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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...

Design For Spring

... ... Famous dress designer Norman Hartnell, his 1938 studio and the working world of cut­ters and seamstresses, is the focus of this early Jennings work. it is one in which he uses a colour ... 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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