Chapter

Introduction

Keith Beattie

in Humphrey Jennings

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780719078552
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701836 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719078552.003.0010
Introduction

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This chapter sheds light on the life and work of Humphrey Jennings, a filmmaker of extraordinary talent and one of the very few authentic exponents of cinematic language in the British cinema. Jennings is one of the most remarkable imaginative intelligences of his generation, who gained his sense of the visual from his painting and from his poet's understanding of the power of language. His outstanding talents as a documentary filmmaker were initially developed within the General Post Office (GPO) Film Unit, and subsequently within its successor, the wartime Crown Film Unit. In 1950, the year of his untimely death at the age of forty-three, Jennings was working for the independent film company Wessex Films. He fell to his death from a cliff on the Greek island of Poros while scouting for locations for a film to be included in a series called The Changing Face of Europe (1951).

Keywords: Humphrey Jennings; filmmaker; British cinema; GPO Film Unit; cinematic language

Chapter.  5478 words. 

Subjects: Film

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