Inside The Circle


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Similar in spirit to The Paint Driers' Annual Drip-In, the 200 members of The Test Card Circle deserve recognition in the form of a tribute to their unique hobby.

Sadly, directors Andrew Begg and Mark Williams have missed the opportunity to gently probe the peculiarity of this specialist subject and investigate the darker recesses of anal retention. Instead, they take it seriously.

Centering on The Test Card Convention in Leominster, grown men (and Lizzie Spicer) sit about in an hotel room, listening to suited spokesman, chairperson and projectionist Stuart Montgomerie waxing lyrical about the history of the TV test card in all its multifaceted forms, including the perfect pitch of that death-wakening drone that used to follow the end of programmes in the nights before 24-hour rolling pap enabled insomniacs and inebriated slugs to abuse their brains until dawn.

These men may be in the forefront of The Great British Eccentric Society's resurrection, after years of closet denial. Standing tall, in defiance of General Public's distrust of difference, The Testies talk of "a mixed cross section of humanity," "the hard core of my best friends" and "a kind of family." When a member, who might have been a retired civil servant, says, "We all get on like a house on fire," you want to see the house and you want to start the fire.

Reviewed on: 28 Feb 2004
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Documentary about those who attended The Test Card Convention.

Director: Andrew Begg, Mark Williams

Year: 2004

Runtime: 14 minutes

Country: UK


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