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London Can Take It

UK, 1940 (MIFF 1995, Buried Treasures - Humphrey Jennings)

Director: Humphrey Jennings

Jennings' great wartime work really began with London Can Take It. Along with Watt he made this, the first of the home-front war films to make its mark. A one-reeler shot in haste, the film was of great propaganda value at the time and very successful in England and America. Couched in the form of a dispatch, it tells the story of one night in the first London blitz. What the camera reports (in vivid terseness lit by gun flashes) the commentary underscores with true pathos.

See also...

Dim Little Island

The post-war world seemed to have little time or space for Jennings' films. By the end of the turbulent forties, the mood of Britain was changing profoundly, and his cinematic songs of unity and ... More »

The Silent Village

... ... The grimmest in tone of all Jennings' work and essentially a fiction film, The Silent Village is both a memorial and message. ... ... ... The Nazis destruction of the Czechoslovakian mining ... More »

FIRES WERE STARTED

... ... Jennings' first dramatised feature concerns the events of one afternoon and night during the blitz of London in 1943. It concentrates on a small team of the Auxiliary Fire Service and makes ... More »

Words for Battle

Eight minutes of movie magic. We see con­temporary (1941) footage while we hear Lau­rence Olivier recite an idiosyncratic selection of English literature and the Gettysburg Address to the ... More »

Spare Time

... ... With little natural sound-the soundtrack consists largely of music from onscreen sources-and sparse commentary, the film shows how people spent their non-working hours. Overflowing with songs ... More »

This Is England

This often underrated work is the prototypical Jennings' war film yet its powerful overlay of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony on shots of Coventry Cathedral's wreckage and its climactic defiant battle cry ... More »

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