Film: 9248

Industry + Work | 1970 | Sound | Colour


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A look at the use of colour and decoration - particularly paint - on the exteriors of buildings 1970's

A woman walks down an urban terraced street. Its different coloured houses have steps with iron railings that lead up from the pavement. The reporter is Judith Chalmers. She wears an orange blouse with a large collar and sleeves with a brown tweed type short sleeved over jacket. Judith addresses the camera and talks about the many colours around us. Montage of colourful exteriors - buildings and walls: terraced houses, pedestrian area, tree lined streets, a bridge over the Thames, a tower block, a cottage, a large harbour in a seaside town. Judith grins inanely: "A whole new world of colour outside. How did it get there?". She asks Jack Bridgery(?), ICI's head of colour. Judith talks to Jack as they stand in front of a display of house designs. Jack talks about fashion (clothing) having an influence on interior design. He refers to the use of colour and decoration on exteriors of buildings in a historical and multi-cultural context. Still of a Peruvian peasant's painted hut. Tilt up from a fountain shows a church with a carved façade. Various shots of decorated buildings including pubs with signs, a stately home and a large building in a rural setting on an island.
Jack and Judith continue their conversation sitting at a desk in an office. There are colour charts on the wall behind them. Still of the 1951 Festival of Britain - the dome and Skylon, and aerial view of the buildings on the South Bank. Shots of town high streets with pedestrians and coloured buildings.
Judith sits in front of a large colour chart and now talks to Jeff Foster - a paint technologist. He talks of paint pigment or colourant. Close up of dishes containing strongly coloured powders, a beaker of water (the thinner) and a sheet of plastic type resin - the main constituents of paint. Jack Bridgery walks down a street past a terrace of rendered and white painted grand house - probably a square in London. The Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna (or Wien), Austria, is also painted all one colour - Maria Teresa Yellow. Two shots of the Palace - one from across a lake, the other across ornamental gardens. Shot of Hindelsham Hall in Suffolk - painted cream. Shots of variously painted terraced housing, some in rural locations, large office blocks, and a 60s housing estate with coloured front doors and garages.
A small square in Central London - houses are painted in a range of colours while door frames and windows are mostly white. Some houses are pastel colours, others are more much stronger, deeper tones. Shot of a drain pipe which is a different colour to its background contrasted with one which is painted the same colour and therefore blends in better. Shot of a façade with a window with pretty white shutters. There are trees and cars parked in the square. We look at busier roads with traffic, and some brightly painted public houses - The Chelsea Potter and The Red House.
Shots of "the gaily clad Europe of the seventies"! Modern buildings and office blocks in various cities with a multitude of colour. Some buildings have sculptures outside and blocks of graphic colour. Montage including abstract art, mosaics, coloured tiling and murals. Stills of large scale popular art on the sides of buildings in New York - lots of dramatic use of bold colour.
Jack wanders through the small Central London Square again. In passing he touches plants hanging from a wall basket. A decorator paints railings outside a house - we see his shadow first, and then him. A pretty detached cottage in a rural location and further painted terraces are seen. Judith stands overlooking a shopping street: "So here we are living in a world of colour all around us, and obviously, most of us feel better for the change". She grins.

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