Momma Don’t Allow, Karel Reisz and Tony Richardson, 1956, 22min
This short documentary of a Saturday evening in a North London jazz club chronicles the emerging ‘youth culture’ of the 1950s. The film features Chris Barber’s jazz band and presents a typical evening out including drinking, dancing, class tensions and romance.
Nice Time, Claude Goretta and Alain Tanner, 1957, 17min
Crowded pavements: families, couples, groups and individuals in search for amusement and escape converge on London’s Piccadilly Circus; an arena of entertainment and consumerism. Edited from more than 6,000 feet of footage and shot over 25 weekends, we see movie-goers, street performers, gambling-arcades, flirting and prostitution under the bold neon signs of big brand advertisements.
March to Aldermaston, Lindsay Anderson, 1959, 33min
A short documentary showing The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s first Easter march. Over 4-7 April 1958, several thousand people marched the fifty-two miles from Trafalgar Square London to the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Research Establishment in Berkshire to campaign against nuclear armament.
Enginemen, Michael Grigsby, 1959, 21min
Shot with only a 16mm camera, Enginemen records the life and work of enginemen in a locomotive shed outside Manchester. At a pivotal moment of modernisation for the British Rail industry, with the introduction of the new cleaner diesel engines, the workers discuss their nostalgia for the passing of the steam age.
One Potato, Two Potato, Leslie Daiken, 1957, 23min
This was the first film made by Leslie Daiken, an educator specialising in children’s games. From improvised play to the more traditional street games of marbles, skipping and hopscotch, this short film documents children’s street games of the late 50s.
SYNOPSIS 97 was a programme of rarely screened short films, selected by local video artist and documentary maker Alan Van Wijgerden, who over the last three decades has methodically recorded the political transformation in Coventry.