A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

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MichaelB
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A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#1 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:57 am

As has just been confirmed as a by-product of its nomination for the Evening Standard Film Awards' Best Documentary category, the BFI's compilation of four documentaries by John Krish, A Day in the Life, is being prepped for a Dual Format release on 21 March.

The cinema programme comprised four films: The Elephant Will Never Forget (1953, 10 mins), They Took Us To The Sea (1961, 26 mins), Our School (1962, 28 mins) and I Think They Call Him John (1964, 28 mins), but this new package adds two more: I Want To Go To School (1959, 30 mins) and Mr Marsh Comes To School (1961, 28 mins).

A Day in the Life attracted rave reviews when it opened in cinemas in November, with the Independent and Telegraph being especially enthusiastic - and I'm personally delighted that these films are getting the high-def treatment, as they looked wonderful on the big screen. Krish was very much an advocate of the well-crafted 35mm-shot school of documentary filmmaking (he had very little time for the Free Cinema movement), and these films really do benefit enormously from the resolution upgrade.

More news when I get it - I know there'll be a booklet with individual film notes, as I'm writing one of them myself.

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What A Disgrace
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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#2 Post by What A Disgrace » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:40 am

Having seen a couple of these films in the Shadows of Progress set (I'm up to the last two films in the second disc), I'm definitely excited for this Blu-ray, and I won't hesitate to pick it up.

Though I do rather hope that Humphrey Jennings gets a similar treatment in due time.

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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#3 Post by Zazou dans le Metro » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:33 am

Most anticipated release of 2011 so far. As MichaelB can testify I've been banging on about Jennings set too for ages but his 'heir apparent' is more than an ample stop gap. Has Krish written about or been specifically interviewed about his time with Jennings do you know Michael??... and if so would this be something BFI might incorporate in some way?
If only Gaumont a la demande would get their act together to do a Franju doco set in a similar way I'd be in hog heaven
Last edited by Zazou dans le Metro on Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#4 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:34 am

Zazou dans le Metro wrote:Has Krish written about or been specifically interviewed about his time with Jennings do you know Michael??
He has indeed.

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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#5 Post by Zazou dans le Metro » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:05 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Zazou dans le Metro wrote:Has Krish written about or been specifically interviewed about his time with Jennings do you know Michael??
He has indeed.
Oh..Thanks for that. I'd seen the recorded snippets but the full write up had passed me by. Is there any particular reason why 'Let my people go' won't be included?

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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#6 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:19 pm

Zazou dans le Metro wrote:Is there any particular reason why 'Let my people go' won't be included?
I'm assuming it's because A Day in the Life is explicitly about Krish's portraits of postwar Britain, and Let My People Go is a documentary about apartheid South Africa.

(That and the fact that Krish's back catalogue is enormous!)

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Zazou dans le Metro
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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#7 Post by Zazou dans le Metro » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:37 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Zazou dans le Metro wrote:Is there any particular reason why 'Let my people go' won't be included?
I'm assuming it's because A Day in the Life is explicitly about Krish's portraits of postwar Britain, and Let My People Go is a documentary about apartheid South Africa.

(That and the fact that Krish's back catalogue is enormous!)
Yes I see the reasoning. I only asked because it was in the screening programme. Well, here's hoping already for a Volume 2

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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#8 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:03 pm

I can confirm that more Krish is in active development, but I can't say any more than that for now.

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antnield
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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#9 Post by antnield » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:16 am

Packshot:

Image

isakborg
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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#10 Post by isakborg » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:52 pm

Michael B or whomever:

Will the Blu-ray A Day in the Life be Region B restricted?

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RossyG
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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#11 Post by RossyG » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:10 pm

Four portraits? :-k

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antnield
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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#12 Post by antnield » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:15 pm

RossyG wrote:Four portraits? :-k
Yes, as per the title of the touring programme. The two additional shorts are there as extras.

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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#13 Post by RossyG » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:21 am

Phew! :D

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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#14 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:26 am

isakborg wrote:Michael B or whomever:

Will the Blu-ray A Day in the Life be Region B restricted?
I'm very happy to confirm that this will be region-free - and I have that directly from the discs' producer, so you can take it as gospel.

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antnield
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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#15 Post by antnield » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:41 pm

Winner of the Evening Standard award for Best Documentary (you'll have to scroll down quite a bit past the other awards) - a wonderful achievement for John Krish!

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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#16 Post by MichaelB » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:43 am

Yes, everyone involved with this project is absolutely thrilled for him.

Last night's win was the exact equivalent of a mid-1990s award for a Humphrey Jennings programme containing, say, Spare Time, Listen to Britain, Fires Were Started and A Diary for Timothy - but with Jennings still around to bask in the acclaim. This was John Krish's acceptance speech in full:
The BFI discovered me when I was 80. The critics discovered me when I was 87. This award is so much better than an obituary.
The rehabilitation of Krish's career and reputation after decades of neglect is one of the BFI's proudest achievements in recent years - and this more or less guarantees that there'll be more to come.

