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The Humphrey Jennings Film Reader
Edited by Kevin Jackson
ISBN: 978 1 857547 48 1
Imprint: Carcanet Film
Published: August 2004
216 x 135 x 25 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Hardback
Humphrey Jennings (1907-50) has long been recognised as one of Britain's greatest film directors. His studies of national life, and particularly his three war time films Listen to Britain, Fires Were Started, and A Diary for Timothy, invaluable documents of their times, remain among the highest achievements of world cinema. Jennings's films are rich due to the drama of subject matter and the range of passions and skills he brought to his work. He was a gifted painter, a key member of the Surrealist movement; a poet and a literary critic; a founder of the Mass Observation movement, and a historian who assembled an anthology of writings about the Machine Age, Pandaemonium.
The Humphrey Jennings Film Reader tells the story of his brief, varied life in his own words, using many previously unpublished letters, treatments and screen-plays. It reprints all of his unpublished critical writings on literature, painting and other subjects (most of them unavailable in book form since the 1930s), the texts of his radio broadcasts for the BBC, and a selection of his poems.
Praise for Kevin Jackson 'This is the rare kind of book that you get fed up of quoting (there is so much) and simply end up buying for people. Carcanet should certainly be congratulated for publishing such a treasure trove and Jackson ordered by higher powers to keep producing books like it.'
Mark Thwaite, ReadySteadyBook.com 'A cabinet of curiosities in which every neatly lettered drawer reveals, reflected in a tiny mirror, the talking head of the prodigiously informed Kevin Jackson (or his smirking doppleganger, Dr Hannibal Lecter). Skeletal, perfectly formed lecturettes forge a secret biography of the author's obsessions: Blake, Dante, Freud. A mad Arcimboldo project with the answer to everything. Here is the antidote to all previous stocking-filling miscellanies. Buy one for all your friends and enemies. And welcome to the labyrinth.'
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