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13 May 2019The GPO Film Unit – the Birth of Documentary Films.
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The GPO Film Unit – the Birth of Documentary Films. Howard Smith Monday 13 May 2019

This is the fascinating story of how documentary films started from the latter days of silent movies onwards. Film was still at a very experimental stage and the talk looks at the Soviet influence with The Battleship Potemikin to the formation of the GPO Film Unit with John Grierson in the 1930s.  The lecture features clips from film like Coalface, Spare Time and, of course, Night Mail, the classic film featuring the poetry of W.H. Auden and the music of Benjamin Britten.  Over its ten year life, the influence of the GPO film unit was extraordinary. When it was disbanded, many of the team joined the Crown Film Unit or went on to production companies like Ealing Studios to use their innovative skills and techniques in feature films.