Film: 9239

Art + Architecture | 1950 | Sound | B/W

Clip:

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Synopsis:

Henry Moore (1898 to1986).
Throughout this film the narrator describes the importance of form and landscape to the work of Moore. The viewer is shown images of his sculptures both in the studio being worked on by Moore and their intended settings in the landscape.
A narrative introduction begins over images of five Henry Moore sculptures, with each sculpture the camera rotates around the work. The first sculpture is a dark, abstract work in which three areas are connected by several strings. The second which appears smaller, is also abstract in form and is much rougher in texture. It has a hole in the central, top right area. The third work, a large seated figure, is light in colour and has a proportionally small head. Although recognisable the areas of the body are indistinct. The fourth sculpture is a bronze head, face turned to the side, angled upwards. The features are distinct and one eye appears to be missing, scar tissue remaining. The fifth, also a bronze, also appears to be a head but is abstract in form. Cut to a long-shot of Moore's country home in a Hertfordshire village, a close-up on one area of the house follows. The shot pans around revealing a sculpture; a bronze of a female torso. The film cuts to a shot of Moore with two assistants in his studio. He is working on a large female figure in plaster. The bronze sculpture of the torso is also visable in the studio. The shot cuts to the assistant who is filing a small bronze which he removes from a clamp and carries over to Moore, who is applying plaster to a sculpture with a palette knife. Moore stops to inspect the bronze. A close-up, head and shoulders, shot follows showing Moore and his assistant studying the bronze. Cut to a long shot of Moore's "new studio" in the grounds of his house. Moore can be seen walking with his dog towards the studio. A close-up shot follows showing the front of the studio, the trees behind and the six sculptures on the terrace infront. Two different shots of the same sculptures follow. The film cuts to a shot of three abstract forms standing in grass with trees behind. Infront of the trees a man is burning grass/hay, the smoke crosses the frame in the background.

The film cuts to Moore and another man (the manager of an Italian quarry) as they look at a half scale plaster model of the sculpture commissioned for the UNESCO headquaters in Paris. Cut to a close-up of the manager who has white hair, black glasses, he is wearing a suit and tie and has a cigarette in his hand. He stands to the right of the sculpture. Cut to a shot of Moore touching and leaning on the plaster model. Film moves on to Moore and his three assistants as they lever the model into the back of a van. Close-up of one of the assistants wearing a flat cap. Five more close-up shots of the assistants and Moore with the model as they secure it in the back of the van. Cut to a shot of Moore's sculpture; Warrior with a Sheild, on show at an open air exhibition of modern sculptures. A women in a calf length coat and carrying two bags stands close by then walks away. Five still and panned close-up shots of the bronze sculpture follow. Cut to a still shot of a woman at the exhibition walking past a sculpture by another exhibitor of a bull. Two older women wearing long coats, hats and carrying handbags look at and touch an abstract bronze sculpture. Cut to a shot, looking up of the head, shoulders and breasts of a female bronze figure, (possibly by Jacob Epstein, 1880-1959), also exhibited. Two shots follow of members of the public viewing and walking around the sculptures. Cut to three shots of students (aged about 20) viewing the exhibits, they can be seen talking, joking and touching the exhibits. One shot shows a man looking down into a box camera and taking a picture. Cut to a long shot of Moore sitting in the doorway of a garden shed. A gardener is digging a vegetable patch on the right of the picture. Cut to a close-up of Moore as he looks through a sketchbook. A close-up shot on his hands and pages reveal several preparatory drawings. He finds a blank page and begins a charcoal drawing. Close-up shot of his face as he draws. Return to his hand drawing, this time with a pencil. He then tries unsucessfully to smudge a line with a finger, instead he licks his finger (unseen) and smudges the line.

