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‘Close’ Friends

Still from Close Friends

Date produced: 1965

Filmmaker(s):

Philippa Miller

Description:

'Silent film shot by Miss Philippa Miller recording scenes of people and activities around the 1930s-style bay-fronted terraced houses and gardens in a small residential close at different seasons of the year. Miss Miller lived in Norwich so the film has provisionally been linked to Norwich, but identification of the location would be welcome. The film captures the relaxed and friendly relationship between the women, men and children filmed and Miss Miller behind the camera. From the film stock marks it appears that the film was shot between 1965 and 1967.

All but two of the scenes are filmed outdoors. Indoors we see four women sitting together looking at two boxed costume dolls and stroking a black poodle, and a brief scene of an elderly lady. The exterior scenes were filmed during winter, spring and summer and capture people's activities and domestic chores around their homes and gardens, their comings and goings, and various pet dogs. Scenes include: women clearing a path through snow; a row of ten sparrows on a ledge above a snowy roof; a man washing a car with cloth and bucket of water as laundry billows on a washing line; a woman dressed to go out in hat and coat carrying bags; children playing with a dog, a football, a toy pram and a toy tractor; a bride in white outfit with bouquet standing with a man, perhaps her father, and a woman chauffeur in peaked cap helping people into a car as they leave for a wedding; crocuses; another man washing a car; a boy on a tricycle; a knife grinder at work, operating his machine by treadle within a handcart with large wheels; a man mowing the lawn a man painting the front gate of a spring garden; a young man and woman; a man up a ladder cleaning windows; women with two children in matching coats; a house under construction with the timber frame of the upper storey and roof open; a woman hanging out sheets on a washing line; a woman shaded beneath a floral parasol standing in front of flowering rose bushes; a woman setting off on a bicycle; a woman holding a baby; children sitting on a lawn and playing with modelling clay; a young man; a woman at a window; a chaffinch; rose bushes; another lady dressed in hat and coat with bag going out; a woman playing ball with the black poodle; a man using an axe to chop at the roots in a hole around a tree stump' (EAFA).


[Spruyt Family Film]

Date produced: 1930

Filmmaker(s):

J. F. Spruyt

J. F. Spruyt

Description:

"The Spruyt's film of their children was made with a particular purpose in mind. In Holland the venerable Dutch grandparents of the children were to celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary and particularly wanted their three sunny haired grandchildren with them for the occasion. Since such a journey could not be made at that time, the film was planned. After an easy introduction into the life of the children, we see them in secret conclave planning a special "surprise" for their grandparents across the sea. As the plot thickens, a secret paper is involved and, after a glorious birthday party of the youngest, there comes the denouement. The children have prepared a scroll, bearing the family's greetings to the distant relatives. With the scroll was sent the film giving the story of its preparation. This ingenious continuity was carried out with excellently chosen and varied camera angles and consistently good photography. Most notable are the many child portrait shots." Movie Makers, Dec. 1930, 759.


1928 Greater Brighton Celebrations Duke and Duchess of York at the Royal Pavilion and Carnival Procession of Decorated Vehicles

Date produced: 1928

Filmmaker(s):

Harold Preston

Sidney Preston

Description:

"Members of the Preston family enjoying the carnival celebrations at Greater Brighton, in 1928. Various activities are seen taking place on the beach, seafront, streets and promenade. Includes shots of a jazz band performing outside; people driving miniature cars around a small race track and a woman playing on a one-armed bandit machine. Also includes footage of the Duke and Duchess of York's visit to the Royal Pavilion." (NWFA Online)


45, The

Date produced: 1961

Filmmaker(s):

Margaret Conneely

Description:

"Plays out at an amateur level Jean-Luc Godard’s dictum that all a film needs for a plot is a woman and a gun. This is how Margaret Conneely says The ’45 came about: with a prop and an actor. From these elements she crafts a mischievous and entertaining film about a woman willing to employ any means to send away the man who comes looking for her husband with a gun." Chicago Film Archives


Adirondack Adventure

Date produced: 1935

Filmmaker(s):

Frank E. Gunnell

Description:

"One of the most difficult of amateur subjects, a record of a child's vacation, is presented most ably in Adirondack Adventure, by Frank Gunnell, ACL. The photography was a joy to behold and showed quite clearly that a great deal of care and experience was back of it. Fine outdoor lighting, which made the most of every scene, predominated. The continuity of this competent picture was developed in such a fashion as to feature Mr. Gunnell's small son naturally and unobtrusively. Incidents which make up the picture are handled clearly and yet with a light touch. Only a movie maker would appreciate the fact that the sequences were far from casual but, instead, were staged carefully. The real charm of a summer vacation has been preserved in this fine picture." Movie Makers, Dec. 1935, 534.


African Life

Date produced: 1947

Filmmaker(s):

Julian Gromer

Description:

"Details a journey from New York to Lagos and beyond the interior of Nigeria. Footage includes shots of daily traditional life in the village and concludes with a battle scene between two tribes brandishing spears and bows and arrows." Chicago Film Archives


African Prince, The

Date produced: 1947

Filmmaker(s):

Julian Gromer

Description:

"Silent film set in a small African village. The King takes his young son, the Prince, on a journey to teach him lessons on how to be a great leader by showing appreciation and care for the people they rule. The King guides the Prince to help care for the ill suffering from leprosy, learn skills like farming the land, making clothing and building shelter, and enrolls him in school to get an education and learn religion. The film shows many skills and medical processes of African villagers in detail from start to finish." Chicago Film Archives


Aiba kōshin [A March of a Favourite Horse]

Date produced: 1939

Filmmaker(s):

Mikiko Mimae

Description:

"Mimae edited together a sequence of her husband and their small son at home (the boy pretending to be riding his war-horse father), with a scene capturing a crowd of people offering silent prayers, which Mimae shot on location in Ginza. This topic and narrative structure demonstrate how her film visualized the social and political sentiments in a way to promote the war efforts, even though the film itself also appeared as a family film." - Noriko Morisue, "Filming the Everyday: History, Theory, and Aesthetics of Amateur Cinema in Interwar and Wartime Japan" (Yale University: PhD Dissertation, 2020): 203.


Albany’s Tulip Festival

Date produced: 1950

Filmmaker(s):

Helen C. Welsh

Description:

"With the help of almost unbelievable luck from the weather man, Helen C. Welsh has achieved a high level of what is essentially newsreel filming. Her subject matter is in itself appealing — displays of tulips in a public park, children wearing amazing holiday headgear, dancers performing Old World figures, all climaxed by the pageantry of the coronation of a new king and queen of the festival. But Miss Welsh handles it expertly. Her viewpoints are varied and her camera work accomplished, while a wisely sparse and well recorded narrative ties the whole presentation into an attractive package. Albany's Tulip Festival is colorful, entertaining and fulsome as a record of a city's spring holiday." Movie Makers, Dec. 1950, 464.


Amy Norman

Date produced: 1935

Filmmaker(s):

Charles Powell

Description:

"Celebrate the wedding of Amy Norman, visit Belle Vue Zoo,and meet the Powell family, with their own animals, in their garden. A view of Manchester Central Library and the Town Hall Complex precedes cricketing scenes at Bowdon, and finally, a family trip (in colour) to Nefyn in North Wales, where young and old alike enjoy the sun and sea. The Powell family lived in East Didsbury in South Manchester.Manchester Central Library was quite new when this film was shot. It was opened in 1934 by George V, and in 2014 re-opened after refurbishment for its 80th anniversary." (BFI Player)


Total Pages: 26