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Buried Treasures - Humphrey Jennings

... ... 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 process an innovation that appealed to his painter's understanding of delicate colour combinations ... Read more
... ... 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 and struggles of the British people, yet celebrating the fact that it looks as if the worst is over ... Read more
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 ... Read more
... ... 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, Constable-like view of the land he celebrated throughout his life. ... ... ... Read more
... ... 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 no claim that they are 'typical of the AFS or that this is a typical night (since one man loses his ... Read more
... ... 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 its initial rejection by the Ministry of Infor­mation) the film was a 'recording experiment and ... Read more
... ... 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 ... Read more
... ... 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 and icons of pop­ular culture from comic books to football adver­tisement, it is also ... Read more
... ... 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 village of Lidice in reprisal for the assas­sination of Heydnch, the 'Protector' of that ... Read more
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 ... Read more
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 music of those sterling Teutons, Beethoven and Handel. ... Read more
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