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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#17 Post by MichaelB » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:55 am

Full specs announced:
A Day in the Life
Four Portraits of Post-War Britain by John Krish
Winner of the Evening Standard Film Award for 2010 - Best Documentary


Fresh from a triumphant theatrical release in November 2010, as part of the BFI’s Boom Britain project, John Krish’s unforgettable film quartet is now released in a Dual Format Edition with extras including two previously unreleased films and a director interview.

Until last autumn, John Krish was one of British cinema’s best-kept secrets: an unsung master of post-war documentary filmmaking who repeatedly turned his works, for sponsors as diverse as the Central Office of Information and the NSPCC, into truly stirring cinema to rank alongside the world’s greatest directors. Both critical and audience reaction to A Day in the Life: Four Portraits of Post-War Britain has deservedly brought long-overdue recognition to this most modest but brilliant of filmmakers.

This celebrated programme contains four of Krish’s most cherished films: The Elephant Will Never Forget (1953), a poetic farewell to London’s trams; They Took Us to the Sea (1961), a poignant record of a seaside outing for disadvantaged children; Our School (1962), charting the beliefs of educators, and the aspirations of the decade’s young school-leavers; and I Think They Call Him John (1964), a deeply moving account of the life of an elderly widower.

In each of these films – richly textured with the details of Britain in a time of transition – Krish combines an understated humanism with clarity of purpose to create works that are timelessly affecting and entertaining.

Although some of John Krish’s work has previously been featured on BFI DVD compilations, including Shadows of Progress: Documentary Film in Post War Britain 1951-1977, Stop! Look! Listen! The COI Collection Vol 4 and The British Transport Films Collection Volume Seven: The Age of the Train (which features what may well be his best known work, the chillingly effective warning film The Finishing Line, 1976), this is the first time that his work has been collected together in a single dedicated volume.

Special features

- All films transferred from elements preserved in the BFI National Archive, and presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition (Blu-ray and DVD)
- I Want to Go to School (John Krish, 1959, 30 mins): a charming portrait of a typical day at a primary school, made for the NUT
- Mr Marsh Comes to School (John Krish, 1961, 28 mins): a distinctly unorthodox film for teenagers, featuring a supernaturally talented Youth Employment Officer
- New interview with John Krish at BFI Southbank (2010, 19 mins, DVD only)
- Illustrated booklet with film notes and essays by John Krish, Kevin Brownlow, BFI Senior Curator (Non Fiction) Patrick Russell and others

Release date: 28 March 2011
RRP: £19.99 / cat. no. BFIB1017 / Cert E
UK / 1953-1964 / black & white / English, optional hard-of-hearing subtitles on all films /
90 mins / original aspect ratio 1.33:1 / region 0
The BFI Southbank interview is a considerably extended version of this onstage Q&A from November 2010 - the reason it's restricted to the DVD is that it was only shot in SD video.

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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#18 Post by MichaelB » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:03 am

Your chance to interview John Krish.

This will be the second BFI/YouTube 'You Ask the Questions' event. The first, held late last year, invited questions to the restoration team behind The Great White Silence, who responded on video here.

The deadline is 5pm GMT Sunday 13 March 2011 - and the most interesting question will win a copy of A Day in the Life.

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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#19 Post by MichaelB » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:22 am

John Krish responds - and he's on wonderfully combative form.

There's something utterly bizarre about listening to a man who knew and worked with Humphrey Jennings discussing The Jeremy Kyle Show - I probably don't need to tell you what Krish thinks of it.

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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#20 Post by Max von Mayerling » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:01 am

That was excellent. Thanks for posting. I'm getting very excited to see this blu.

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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#21 Post by MichaelB » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:10 am

I watched the finished Blu-ray the other day, and the films look absolutely superb.

Is it just me, or does well-shot and well-preserved black-and-white 35mm transfer unusually well to HD? My wife often claims not to be able to tell the difference between colour SD and HD, but even she can tell when it's black-and-white HD material.

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Dick Laurent
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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#22 Post by Dick Laurent » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:59 am

It's not just you, b&w film stock has a sharper image then color film.
To bad real b&w is a thing of the past.

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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#23 Post by RossyG » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:47 am

MichaelB wrote:Is it just me, or does well-shot and well-preserved black-and-white 35mm transfer unusually well to HD?
No, judging by M, Saturday Night & Sunday Morning and several Flipsides, black and white 35mm seems made for the medium.

I hope the BD companies get around to Billy Liar, the Val Guest Scope thrillers (Hell Is A City, 80,000 Suspects etc), This Sporting Life and A Taste of Honey sooner rather than later.

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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#24 Post by Opdef » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:52 am

The postman surprised me by delivering this today, just finished watching it - the quality is absolutely superb. Especially as I know Birmingham and Weston well, it's great to see them in such detail from 50 years ago. The best Blu-ray I've bought this year (so far...)

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Re: A Day in the Life (John Krish, 1953-64)

#25 Post by knives » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:24 pm

Please tell me all of the movies are even half as good as The Elephants Will Never Forget. I don't think, I mean to say, I never could have expected such a strong reaction from something educational. I don't know what caused this reaction, but I haven't cried this hard from a film since the Allen King boxset and I don't know why. I totally ignored the narration because I was crying so hard, but this film is so intensely powerful. Thank you for releasing this, but I don't know if I'll be able to watch this short again.

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