'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).
"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.
"The Title is taken from the opening scene of a shoeshine box busy shining shoes with the help of a small boy. On the side of the box is the price of the shine, 10¢. An episode in a series of events in which the little box is every presented. A simple, yet touching portrayal in which the audience is so carefully drawn to live those few minutes with a wonderful little boy. The film leads but does not close in on us, our emotions may move with our interpretation. The maker, Antonio Cernuda, with a display of the artist and philosopher, has earned his second Gold Medal Award" PSA Journal, Nov. 1959, 47-48.
"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)
"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
"This film shows pictographs on Drum Island, Nett Lake and spirit houses at Kathio, Mille Lacs. Also includes footage showing Ojibwe games (stick game, moccasin game and bowl game) played at the 1949 Territorial Centennial at Itasca State Park and a pow-wow at Lake Calhoun during the 1949 Minneapolis Aquatennial." Minnesota Historical Society.
"The Abandoned House is a nostalgic treatment of a girl who returns to the home where she was raised and reflects upon her childhood there" PSA Journal, Sept. 1966, 34-35.
"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.
"Raymond Berger has based his film on the familiar story of a dog that finds his way back home from a long distance, paralleled with a little girl's grief at the dog's absence. Imprisoned accidentally in the luggage compartment of a parked car, Lassie, a magnificent Collie, is driven miles from home before his equally accidental release. As the dog turns homeward, Mr. Berger maintains the suspense of his adventures over difficult terrain with admirable skill. A little closer cutting in the final re- union scenes at home would have heightened the dramatic quality. The few long shots in this 8mm. film are outstandingly executed, and there are touching closeups of the little girl as she mourns her pet." Movie Makers, Dec. 1949, 468.
"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
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