Film ID:
YFA 5684

RESTLESS SUNDAY

1966

Visitor Tabs

Description

This is a film by Bill Davison of a young man wandering around the derelict areas of inner-city Leeds, passing billboards with Christian messages, before eventually returning to his flat.   As he does so he reflects, through an inner monologue, on the boredom of Sundays and his disillusionment with religion.  The film won the IAC best film of 1967.

Opening titles:
Presents  ‘Restless Sunday’
G Wain as the boy
Directed by W Davison

The film begins filming from a train which passes through Leeds city centre, capturing the industrial and city landscape.  A young man looks up at a train as it passes over a road bridge.  He sets off on a stroll going past Allenby and Stokell Electrical Contractors, and through a derelict factory area.  He walks past some graffiti on a wall which reads, “mad dog.”  The boy continues along an alleyway which is covered with debris and litter everywhere.  A couple of boys ride past on their bikes.  He ruminates about how dead it is on a Sunday with, “only a few café bars open,” but carries on, thinking he’ll, “see if owt is doing.”  He carries on walking past scrapped cars and then wandering over the Leeds Town Hall steps in his winkle pickers. He meditates to himself that he has never gone to church and doesn’t see the point, accompanied by a lazy (slowed down) jazz score.  He passes a billboard on the wall of Mill Hill Chapel saying, “To aim at revenge is to keep your own wound open.”  He carries on passing more derelict buildings and another poster on a wall declaring, “Behold how I love thee.”

As the young man walks past derelict houses, he meditates on the precept to “love thy neighbour”, and on confession, and on what he takes to be the hypocrisy of those who preach or practice these.  Boys are out playing in the streets on min jiggers.  There is a view over the rooftops of the city.  On one of the roofs is an advertising sign for “Norman Walker fort Radio and TV.”  He ponders in a critical way the dietary rituals of religions and what he calls “teams.”  He looks at the mannequins in some shop windows.  He sits in a coffee shop and thinks to himself that the precept to “turn the other cheek” will only “get your teeth kicked in.”  He continues on his wanderings, passing another poster declaring, “The fool always knows – the wise man often doesn’t.”  He passes a derelict Brunswick Hotel, continuing his inner thoughts, mocking the Bible, “What’s the point, when the bomb drops you’ve got four minutes to get out of the way.  The Bible won’t stop that!”  As he does so he passes another sign, “A man who would follow truth must not count his company.”  He passes the statue of the Black Prince in Leeds City Square.  In a melancholy mood he thinks to himself, “I’ll get married, have a couple of kids, and die.” as he walks back to Quarry Hill Flats where he lives.  He looks down from a balcony onto a group of boys playing football as we hear Ewan McCall singing ‘Dirty Old Town’, and a steam locomotive passes in the background.