I Remember, I Remember (clip 5)
John Grierson introduces a clip from the seminal documentary 'Night Mail'
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A personal account John Grierson of a life spent in documentary film-making, including his early life in Stirling. This film which takes the form of a masterclass was screened at the 1968 Edinburgh Film Festival to mark John Grierson's 70th year and his importance to the development of the Scottish film and TV industry. In this clip Grierson talks about his collaboration with the poet W.H Auden and Benjamin Britten in making the seminal film 'Night Mail'. Go to clip 6 of this film.
Questions & Activities
- Who was John Grierson? Why is he considered important in film history?
- How many shots do you think there are in the 'mail bag' sequence? Watch the film with the pause button and count them. How many camera set-ups are there?
Media Studies/English: As a class brainstorm and discuss what the word 'documentary' means?
Media Studies/English: The film is about a real event - do any of the film techniques used surprise you?
Media Studies/English/Modern Studies: The film creates a very romantic image of receiving letters - in groups discuss advantages and disadvantages of letters, instant messages, emails and texts as ways to communicate.
Modern Studies: Find out about mail in modern Britain. How many letters are sent each day (is this consistent throughout the year). How would a letter get from your town to London?
English: Find the poem - in groups experiment with dramatic ways of presenting it.
English: Find other poems which were written to be read aloud (you could try 'Burns', 'Tam O-Shanter', Roger McGough, John Cooper Clarke, Benjamin Zephaniah)
|Resource Rights Holder||Night Mail courtesy of Royal Mail Film Archive; John Grierson speaking - National Library of Scotland|
|Genre||Documentary, Tv Doc|
|School Subject||Media Studies, Geography, Biology|
|Subject Matter||Rivers and Coasts|
|Who||Films of Scotland (sponsor), James Sutherland (director), John Grierson (writer), Scottish Television (production company)|
|Where||Aberdeen, Edinburgh, London|
|Event||Edinburgh Film Festival|
|Attributes||Black and White, Colour, Sound|