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Mitchell & Kenyon

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  • Mitchell & Kenyon

    Has anyone seen the astonishing programme presented by Dan Cruikshank in the UK tonight? (14/01/05). A near-continuous showing of excerpts from the 'lost' early-1900's films of Blackburn-based Mitchell & Kenyon. These are 800 rolls of nitrite stock, forgotten and stored in the basement of a long-since changed-business cinematographer's shop in the Northern town, which were accidently rediscovered in 1994. They are incredibly well-preserved, were reprinted, and consist largely of film of working people leaving mills, factories, shipyards, as well as much footage shot from and of trams, and funfairs, the return of Boer war servicemen, etc, all shot in Northern towns like Colne, Blackburn, Manchester, etc. I'm probably not making it sound very exciting, but the film is shown at 'natural' speeds and is amazingly clear. Dreadnoughts, torpedo-boats, people walking about with rickety legs, flat caps and child factory workers. Extraordinary. An incredible bit of time-travel. And for the Cornelius afficionados, there was even a Pierrot helping to set up the scaffolding for his own stage show in Bury. Quite incredible. See it if you get a chance.

  • #2
    I taped it. Excellent stuff. I didn't think that such high quality, panchromatic b&w film stock was produced until the mid-1920's.

    There's another programme next week: BBC2 9:00pm Friday 21st January 05

    It's about Victorian and Edwardian entertainments. There's even going to be a "World premiere" of the first film ever taken of Manchester United playing football.

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    • #3
      It was fascinating, wasn't it? One of the most interesting history programmes that I've seen in a long time.

      Comment


      • #4
        I heard about it on the radio but couldn't tune in to it, sadly, neither did I have the presence of mind to ask someone to tape it for me. If anyone did tape it, I'd be willing to pay all expenses involved to get a copy!

        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
        The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
        Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
        The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
        Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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        • #5
          Damn! Damn! Damn! I knew there was something worth watching on the telly tonight. I shall keep an eye open for a repeat on BBC 3 or 4. I read about it in the paper, I could kick myself for forgetting.
          You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

          -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

          Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

          :-: Onsite Offerings :-:


          "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
            I heard about it on the radio but couldn't tune in to it, sadly, neither did I have the presence of mind to ask someone to tape it for me. If anyone did tape it, I'd be willing to pay all expenses involved to get a copy!
            I'd be only too happy to send you a copy, Mr M. How does one go about it?

            (I already owe you a tape, from way back.) :)

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            • #7
              I have to say I only caught a glimpse of the films, but I was amazed by the clarity and smoothness of the film images. It was amusing to see a man in a suit tweak his handle-bar moustache while striding towards the camera and shoving urchin children out of his path. "I have a moustache! Out of my way!!!"
              "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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              • #8
                I know the guy you mean*! There were also the young boys standing very deliberately in camera-shot with thumbs firmly planted in waistcoat pockets and arms akimbo. Who said that the concept of celebrity was recent?! Reminds me of the description of the photograph in 'Three Men in a Boat': Interesting early manifestation of extreme media self-awareness. Did you also see the very poised girl walking slowly through a crowd of shipyard workers; she was eerie, totally demure and cool, but looking intensely into the camera lens as she seemed to carve a path through the grinning masses! Probably Cathy C. on a trip...

                *He works in the chipshop down the road**

                **Not really.

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                • #9
                  Mention of Jerome K. Jerome and Three Men in a Boat reminds me of my enthusiast for Jerome, who wrote a number of books which made very accurate observations about ordinary domestic life -- including Three Men on the Bummell, They and I, Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow and many others. Anyone who wants to see just how much like the present life was 100 or more years ago needs to read Jerome and some of his contemporaries! I don't know how much of him is in print at the moment, but you can usually find a few in second hand shops, at least in the UK.

