Humphrey Jennings (United Kingdom)

Humphrey Jennings was born in 1907 in Suffolk. After getting a First at Cambridge he drifted through a number of arty jobs. He was involved, with his friends poets Paul Eluard and André Breton in staging the first Surrealist exhibition in Britain, in which he also exhibited his own surrealist paintings and photos. He was also one of the founding members, along with Tom Harrison and Charles Madge, of the anthropological movement Mass Observation.
He joined GPO Film Unit, then under John Grierson, in 1934. The GPO Film Unit became the Crown Film Unit in 1940, a movie-making propaganda arm of the Ministry of Information. His films are inclusively patriotic in sentiment and very English in their sensibility, such as: London Can Take It! (1940), Fires Were Started (1943), A Diary for Timothy (1945), or Family Portrait (his last completed film, 1950). Probably Jennings' best remembered short film is Listen to Britain (1942). Excerpts from it are often seen in other documentaries about wartime.
Throughout his life Jennings also worked on his great anthology on the Industrial Revolution and the human imagination. "Pandaemonium" a monumental achievement, was finally published in 1985.
Jennings died in 1950 in Greece from a cliff fall while researching his next film.

Filmography

  • The Story of the Wheel
    UK, 1934
  • Post-haste
    UK, 1934
  • Locomotives
    10´, UK, 1934
  • Farewell Topsails
    9´, UK, 1937
  • The Farm
    UK, 1938
  • Speaking from America
    UK, 1938
  • Penny Journey
    UK, 1938
  • Making Fashion
    7´, UK, 1938
  • English Harvest
    9´, UK, 1938
  • Design for Spring
    15´, UK, 1938
  • The First Days
    23´, UK, 1939
  • S.S. Ionian
    UK, 1939
  • Spare Time
    15´, UK, 1939
  • Cargoes
    UK, 1939
  • Welfare of the Workers
    UK, 1940
  • Spring Offensive
    20´, UK, 1940
  • London Can Take It!
    9´, UK, 1940
  • Words for Battle
    8´, UK, 1941
  • This Is England
    UK, 1941
  • The Heart of Britain
    UK, 1941
  • Listen to Britain
    20´, UK, 1942
  • Fires Were Started
    80´, UK, 1943
  • The Silent Village
    36´, UK, 1943
  • V. 1
    UK, 1944
  • The True Story of Lilli Marlene
    29´, UK, 1944
  • Myra Hess
    9´, UK, 1945
  • A Diary for Timothy
    40´, UK, 1945
  • A Defeated People
    18´, UK, 1946
  • The Cumberland Story
    37´, UK, 1947
  • The Dim Little Island
    10´, UK, 1949
  • Family Portrait
    25´, UK, 1950
  • The Changing Face of Europe
    116´, UK, 1951

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