In 1791, before the outbreak of the French Revolution, a politically minded Wordsworth travelled to France to be amongst the stirrings of revolt. He resided in Orleans when he met Annette Vallon. The idealism of their political views united the pair and they quickly fell in love. The imminent outbreak of war and a lack of funds forced Wordsworth to leave France a year later, leaving Vallon behind and pregnant with his child. The political situation in France made it impossible for Wordsworth to return to her. This tragic story inspired the programme for our LOVE & WAR day, where riveting documentaries and feature films portray the unbelievable sacrifices of love in the midst of war.



Wordsworth’s poetry often celebrates the state of childhood and the distinction between the adult world and youthful innocence. As children grow and become exposed to the trauma of reality, the tension between letting go of your innocence and establishing your independence as a young adult comes with extraordinary scope for danger, emotion, achievement and failure. The fear of this transition in a young life is something Wordsworth both lamented and rejoiced in his poetry, and something that we wished to reflect in our programme on our YOUTH & FEAR day. Whether it is the literal terror of the supernatural or the equally terrifying uncertainty of the future, all our films grapple with the vulnerability of youth.



The splendour of nature and the passing of time were certainly running themes in Wordsworth’s poetry. Whether he was mourning the inevitable decay that comes with the changing of the seasons or rejoicing in the beneficial influence of the landscape upon the mind, Wordsworth found ample poetic inspiration reflecting on the past in relation to his present surroundings. The creative inspiration that both memory and history can bring to filmmaking, be it a collective memory or of a more personal kind, are elements that are embraced in the screenings of our TIME & LANDSCAPE day. Of course, Wordsworth is also known as one of the first environmentalists of his day. With the passing of time and industrial and technological advancements, the landscape of the England that Wordsworth once knew has changed dramatically. The films selected for our TIME & LANDSCAPE day open up debate for both the positive and negative impacts of man-made changes to our natural environment over time.