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The GPO Film Unit Collection Vol. 2 (BFI) in February

BFI have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of We Live in Two Worlds: The GPO Film Unit Collection Volume Two on 23rd February 2009 priced at £24.99 RRP. The second of three deluxe double-disc box sets presenting all the key films of the GPO Film Unit includes Night Mail and the experimental animations of Len Lye and Norman McLaren.

Created in 1933 out of the ashes of the Empire Marketing Board Film Unit, the GPO Film Unit was one of the most remarkable creative institutions that Britain has produced. A hotbed of creative energy and talent, it provided a spring board to many of the best-known and critically acclaimed figures in the British Documentary Movement, including John Grierson, Alberto Cavalcanti, Basil Wright and Harry Watt, alongside innovators and experimentalists such as Len Lye and Norman McLaren. Their work embraced public information films, drama-documentary, social reportage, animation, advertising and many points in between.

The BFI National Archive, in partnership with The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA), Royal Mail and BT Heritage has curated and preserved the legendary output of short films produced by the GPO Film Unit.

This second volume covers 1936-1938 and represents the Unit at its creative height. It includes much-loved classics such as Night Mail, the experimental animations of Len Lye and Norman McLaren, and Harry Watts’ first forays into drama-documentary with The Saving of Bill Blewitt and North Sea as well as other neglected works, many of which will be available for the first time since their original release.

The discs are presented in a deluxe box with a 98-page bound book containing introductory essays, film notes and selected biographies.

Volume One, Addressing the Nation was released last September. Volume Three, If War Should Come, is released on 13 July 2009.

The films include optional subtitles for the hearing impaired. More details on the GPO films can be found here.

A full listing of the films included on Volume 2 follows...

Disc One
Rainbow Dance (Len Lye, 1936)
The Saving of Bill Blewitt (Harry Watt, 1936)
Calendar of the Year (Evelyn Spice, 1936)
The Fairy of the Phone (William Coldstream, 1936)
Night Mail (Harry Watt and Basil Wright – uncredited – 1936)
Roadways (William Coldstream, Stuart Legg, 1937)
Trade Tattoo (Len Lye, 1937)
Big Money (Harry Watt, 1937)
We Live in Two Worlds (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1937)
N or NW (Len Lye, 1937)

Disc Two
A Job in a Million (Evelyn Spice, 1937)
Book Bargain (Norman McLaren, 1937)
What's On Today (R.Q. McNaughton, 1938)
Love on the Wing (Norman McLaren, 1938)
The Horsey Mail (Pat Jackson, 1938)
The H.P.O. (Lotte Reiniger, 1938)
News for the Navy (Norman McLaren, 1938)
Mony a Pickle (Director of Sequence – uncredited – Norman McLaren, Alberto Cavalcanti, Richard Massingham, 1938)
North Sea (Harry Watt, 1938)
Penny Journey – The Story of a Post Card from Manchester to Graffham (Humphrey Jennings, 1938)
The Tocher (A film ballet by Lotte Reiniger, 1938)
God’s Chillun (Words by W.H. Auden, music by Benjamin Britten, 1938)

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