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Enginemen

UK, 1959 (MIFF 1960, Free Cinema)

Director: Michael Grigsby

A record of enginemen at locomotive sheds on the outskirts of Manchester, filmed during the early hours of a wintry morning. There is very little commentary, other than the men themselves speaking out on the changes being brought about in their lives by extensive diesellisation.

This strongly individual example of the "Free Cinema" movement is the effort of a group of young television technicians. The drastic conditions under which the film was shot have resulted in a frequently harsh screen image, but the film has a heavy rhythm, a stark beauty, and its own interior compulsion to liberate rather than restrict one's imagination.

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