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Showing posts from December, 2017

Night Mail (1936)

Night Mail is one of the best known British documentaries of the 1930s and is often considered to be one of the best documentaries and best short films ever made. In a brisk 24 minutes, the film documents the overnight journey of the travelling post office train from London to Scotland. The film follows the train from the moment the letters are loaded into mail bags at Euston Station until its arrival in Scotland. The film was made with the co-operation of the LMS (London, Midland & Scottish) Railway and there are no actors, just ordinary people doing their everyday jobs.

The Best Film and TV Versions of A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol  tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean, cantankerous old miser who is visited on Christmas Eve by three ghosts. They present him with visions of his own Christmases in the past, the present and the future. These visions show Scrooge the error of his ways and he wakes up the next morning, Christmas Day, as a reformed character, full of generosity and the joys of life. Or alternatively,  A Christmas Carol  is the story of a staid Victorian businessman who has a bad dream one night and the next day goes totally crazy.

Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope) (1977)

Star Wars , later re-issued with the longer title Star Wars - Episode IV: A New Hope , is the first film in the phenomenally successful Star Wars series. It would launch at least three film trilogies, numerous spin-off films, novels, graphic novels and TV series and a blockbuster range of toys.  Ironically, though, when it was first released in May of 1977, the omens for the film were not particularly good. Its leading actors were unknowns, the sci-fi genre was still considered to be a very niche one, and its director's last effort in this field - a dystopian sci-fi film called THX 1138 - had been a box office disaster.  Rumours from the set of Star Wars were bad, the film constantly strained at its budgetary limits and studio heads considered pulling the plug on the film altogether at one point. The crew, meanwhile, were openly derisive of this strange space story, wondering what on earth they were working on.