• Film ID:
  • 9452
  • Availability:
  • VHS - Adv. Booking Required
  • Film cert:
  • Running time:
  • VHS=177 min.
  • Nationality(ies):
  • Britain.
  • Primary Language(s):
  • English.
BRITAIN IN THE 30s (HISTORY OF AVANT-GARDE) (1930)
(Song of Ceylon Bread Tell Me If It Hurts Beyond This Open Road Coal Face Housing Problems The Birth)
Cast
Director(s)
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Review
Award wining documentary ‘Song of Ceylon’, is a lyrical beauty, but owes its enduring charm to its anachronistic notions of Empire and Englishness. ‘Bread’ is a slice of realism that looks at hunger in Britain. ‘Beyond This Open Road’ shows the urban populace journeying into the countryside during their weekends away from work; the imagery and utopian aesthetic are reminiscent of the work of Leni Riefenstahl. ‘Coal Face’ is an experiment in realism that focuses on the importance of coal mining to British industry, with a musical score by Benjamin Britten, verse by WH Auden. ‘Housing Problems’ is a ground-breaking short by the British Commercial Gas Company. It features people talking candidly about their poor housing conditions, is tempered by an optimistic look at how enlightened civic authorities are replacing the old slums with modern clean dwellings. Humphrey Jennings and Len Lye's magnificently surreal ‘The Birth of the Robot’ was made as an advertisement for Shell Oil. Len Lye’s ‘A Colour Box’ was produced by the GPO in order to advertise their postal service. Ley’s modernist abstraction, painted directly onto the film, is quite simply magnificent. ‘Hell Unltd’ is an anti-war film, which uses animation to saterise those that profit from war. ‘Love on the Wing’ is a mad surreal cartoon, yet another film made for the Post Office. Another Post Office production is ‘N or NW' - the simple message being ‘remember to use the correct sort code’. ‘Spare Time’ shows how different families enjoy their hours of leisure and is narrated by Laurie Lee.
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