Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Open Road

If you have been fortunate enough to read  Rob Young's rather wonderful piece in Sight and Sound Magazine, The Pattern Under The Plough (Aug 2010) you might be familiar with the 1924/1926 Claude Friese Greene travelogue film The Open Road, which was originally intended to be shown in 26 weekly installments in Cinemas around the Country. In this film Claude Friese Greene documented a road trip round Britain from Lands End to John O'Groats. Frieze Green wanted to capture and create a record of British life using the new British Frieze Greene Natural Colour process. Footage of Mount St Micheal, London, Lancahire, Blackpool, Villages, Farm/Rural life, Cardiff, Stirling, Bath (with very run down Roman Baths with fish in the main baths) Restored to full colour glory by the BFI, this is a superb and beautiful look at Britain at work and play between the wars.
As Simon Garfield from The Guardian put it "a Britain infused with optimism and sunshine, a place where the First World War has been forgotten and a second one will never happen. Much of it looks like a long bank holiday; even the work scenes are studies in contentment. It is a picture devoid of cynicism and one where poverty is never regarded as hardship"

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