This film is part of Free
The Open Road
Startling colour photography of 1920s Britain imbues Claude Friese-Greene’s 1920s road trip around Britain.
A modern compilation of the footage shot by Claude Friese-Greene on his trip around 1920s Britain, in the fabulous colour of his own experimental process. Claude continued the work of his father, cinema pioneer William Friese-Greene, and marketed his “new all British Friese-Greene natural colour process” through this 26-part travelogue of Britain, reaching from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
The colour was captured on black and white film by means of a disc of coloured filters which rotated in front of the camera. Once processed the images on the film were alternately tinted red or blue/green. When projected at a higher than usual speed a perception of colour was achieved. The process was deeply flawed – distracting colour fringing on fast moving objects, and contemporary developments with early versions of Technicolor and other systems soon rendered it obsolete. And yet this restored version, using modern digital technology, brings the beauty of Friese-Greene’s photography to light.
Documentary 1935 17 mins Location: Thames Head
Swans, boats and bridges are celebrated by lyrical commentary and fine images in this delightful tour of the Thames from “trivial” beginnings to torrential end.
Non-Fiction 1926 1 mins Silent Location: Kingston Upon Thames
A mermaid, a fat man in a barrel and water-bound jockeys all appear in this brilliant short showing Londoners taking part in the Molesey Regatta.
Non-Fiction 1930 1 mins Silent Location: River Thames
A ceremonial swan census takes place on the river Thames.
Documentary 1939 9 mins Silent
A nostalgic pre-war voyage down the mighty Thames, shot by Technicolor maestro Jack Cardiff.
Thames River Scenery - Panorama of the Crowded River Thames River Scenery - Panorama of the Crowded River
Non-Fiction 1899 1 mins Silent Location: Henley-on-Thames
Don your straw boater and join Victorians at play as you potter down the river at Henley-on-Thames
1935 16 mins
A rare glimpse of 1930s London in colour: the Thames has never looked lovelier.
Romance 1921 15 mins Silent Location: Loch Lomond
Silent romance set during the Jacobite rebellion illustrating the lyrics to the traditional Scottish song
Amateur film 1936 13 mins Silent Location: Dollarbeg
Continuation of an amateur film capturing a family holiday in Dollarbeg Castle, including trips to Stirling and Edinburgh.
Amateur film 1955 17 mins Silent Location: Grangemouth
Climb every mountain - or the British ones that matter anyway - in this travel compilation by an adventurous amateur filmmaker in Wales and Scotland.
Travelogue 1924 13 mins Silent Location: Edinburgh
A visually sumptuous tour of Scotland's majestic mountains and magnificent lochs.
Amateur film 1946 14 mins Silent Location: Ben Arthur
Snowy mountain climbing adventures in 1940s Scotland, from Loch Lomond and Stirlingshire, to Buchaille Etive Mor and the Cairngorms, in this beautiful amateur colour film.
Travelogue 1946 9 mins Silent Location: Balloch
Take a colourful post-war cruise around Loch Lomond on the paddle steamer, the Princess May, seeing Luss, Rowardennan and the small islands; a moving record of a vanished era.
Action and Adventure 1923 28 mins Silent Location: Tilbury
Plotting world domination, Devil Doctor Fu-Manchu steals plans for a new aero-torpedo in this earliest surviving thrill-a-minute serial instalment.
Inside Film 2024 16 mins
Filmmakers Jane Giles and Ali Catterall discuss their documentary Scala!!!, revisiting the legendary and inspirational cinema venue and some of the most notorious films that screened there.
Drama 2023 2 mins
A group of young Black boys run into a building. One of them is about to do the unimaginable.
Romance 2023 2 mins
A queercore romance - a visceral and immersive exploration of the power of the mosh pit and finding love in the most unlikely of places.
Charity appeal 1939 10 mins
Long thought lost, this Powell-directed promotional short for a veteran’s charity was only rediscovered in 2003.
Documentary 1941 6 mins
A poignant, stirring letter from a recently deceased pilot to his mother is read by John Gielgud.