landscape so well represented in works by John Constable, J. M. W. Turner, Thomas Gainsborough, and other masterpieces at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute during “A Green and Pleasant Land: Literature and Landscape in Pastoral Britain” film series. Films are free and held on Saturdays in January at 2 pm.

In Pandaemonium (2000, 125 min., rated PG-13) on January 5 Julien Temple follows his famous film on the Sex Pistols with another look at a group of radical British bards. This revisionist romp through Romanticism stars Linus Roache as Coleridge and John Hannah as Wordsworth, from their passionate youthful friendship to their estranged maturity.

Ang Lee directs the eminently sensible Emma Thompson in her own adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel in Sense and Sensibility (1995, 137 min., rated PG) on January 12. Kate Winslet plays her more impetuous sister; Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman are their suitors. From grand estate to country cottage, the film follows Austen in seeing landscape as a moral force.

For director Roman Polanski, as for Thomas Hardy’s original novel, the beauty of rural Britain is an ironic counterpoint to the common tragedies enacted there. Nastassja Kinski plays the ravished and ravishing title character, sad and lovely as the land itself in Tess (1980, 172 min., rated PG) on January 19.

Miss Potter (2006, 107 min., rated PG) concludes the series on January 26. Chris Noonan’s film about Beatrix Potter borrows some talking animated animals from his earlier Babe, but the focus is more on the real woman as played by Renee Zellweger, with her publisher-suitor Ewan McGregor, as she passes from bestselling children’s author to preserver of the Lake District.

In 2007, the Manton Foundation donated to the Clark a significant collection of British paintings, oil sketches, watercolors, and other works on paper by J.M.W. Turner, John Constable, and Thomas Gainsborough, among others. The collection also includes significant works by Thomas Rowlandson, Thomas Girtin, and Richard Parkes Bonington, and other British artists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Selections from the collection are on view on a rotating basis in the galleries.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is free November 1 through May 31. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit


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