By Pat Jackson
This memoir is an strange contribution to the historical past of movie and cinema. At its centre is the tale of the making of the British movie vintage Western methods, the 1st tale documentary in Technicolor, completely enacted by way of amateurs. It used to be nominated for the simplest movie from any resource Oscar.
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Extra resources for A Retake Please!: Night Mail to Western Approaches
B e r t: (talking to himself ): Jermyn Street. 1. He bangs the card and picks up the next. b e r t : Edgware Road. 2. 2. Except . .
Certain standards have been laid down and the supervisors must not depart from them. The oﬃcial reasoning was that if a candidate under test made in 30 minutes 39 mistakes, in an hour he’d have made 78. In an eight hour shift 646. With 100 men working on one collection, the potential mistakes would be 64 000. Half might have to connect with the Night Mail. That meant 30 000 might be delayed and 10 per cent of these might lead to complaints: 3000 complaints that Head Oﬃce would have to try and placate.
They made it. They played in it, enacted the simple story of a wrecked boat and how money was scrimped and saved to buy another. No great story, perhaps, but acted with sincerity so that one’s heart went out to a community, its characters and their problems. This was powerful communication: no sterile exercise of visual and commentary to explain what was happening. Documentary was liberated. Once again, I was Harry’s assistant and those two months at Mousehole were the ﬁnest working holiday of my life.
A Retake Please!: Night Mail to Western Approaches by Pat Jackson