                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                  The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                  Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                  The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                  Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Jerome's books always seem to be available around here, probably because of the Thames/ Isis associations: I've got a client with a dog called 'Montomorency' (Mind you, I've got a client with two cats called 'Hitler' and 'Stalin', so that imports nought...*). I read 'Three Men in a Boat' originally as a serialisation in a 1960's 'young person's' magazine - I bought it as a bound collection at a jumble sale, can't remember the title of the mag. It also had a series about the Children's Crusade and Steven of Cloyes in 1212 - always haunted me a bit, that story...they all drowned or expired in some other dismal fashion. Reminds one of child soldiers in Africa or Palestinian suicide-bomber teenagers. Plus ca change. I like Jerome, although I seem to remember he was one of the hounds baying for Wilde's homosexual blood at the time of his trial? Probably shouldn't judge him too harshly, some of our apparently 'decent' opinions and mores may transpire to be just as bigoted in a century or so, I suppose. Talking of Wilde, has anyone remarked on the style of James Cawthorn seeming like a modernised Aubrey Beardsley? Very efficient use of minimalist line and quite severe contrast to convey mood (can I have my Pseud's Corner membership now, please? :D ).

                    * I've got an unusual practice for animal names. We had two kittens called 'Tosspot' and 'Shitbag' recently, and there's also: 'Shrapnel' (English Bull Terrier); 'Lady Teabag of Esher' (Persian); 'Smelly' (moggy) and 'Blip' (v small cat). It's something in the water.

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                    • #11
                      Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel were available in Penguin editions
                      the last time I looked. I bought my copies in Penguin editions in the very early '80s,
                      but I seem to recall having seen the books in a U.S. bookstore pretty recently.

                      I passed the books to my wife and she likes them a lot, too.

                      LSN

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Perdix
                        Talking of Wilde, has anyone remarked on the style of James Cawthorn seeming like a modernised Aubrey Beardsley? Very efficient use of minimalist line and quite severe contrast to convey mood (can I have my Pseud's Corner membership now, please? :D ).
                        I'll nod in agreement, but stop short of joining you in the dreaded corner. At the moment I'm waiting on the ever-so-slightly-misleading WHSmith online store to deliver a copy of The Best Work of Aubrey Beardsley to me. The listing claimed that it was "in stock" and available for despatch within 24 hours... now they tell me it's being "reprinted" and that I must wait indefinitely for it. Damn them! I wouldn't mind, but Beardsley is one of the artists I'm quite keen to "reprocess" through my own work. Tee hee!

                        Lovely lines... I once spent 10 hours (not all in one go) drawing a cover for my journal based on his cover for Salome. Shortly thereafter I decided that I should get out more. :)
                        "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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                        • #13
                          Those pesky WHSmiths! You can't trust them at all since they went all aloof white and blue instead of yukky homely 'Seventies brown-and-orange (unlike the lovely Pizza Express, who turned nice and crispy russet and burnt orange from a distinctive but somewhat harsher blue and white). I'm more of a Borders man meself - you can get 'North American Terrapin Enthusiast', 'Gay Meccano Today', or 'Soviet Anti-tank Artillery Collector [incorporating Russian Guided Weapon Weekly]. Cool.

                          I loved Beardsley's Illo's for the 'Just So' stories: they were quite haunting. The camel's hump thing was dead spooky and weird for a four-year-old. Ooooh! His work was perfect for Wilde's more 'wild' flights. I remember my schoolfriend Andy H. and I lounging down by the stream in the Halcyon days of the summer vac, reading out sections of 'Dorian Gray' to each other and speculating idly on the metaphysics of artistic existentialism, the nature of the human condition and the doom awaiting all those who lose themselves to the harpy of love. Conversation changed a bit when we started on Sven Hassel...

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                          • #14
                            Hang about. Beardsley illustrating Kipling ? I thought Kipling illustrated Kipling. I can imagine Kipling turning quite pale (for all his PreRaphaelite roots) at the thought of the illustrator of Salome etc. decorating his wholesome tales. Speaking of turn-ons as a four-year-old, anyone remember Anne Anderson's strange illustrations ?

                            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                            The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hang on, you're right! Now, why did I think it was Beardsley? My Lifeline Retrodrive Motor must be faulty - sending me slightly distorted and re-docketed imagery from thirty-three years ago! I guess I must have linked them both via similar surrealistic impressions at my tender age...

                              Anne Anderson - I had to look her up, but then I remembered the 'silhouette of trees' painting, and the curious 'zero-perspective' 'Plan' paintings of gardens, etc: Bit like ancient Egyptian idea of perspective in some cases. The now sadly demolished Worcester Park library had posters of some of her pictures on the walls, didn't she do some children's book illustrations?

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