Spare Time

Humphrey Jennings


Scen.: Humphrey Jennings; Commento: Laurie Lee; F.: Henry Fowle; M.: Stewart Mcallister; Su.: Yorke Scarlett, Ken Cameron; Int.: Cittadini Di Sheffield, Manchester, Bolton E Pontypridd, The Steel Peach And Tozer Phoenix Works Band, The Manchester Victorian Carnival Band, The Handel Male Voice Choir; Prod.: Alberto Cavalcanti, Per Gpo Film Unit; 35mm. D.: 15’ A 24 F/S. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

A record of how working-class people spend their leisure time in the north of England and Wales, singing in choirs, acting, visiting an amusement park, playing “Rule Britannia” in a kazoo band on a grey and miserable day. This is the first film where Jennings is clearly beginning to be Jennings. The kazoo band sequence stirred fierce criticism from some colleagues, who thought it demonstrated Jennings’ “cold disgust” at ordinary people’s amusements. But there is no disgust: merely the unflinching eye of a member of Britain’s new Mass-Observation movement (dedicated to documenting ordinary lives), and the instincts of a Surrealist who knew a bizarre sight when he saw one.

Geoff Brown

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