Spare Time

by Jennings, Humphrey

Film: 35mm 1939

other: see notes

Experimental documentary observing the way workers in three of Britain's major industries steel, cotton, and coal spend their spare time. "Spare Time violates all the codes (of the British Documentary Movement). The commentary is laconic six sentences, totalling one hundred words in all. A brass band, a kazoo band, and a Welsh choir, introduced on screen but continuing as sound over, provide almost the entire soundtrack, offering a perfunctory association with the images. The mise en scene is rudimentary, almost minimal... These are snapshots, but snapshots that happen to move... More than anything else, it is the uncinematic, snapshottish quality of the images that marks Spare Time as a different sort of document from the documentary model". Geoffrey Nowell Smith, 'Humphrey Jennings, Surrealist Observer' in All Our Yesterdays (ed. Charles Barr).

More +

Funder: GPO Film Unit


Members can add videos related to this work.