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British Transport Films (Vol 8): Points and Aspects DVD

Various (Documentary),

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Film Details

Directed by Various (Documentary)

Produced in

Main Language - English

Countries & Regions - British Film

MovieMail's Review

Points and Aspects is the eighth volume of British Transport Films released in the BFI’s acclaimed and best-selling DVD series. It contains 13 films – nearly five hours of material in total – that illustrate the wide range of subjects the BTF Unit covered during its years of production.

Staff training films such as Single Line Working and Day to Day Track Maintenance played a large part of the Unit’s core activity, and a good proportion of these films were never made available to the general public at the time. One highlight, The Signal Engineer, is a technical marvel of a film, and must certainly be the definitive document of one of the most important technical roles in the railways.

The travelogue documentary is another focus of this set, and is supported by two very different films, Scotland for Sport, in which the delights of skiing, canoeing, pony trekking, fishing and rock-climbing there are showcased, and Channel Islands. Illustrations of impressive technical achievement are demonstrated in such films as Under the Wires and Points and Aspects, and The Long Night Haul serves as a valuable reminder that BTF was the film unit for all nationalised transport – in this case the British Road services lorry – and not just the railways. Finally, films such as Mishap illustrate how British Transport responds when things go wrong, and Spick and Span shows us the never-ending work that goes into making the trains pristine for each new day of travel.

Throughout the films on this volume, the professional craftsmanship and artistry of the BTF Unit are on full display. Their imaginative and innovative approaches to presenting the seemingly limitless “points and aspects” of British Transport remain an inspiration to filmmakers and fans alike.

As with all previous volumes, the films have been digitally remastered from the best available film elements preserved at the BFI National Archive.

on 14th August 2008
Author of 2 reviews

Film Description

Following the nationalisation of transport in 1948, the British Transport Commission set up its own in-house film production unit. Launched on 1st May 1949, and led for 25 years by Edgar Anstey - a founding father of the British documentary movement - it became one of the largest industrial film units in Britain.

‘Points and Aspects’ covers a variety of topics and illustrates the wide range of subjects the BTF Unit covered during its years of production. Training Films are represented by such films as Single Line Working and Day to Day Track Maintenance, travel is highlighted by Channel Islands and Scotland for Sport, and illustrations of technical achievement well-served by such titles as The Long Night Haul, Under the Wires and the namesake of this collection, Points and Aspects.

Complete list of titles: Single Line Working, Day to Day Track Maintenance Pt 1, Day to Day Track Maintenance Pt 2, The Signal Engineers, Mishap, Spick and Span, The Long Night Haul, Care of St Christopher, Measured for Transport, Channel Islands, Under the Wires, Points and Aspects and Scotland for Sport.

DVD Details

Certificate: E

Publisher: BFI

Length: 290 mins

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Format: DVD Colour

Region: 2

Released: 25th August 2008

Cat No: BFIVD764

Subtitles: English HoH

DVD Extras

  • 2 discs
  • Booklet with film notes on all films and credits.

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