Geoffrey Jones: The Rhythm of Film DVD
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Directed by Geoffrey Jones
Produced in 1958-80
Main Language - ENGLISH
Countries & Regions - British Film
One of the most striking qualities of Geoffrey Jones's films is just how exhilarating they are - a strange word to use for British Transport Films and industrial shorts, but there you have it. The sharpness of the editing and the interaction of images and music, penetrating to the essence of what is shown, recall the excitement of Man with a Movie Camera. It's no surprise to find that Vertov is an influence.
The three standout films on the collection are Snow, Rail and Locomotion. Railways are a subject made for music - the power and movement of trains, the changing landscapes, the variety of people working and travelling, the passing views and encounters, and Jones exploits this capacity to the full. Snow shows the work of clearing tracks set to a phased reworking of Sandy Nelson’s ‘Teen Beat’; Rail, in which the music is perfectly at one with the camera movements - gliding when it glides, proclaiming when it glorifies, is a celebration of the railways past and present, while Locomotion gives the history of the railway against an accelerating rhythm. It's almost impossible to look away from the screen, such is its compelling nature - all the more surprising as most of the film's story is told through zooms and pans on prints and photographs.
Also available and recommended is the collection On and Off the Rails, a fascinating collection of railway films from the British Transport Film Unit, formed in 1949 to promote the virtues of the newly nationalised transport organisations. Including such favourites such as Snowdrift at Bleath Gill (1955) and Elizabethan Express (1954), the 14 films are of wide interest and provide an invaluable record of mid-20th century life in rural and urban Britain.
Graeme Hobbs on 7th June 2005
Author of 276 reviews
Since the 1950s, Geoffrey Jones has been making films that look, sound and feel like nothing else. With his extraordinary marriage of images, music and rhythm, he ranks alongside Len Lye and Norman McLaren as one of the true film artists. The collection includes a mixture of British Transport Films, industrial shorts and personal works. Features: Snow, Rail, Locomotion, Trinidad and Tobago, Shell Spirit, This Is Shell, Seasons Project, Chair-a-Plane Kwela and Chair-a-Plane Flamenco.
Length: 117 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Cat No: BFIVD548
Format: DVD B&W
- Filmed interview with Geoffrey Jones who describes his career and working methods (31 mins)
- Illustrated booklet with background information.
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