Monday, 29 April 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 132: Sun May 12

Fires Were Started (Jennings, 1943): Phoenix Cinema, 2pm
This 70th anniversary screening of one of the greatest British documentaries will be introduced by film historian, author and academic Ian Christie.

Time Out review:
Jennings' one venture into feature-length drama-documentary narrowly escaped being brutally chopped down by the publicity men at the Ministry of Information. Certainly it lacks the tight narrative structure common in good commercial films, but Jennings is a strong enough film-maker to ignore formulae and conventions to build his own unique structures. Here he used real firemen and real fires - kindled among the blitzed warehouses of London's dockland - but with the aim of creating something more than documentary realism. It is the epic quality of the firemen's struggle that excites Jennings, and his celebration of the courage and dignity of ordinary people working together in the shadow of disaster makes the film extraordinarily impressive.
Robert Murphy

Here is an extract.

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