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This Is England

UK, 1941 (MIFF 1995, Buried Treasures - Humphrey Jennings)

Director: Humphrey Jennings

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 of Handel's Halleluja. A Chorus against images of war factories and bombers taking off, heralded the changing mood of his films.

See also...

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 »

Diary for Timothy

... ... A fitting conclusion to Jennings' war record, this film of old death and new life-a war ending and rebirth-takes the form of a story addressed to a new-born child, recounting the sacrifices ... More »

Listen to Britain

... ... One of the most brilliant syntheses of Jen­nings' and collaborator Stewart McAllister's talents. Eschewing commentary and dialogue (with the exception of a brief introduction added after ... More »

London Can Take It

... ... 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 ... 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 »

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