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Free Cinema BBC Radio documentary

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Ted Harvey
Posts: 172
Joined: September 10th, 2007, 4:41 pm

Free Cinema BBC Radio documentary

#1 Post by Ted Harvey » October 19th, 2008, 2:26 pm

I’ve just enjoyed another wee BBC Radio4 gem – ‘Free Cinema’. It’s a documentary about a series of six short films made in 1956-59. The films were aimed of bringing new life and perspectives to British film-making that, it was asserted, was at that time pretty, dreary upper-middle class stuff (Brief Encounter and all that).

People like Tony Richardson (and Carl Rice who I don’t know about) were given limited funds by the British Film Institute and, perhaps more suprisingly, the Ford car making company. With films like Moma won’t Allow, they filmed people going about ordinary lives enjoying ordinary things. In particular they were interested in working class or lower middle class people who at that time were alternatively ignored or patronised by British ‘culture’.

There were some immaculate little observations. For example one of the makers of Tomorrow’s Saturday remarked that the pubs, clubs and dance hall were really noisy, animated places – mainly because most people worked all week in incredibly noisy factories, or in oppressively disciplined (‘no speaking during work’) offices or warehouses. Social exchange was near-impossible, so came the weekend and people wanted to talk, talk, talk.

It was argued that these lightly funded, docu-realism films shot on 16mm cameras paved the way for the New Wave with British film moving from Brief Encounter to Saturday Night and Sunday morning etc.

I wonder if something like that could be done to bring an alternative to the turgid, Americanised, materialistic so-called reality pap that marks so much of todays British TV?

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Lifelinking
Posts: 3248
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 11:56 am

Re: Free Cinema BBC Radio documentary

#2 Post by Lifelinking » October 19th, 2008, 4:22 pm

I wonder if something like that could be done to bring an alternative to the turgid, Americanised, materialistic so-called reality pap that marks so much of todays British TV?
That would be cool
"Who thinks the law has anything to do with justice? It's what we have because we can't have justice."
William McIlvanney

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