Chapter

Work and leisure: <i>Spare Time</i>

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/9780719078552.003.0014
Work and leisure: Spare Time

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Spare Time was Humphrey Jennings' first, and the last major, film of the General Post Office (GPO) Film Unit before it became the Crown Film Unit late in 1940. This chapter discusses different elements of one of the best films the GPO ever made, Spare Time. The general purpose of the film was to show that workers of all grades have a secondary life, over and above their working life, in which colliers may become musicians, musicians may become engineers, and engineers may become dog-fanciers. The film is in three sections; each one is devoted to an industrial city or region and associated leisure activities. The three industries are steel (Sheffield), cotton (Bolton and Manchester) and coal (Pontypridd). The combined effect of the three sections is a reflection on aspects of English character and culture through a focus on region and leisure, with the latter contrasted to scenes and spaces related to work.

Keywords: Spare Time; workers; secondary life; leisure activity; grade

Chapter.  7211 words. 

Subjects: Film

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