A depiction of life in wartime England during the Second World War. Director Humphrey Jennings visits many aspects of civilian life and of the turmoil and privation caused by the war, all without narration.
The lives of numerous people over the course of 20 years in 19th century France, weaved together by the story of an ex-convict named Jean Valjean on the run from an obsessive police inspector, who pursues him for only a minor offense.
Porter's sequential continuity editing links several shots to form a narrative of firemen responding to a house fire. They leave the station with their horse drawn pumper, arrive on the ... See full summary »
George S. Fleming,
Edwin S. Porter
James H. White
A surrealistic documentary portrait of the region of Las Hurdes, a remote region of Spain where civilisation has barely developed, showing how the local peasants try to survive without even the most basic utilities and skills.
It is becoming increasingly evident that several documentaries once considered great have lost much of their lustre with the passage of time. With the film under review, it is possible that the acclaim and accolades (proudly cited in the opening title-card) received upon release was due to its exclusive (though not artistically innovative, or even all that engaging!) look into a culture which, at the time, was foreign to Western eyes in more ways than one.
Of course, over the years, many another notable film-maker (Robert Flaherty, Louis Malle, Roberto Rossellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, etc.) has been drawn to making documentaries about the Indian 'lifestyle'. Incidentally, the use of the word "song" in the title here suggests a celebration of the topic involved (its various facets tackled, for what it is worth, in individual chapters) but, as I said, the end result not aided by narration that is barely audible through the hiss-riddled soundtrack! is mainly drab and only just tolerable at best.
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