Wednesday, 2 January 2013

JANUARY 2, 2013

002 FIRES WE STARTED (1942) Directed by Humphrey Jennings.  *****

Also known as I WAS A FIREMAN. I have a feeling I've seen this before but I'm possibly confusing it with Basil Dearden's THE BELLS GO DOWN made the same year which I saw when I was about ten. But whatever, this is an authentic masterpiece of British cinema made by Humphrey Jennings whom Lindsay Anderson called "a poet".  A simple story of a fire fighting crew during the London Docks Blitz is truly amazing and I think it effected me emotionally more than any film I saw during 2012.  Acted by a cast of real fire fighters ( one of them went on to have a very long career as a character actor) the film is grimly realistic and the fire scenes very convincing (they were staged for the film). My own step-father was an ambulance driver at London Docks during the blitz so the film has added interest for me.

Fires Were Started (1942)

1 comment:

Cerpts said...

Boy, I sure wish I could get the chance to see that.

Oh wait. . . I own it so I don't have to wish :D

This and the other short films of Jennings are truly marvelous. I don't know if it's the fact that Jennings did one full length film and a group of short subjects that led me to keep flashing on the filmwork of Vigo but I kinda view Jennings as the British Vigo in some way. I think the word "poet" was rightly used.