Last night I watched The Wrecking Season on BBC4, a wonderful self-portrait of the late Cornish playwright Nick Darke, shot not long before his untimely death. I just found out that you can’t watch this back on the iPlayer, but I was so taken by it, I’m going to post about it anyway.
Bound together by Darke’s gently passionate character, and his inquisitiveness about the great theatre of the ocean, the docu-film explores the tradition of beachcombing (or wrecking) and his fascination with long-haul drift. Incredibly, he had even built up a relationship by phone and email with fishermen in Newfoundland, Canada, whose flotsam regularly turned up on the shores of his local beach in North Cornwall, Porthcothan.
Broadening the scope a bit, I rather liked how the Guardian described the film yesterday in the TV section as ‘capturing the strange otherness of Britain’s most isolated county’. I think that basically means we’re a little bit weird down here, but I think we all know that’s at least slightly true…
I’m tempted to go a-wrecking now – anyone know any good spots around Penwith that I can find things other than Walkers packets (preferably a romantic message in a bottle from faraway)?
You can buy a copy of the DVD on the official website but I’m afraid I don’t know of any imminent screenings in Cornwall.
You can read an obituary of Nick Darke here.