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Free Cinema (3 Discs) (BFI)

Released on 13 March 2006

Featuring: Michael Andrews, Eduoardo Paolozzi & Valy

Format: DVD | Rating: Exempt from Classification

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The term 'free cinema' was coined by critic and filmmaker Lindsay Anderson in early 1956 when he, Karel Reisz, Tony Richardson and Lorenza Mazzetti showed a programme of their short films at the National Film Theatre. Although the name was intended only for that screening, it proved so successful that five more programmes were shown under the same banner between 1956 and 1959.

The films were 'free' in the sense that they were made outside the framework of the film industry, and that their statements were entirely personal. Of the six screenings, three showed short British documentaries, while the other three showed new foreign films.

'Free Cinema' as it is understood today, however, specifically refers to the films made by Anderson's group, and it is these films which form the basis of this collection. These films had in common not only the conditions of their production (low budget, unpaid crew) and the equipment they employed (hand-held 16mm cameras), but a style and attitude. Mostly funded by the BFI's Experimental Film Fund, they featured ordinary, mostly working-class people at work and play, displaying a rare and sympathy and respect, and a self-consciously poetic style. They also shared an experimental approach to sound, avoiding narration and imaginatively counter pointing sound and image.

Film List:

O Dreamland
Momma Don't Allow
Wakefield Express
Nice Time
The Singing Street
Every Day Except Christmas
Refuge England
We Are The Lambeth Boys
Food For A Bush
One Potato, Two Potato
The Vanishing Street
Tomorrow's Saturday
Gala Day
March to Aldermaston
  • Interviews with Lorenza Mazzetti, Walter Lassally, Alain Tanner and Mike Grigsby
  • Audio interview from the NFT Free Cinema commemorative event in March 2001
  • Stills gallery
  • Fully illustrated booklet

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ActorsMichael Andrews, Eduoardo Paolozzi, Valy, Denis Richardson, Cecilia May, George Potts, Alun Owen, Tibor Molnar, Abdul Hamid Khan, Leonard Ryland, Bill Collins, Elizabeth Russell, Nicholas Ferguson, Felicity Innes & Brian Innes
DirectorKarel Reisz, Tony Richardson, Lorenza Mazzetti, Lindsay Anderson, Claude Goretta, Alain Tanner, N. McIsaac, J.T.R. Richie, R. Townsend, Robert Vas, Michael Grigsby & Elizabeth Russell
CertificateExempt from Classification
ScreenFullscreen 4:3
LanguagesEnglish - Dolby Digital (2.0) Stereo
SubtitlesEnglish for the hearing impaired
Duration7 hours and 55 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.