Several more shots of Moore's face and his hand as he draws are shown as the narrator discusses shape and form in Moore's work. A panned shot follows of five sheets of drawings, still and panned shots follow of four drawings and paintings some of which are preparatory studies and show family group subject matter. Cut to a shot of British countryside, there is a stone wall in the foreground, mountain and lake in the background. A panned shot follows of trees, fields, a stone farmhouse and a row of haystacks. Film cuts to a sheet of drawing, preparatory studies for reclining female sculptures, a hole is shown in the possision of her stomach. Cut to a shot of rocks in the landscape, holes form spaces in the rocks through which the sky can be seen. Cut to a close-up, panned shot of a Moore sculpture with holes through. Several shots follow of various natural rockformations; weather/sea beaten. Cut to a gallery space and a full shot of a "primative sculpture"; a man sat cross-legged with an object on his head. A close-up shot on his face, then two full shots of similar shots follow. Cut to a panned shot of Moore's studio, begining on a mother and child bronze sculpture. Various other natural and made objects are on shelves around the room. Close-up shots follow of the objects, including small sculptures. Cut to a shot of Moore standing next to a shelf holding an object; the cast of a pepper. He then compares it to two of his fingers. Close-up of his hands, fingers and the vegetable. Cut to a cast of a knucklebone, also on a shelf, as Moore puts his clenched fist into the frame comparing it to the bone. Cut to a still shot of Moore as he moves a bone (shoulder blade) around between his hands, then holds it next to a similar small sculpture. Eight still shots follow showing pages of Moore's drawings. Four pages show reclining figures the other four show standing figures. Cut to a panned shot, from feet up, of a bronze sculpture of a standing figure. Cut to a long shot, then several close-ups, of a large group of small figurative sculptures (preparatory pieces), they are both individual and group studies. Several of these small sculptures are shown outside the studio in his garden. Cut to shots of four small bronze figures as they rotate, three are shown against the studio background the last one against against the sky.

Cut to a still shot of six/seven tall, abstract forms which eerily rotate together in the studio space. Cut to a panned shot of a wood near Moore's home which shows a female torso, in bronze, standing on a plinth in the clearing. Cut to a close-up of this sculpture. Long and close-up shots follow of other figurative sculptures in the landscape. Cut to a close-up of one section of a reclining female sculpture; an area of draped clothing is compared to rock formation and tree bark and a shoulder to a mountain. Cut to several close-up shots of the sculpture; Fallen Warrior. Several shots of abstract Moore sculptures, reminiscent of ancient monuments, are shown against a cloudy sky. Cut to a long shot, then several close-up shots including the faces, of a sculpture more naturalistic in appearance. This sculpture is a family group which stands in Harlow and shows a man and a woman, a child sits on the woman's knee. The chisel marks are visable in some of the close-up shots. A panned shot follows of the three heads set against the cloudy sky. Cut to a full shot, then several close-up shots, of a sculpture of a seated man and woman; King and Queen, placed in the windy Scottish countryside. A long shot is also shown with sheep on the hill in the background. Close-up shot of the dark heads against a light sky. The camera pans the Scottish countryside infront of the figures. Return to Moore's garden and one of his assistants who is pushing a wheelbarrow. In it lies a bronze figurative form, as the wheelbarrow nears the lifesize figure almost appears like a dead body. Moore and his assistant then lift, one at each end, and carry the sculpture into his studio, placing it on a work surface. A close-up shot follows as Moore holds a blow torch in one hand and a stick with treated material on the end in the other. He then begins working on the leg section of the sculpture. Several shots follow of Moore and his assistant in the studio as they dismantle sections of a plaster cast/sculpture of a large reclining figure. Cut to shots of Moore and his assistant outside, unwrapping sculptures which stand in the garden. Moore stands half way up a step ladder. An unwrapped sculpture with string and plastic covering stands in the left foreground. A close-up follows of Moore half way up the ladder as he uses his chisel with a large rounded hammer on the wooden figurative sculpture. Four different angled shots follow. Cut to a close-up of his hand, chisel and end of the hammer as he continues to work. The grooves made by the chisel are clearly visable.


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