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Dim Little Island

UK, 1949 (MIFF 1995, Buried Treasures - Humphrey Jennings)

Director: Humphrey Jennings

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 identity were falling on ears tuned to the different strains of a fading British Empire. The second to last film he was ever to make, The Dim Little island, is a celebration of English 'foibles', art, ingenuity, and of course, music.

Jennings believed that it took a national cata­clysm to awaken British genius, and indeed it was the war that quickened his and that of many of his contemporaries. Peacetime left them seek­ing a comparable challenge.

See also...

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 »

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 »

English Harvest

... ... Shining with the soft hues of early colour and with Jennings evident love of the English landscape, each shot's composition reflects the classical balance and harmony of the romantic ... 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 »

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 »

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 »

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