6.5/10
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1 user 3 critic

Farewell Topsails (1937)

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Genres:

Documentary | Short

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December 1937 (UK)  »

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(Dufaycolor)

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1.37 : 1
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The Confusion of a Senile Industry
21 February 2014 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Before Humphrey Jennings turned out some of the best propaganda shorts for the British Post Office during the Second World War, he turned out some industrial shorts like this one. Filled with faded, elegant color and the squeezebox musics of sea chanteys, it veers between the few remaining topsail schooners in commercial operation in western Britain and the industries they serve: clay mines for adding the slick to slick paper and gypsum.

Humphrey veers between the ships and their current jobs and their old routes carrying goods form the exotic South Seas, like an old man at the pub at the end of his long day's work, talking about his old job and his current one, like the unnamed accordion player who used to be a sailor. There's a lot of sentiment and pride in this short, just as would go into works like London CAN TAKE IT.


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