From the Sea to the Land Beyond: A Film by Penny Woolcock DVD
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Directed by Penny Woolcock
Produced in 2012
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - British Film
An uplifting and lyrical portrait of Britain’s coastline. Penny Woolcock assembles all of the evocative archive footage with a deft lightness of touch, writes Anthony Nield.
The British coastline, home to docklands and many a seaside town - to both work and play - and the subject matter for more than a century's worth of materials held by the British Film Institute's National Archive. From the Sea to the Land Beyond has the unenviable task of condensing all of that wonderful footage into a single feature and yet does so with such a lightness of touch it seems to be the easiest job in the world.
Eschewing any form of commentary or narration in favour of the lilting, melodic accompaniment of Brighton-based rock band British Sea Power, director Penny Woolcock stitches together astonishing image after astonishing image, taking us through two World Wars, the end of Empire and a decline in industry, but also to Blackpool, to beauty pageants and to beachside parades. The cumulative effect is a rich tapestry, both of our national history and our national cinema. Indeed, as an advertisement for its archive and all of those riches contained within, the BFI surely couldn't have hoped for more.
Anthony Nield on 20th December 2012
Author of 13 reviews
An uplifting and inspirational film by award-winning director Penny Woolcock (Tina Goes Shopping, The Principles of Lust), From the Sea to the Land Beyond is a lyrical portrait of Britain’s coastline, created through an exquisitely beautiful combination of evocative archive footage – drawn from the BFI National Archive – and stirring music. Brighton-based band British Sea Power set the course for this cinematic voyage with an original score that ebbs and flows with the natural sounds of seagulls, ships and just the occasional snippet of speech.
Travelling from 1901 through both World Wars, into peacetime and the modern age, From the Sea to the Land Beyond shows our coast as a place of leisure, industry and wild nature, from remote Scottish isles to busy family seaside holiday towns, from seaports to rugged cliffs, from hard working fishing villages to brightly coloured illuminations, fairs, piers and pavilions. It celebrates Great Britain’s identity as an island and the nostalgic place the coast has in many of our hearts.
Length: 73 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 21st January 2013
Cat No: BFIVD967
- Making the Sea and the Land Beyond (2013, 25 mins): documentary with interviews with British Sea Power, Penny Woolcock and producers Mark Atkin and Heather Croall
- S.S Saxonia in Liverpool (James Kenyon, Sagar Mitchell, 1901)
- Cunard Mail Steamer Lucania Leaving for America (James Kenyon, Sagar Mitchell,1901)
- Beside the Seaside (Marion Grierson, 1935, 23 mins): Londoners flock to the South Coast to enjoy themselves by the seaside during a heatwave
- Worker’s Weekend (Ralph Eaton, 1943, 13 mins): the workers of the Vickers Armstrong factory in Broughton assemble a Wellington Bomber in the record time of 24½ hours
- Caller Herrin' (Alan Harper, 1947, 20 mins): the story of the herring fisheries in the North Sea
- Introductions to all the short films by Penny Woolcock
- British Sea Power in rehearsal (Ian Potts, 2012, 6 mins): footage of the band working on the film score
- Film and location identification track
- Illustrated booklet with an introductory essay by Penny Woolcock, film notes and credits.