Film: 8228

Art + Architecture | 1950 | Sound | B/W


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LS Lowry artist. (1887-1976)
The opening shots of the film show L.S.Lowry, wearing a suit, hat and raincoat, leaving Pendlebury Railway Station, Manchester. He walks a short distance down the road and crosses a zebra crossing. There are advertising hoardings just behind on a wall and several cars which pass across the zebra crossing. The camera follows Lowry after the crossing as he walks down a cobbled street with terraced houses on either side and a large cotton mill in the background.

Over this piece of film runs a narrative commentary explaining how Lowry become a painter. Cut to a full shot of a Lowry painting, possibly the same scene, with terraced houses, a mill in the background, black smoke coming from chimneys and people walking/standing around in the streets. Five still shots of Lowry's surroundings; mills, chimneys, terraced houses and empty cobbled streets. Cut to a shot, filmed slightly from above, of Lowry sketching in an empty street. He has one leg on the first of a set of stone steps and a sketchpad leaning on his knee as he draws, two children stand close by watching. Close-up shot of the same scene, the two children are facing the camera, Lowry is standing slightly closer to the camera, a profile shot of his face. Cut to a close-up shot of the street scene he is drawing, camera pans up from sketch to reveal the actual street, the back of terraced houses, a cobbled street, stone steps and two old street lamps. Over these and following images Lowry explains his paintings and some thoughts behind them. Return to a head and shoulders shot of the two children, the child on the right yawns. (The child looks like a boy, although he and the girl standing on the left are both wearing plastic necklaces). Cut to a shot of Lowry, his head and shoulders are positioned in the bottom centre of the frame, with street scene, out of focus, in the background. This scene includes street lamps, terraced houses and a tall chimney. Return to a shot of the children, both looking over to the right, the girl, who has dark hair, is smiling. Cut to a similar shot of the one previously shown of Lowry, the camera is closer to him and more of him is in the frame. Cut to a shot of a large bridge with arches, there is a steam train going over the bridge, terraced houses and a mill below, the mills smoking chimney rises above the bridge into the sky. The film cuts to a long shot view, showing a large mill in the background with four tall smoking chimneys, one in the background, three in the foreground. Cut to a shot of a canal, there are four chimneys and other buildings along the canal side. There follows a shot of some stone steps beside a building with a landscape ,as before, in background. The film then fades into a Lowry painting of the same image. Film cuts to a still shot of another painting which shows children playing in the street outside houses, one child sits on steps.

Behind a wall, at the back of this scene, are more terraced houses. A full shot of another painting follows, which looks down a street that has an industrial landscape in the background and in the central middleground the tall end of a church with a clock face near the top. Camera zooms in slowly to the top half of the church and the background, pans down to reveal the people in the street below. Throughout these images Lowry has continued to discuss his paintings and their subject matter, including his explanation of his painted figures/people. Various still and panned, full and close-up shots of Lowry's paintings follow. They show both industrial landscape and street scenes. Sound track returns to the films narrator and three filmed shots of the town Lowry lives in follows, including a shot of the front of his house. Cut to a shot of Lowry's living room, table, chairs, glass fronted wooden cabinet, a clock on the mantal piece and framed paintings/drawings on the wall are all visable. Following this are close-up shots of two of the drawings, one close-up shot of a wooden cased clock standing on the mantal piece and one close-up shot of three clocks on or against a wall, two of which are Grandfather clocks. Cut to a full shot of Lowry's studio, the backroom in his house. A paint splattered easel is in the centre of the picture, a table and various tubes of paint are on the right with paintings stacked against the wall to the left and against back wall. Close-up then panned shot of the easel and four shots of various stacked paintings. Continued explanations of his paintings by Lowry; including his match stick men. Cut to shots of five/six examples of these men from various paintings.

Two shots of two Lowry portraits, both head and shoulders, the first is of a stern looking woman, the second of a man with a long beard; only growing under his chin, and a flat hat/cap on. Cut to a close-up shot of Lowry's face, in profile, as he sits painting in his studio. Camera moves to over his shoulder, revealing his painting; a tall, thin man painted on a small,thin strip of cardboard or wood. The painting leans against Lowry's paint splattered easel, the film continues as he carries on painting with his brush. Close-up shot of this painting and of various other similar, small full-length portraits around his studio. Close-up shot of jumbled mess of paints and brushes on his table. There follows several scenes of Lowry as he paints a picture from scratch; includes a narrative explanation from Lowry. There are several shots of Lowry's face as he paints and of his palette, the rest are all of his canvas and brush. The canvas is originally all white and he slowly adds brush- strokes. He paints people in the foreground and factories/buildings in the background. In one shot he adds paint to the canvas with his finger. There is a long shot of the canvas, his hand and brush as the painting progresses and a close-up as he paints in two dogs, long shot of the finished painting. Cut to a close-up and panned shots of several paintings of crowded street scenes, and some shots of his paintings of the sea/beach. The last image fades into film of Lowry, sitting against a dark background, only his face illuminated, with his head leaning on his hand staring off into the distance. A narrative conclussion is played over this scene and the previously shown paintings.

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