Philip Trevelyan Retrospective

Harvard University Carpenter Center for the Arts and the Lincoln Center, New York.
April 2016 

This long overdue retrospective rightly pays tribute to the quietly powerful art of Trevelyan, whose unobtrusive, intimate style is played out in a tapestry of striking images moving unhurriedly to a melody of slow ticking clocks and sentient silences.  In this hypnotic world time takes a shift and values change in the blink of an eye.

Boys in woods

Scene from The Moon & the Sledgehammer

Seeing Trevelyan’s body of work clarifies not only his outstanding creative style, showing another more poetic way of film making, but also his intent.  Constant admiration and respect for his subjects and their skills is omnipresent.  In the generations from grandfather to grandchild the world has become almost unrecognizable save for the few remaining pockets of argicultural and artisanal work Trevelyan has uncovered in our modern metropolis. He focuses on the neglected yet important things in life that he feels we should be paying more attention to. This is a unique opportunity to view Trevelyan's craft as a director of note and style, and gently reminds us to question the price we pay for today's ever more homogeniesing world.

Harvard University Film Archives

Harvard University Film Archives

The Films

The Philip Trevelyan Retrospective will span a career starting at the Royal College of Art in 1961 where he made his award-winning LAMBING, showing the isolation and dedication of an old Yorkshire sheep farmer as he tends his ewes during the lambing season. Trevelyan unobtrusively observes an intimate portrait of the man and his craft with respect and admiration, setting a pace that slowly immerses you into his world.

Trevelyan Rare Double Bill

LAMBING        Director Philip Trevelyan             UK   1964   25mins
Shepherd Mr Dick Freeman by his fireside as he works through the night in the cold and dark of his hilltop farm during the lambing season.  Click here for more images

Dick by FireLAMBING will screen  with The Moon & Sledgehammer in this rare Trevelyan Double Bill.  It's a unique opportunity to see Trevelyan's award-winning student film on the big screen and chart his development as a film maker of unmistakable style.  Even here his early film uses poetry as the main narrative. He is already experimenting with and finessing his powerful control of time and space and ability to make his subject so at ease  as to be  seemingly unaware of the camera.  This throws up wonderful  intimate glimpses and an air of peaceful contentment as we are slowly drawn into the shepherd's world…   Trevelyan seeks out people whose purpose in life he admires.  He believes they have a great deal to teach us today and feels it is important that we listen and re-evaluate what we are slowly losing….  

Duke of York's picturehouse, Brighton.  Sat 13th Aug 3.30pm      Click here for tickets




Other titles will include the highly praised
The Ship Hotel – Tyne Main (1967),
a quirky and intense study of a Sunday
lunchtime session in a Tyneside pub.  
Click here for more images.





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Ship Hotel by day












After making the popular and much loved 
The Moon and the Sledgehammer (1969-71), 
he went on to make the award-winning

Big Ware,for the BBC’s prestigious arts programme Omnibus in 1971 who screened the film twice.  It shows George Curtis at work; the last traditional country potter still working.  This is a subject well understood by Trevelyan whose mother was the well-known craft potter Ursula Mommens.

Green potsMr. George Curtis, potter, at work.


Again, using the same crew as Ship Hotel and The Moon & the Sledgehammer, Shooting Tyne Maine
we see evidence of a tight-knit team communicating almost telepathically,
so familiar were they with each other’s working style.

The Retrospective will close with a study of the poet Basil Bunting featuring
the timeless poem Briggflatte and K491, an experimental piece without dialogue, exploring interpretations of Mozart’s piano concerto in C minor before a performance.  


A full programme of events and date will be published soon.


Read Philip Trevelyan's comments on his films here

Read about the Trevelyan Retrospective at Harvard University here


To fully celebrate the event a new print of THE MOON AND THE SLEDGEHAMMER will be struck.   We've seen some Before and After test results and it's thrilling to see the film come alive again.  The sunshine is back in the woods! 

Details of how to become involved coming soon including early bird offers on the new DVD and a chance to be at the UK premiere of the new print. Click here to learn more. 

Sheep Fold



Mr Dick Freeman


Dick by Fire


View from Hotel Entrance                                     View from Hotel Entrance

Tom Pickard and TaxiTom Pickard and Taxi

Under the Tyne Bridge                                       Under the Tyne Bridge

Tina McCormick by the riverTina McCormick by the river

Tina (and daughter) Vera McCormickTina (and daughter) Vera McCormick

Taxi leaving foggy HotelTaxi leaving foggy Hotel

Shooting Tyne MaineShooting Tyne MaineShip Hotel from across riverShip Hotel from across river



Ship Hotel by dayShip Hotel by day

Ship Hotel at nightShip Hotel at night

Richard Stanley. camera on Tyne MaineRichard Stanley, camera, on Tyne Maine

Nick Nixon by Ship HotelNick Nixon by Ship Hotel

Michael Sloane outside HotelMichael Sloane outside Hotel

Jose ConnorJose Connor


End SceneEnd scene


Dicky RenwickDicky Renwick


Dicky Renwick smilingDicky Renwick smiling

Bobby Fairless (Singerand Coal miner)Bobby Fairless (singer and coal miner)


Billy & Michael in HotelBilly and Michael in Hotel


Shooting Tyne MaineShooting Tyne Maine