Film: 9689

Social History | 1960 | Sound | B/W

Clip:

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Synopsis:

This programme features three young black presenters, one is male and two are female. They individually,or jointly, present short segments of film which feature different subjects, these focus mainly on black related or community issues.

-The film begins with a pop art/photographic collage graphic sequence which shows different aspects of London life. The film continues immediately with footage of a canoeist with paddle, traveling through/down a strong flowing river, there is a white surface of bubbles. The long shot of the canoeist continues as he completes a full underwater roll. Cut to a close-up shot of a photograph of a waterfall. The shot pans out to reveal that the image is a backdrop for a studio interview. Infront of the photograph are sat 20 year old medical student, Mike Jones, who led a sucessful expedition down the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, and the interviewer who is Paul Boateng. Boateng wears shocking clothes. Between the two is propped a canoe and paddle. Both men are sitting on stools. Mike Jones has dark hair, parted on one side and brushed over, both the sides are quite long. He is wearing a suit, the jacket has very large lapels which are edged with white, the trousers are flared. He is wearing a shirt with large, rounded collars and a large silk/satin tie. The interviewer has a quite short afro hairstyle and quite fluffy, long sideburns. He is wearing black, thick rimmed, square/oblong shaped glasses. He is wearing a light coloured, short sleeved, African shirt which has a dark embroidery pattern around the neck area, the sleeves and the hem. He is also wearing dark coloured flared trousers. The interviewer bares a striking verbal and visual resemblance to Paul Boateng, and is later named as Paul. They begin by discussing the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust who granted Jones the fellowship which enabled him to undertake the expedition. Cut to a close-up shot of the interviewer as he continues with another question. Cut to a similar, head and shoulders shot, of Jones as he replies. The interview continues as the film cuts to include footage of the Blue Nile. A long, panned shot, follows of the Nile with a waterfall in the background, trees and large rocks in the foreground. Return to the studio and a head and shoulders shot of each man. The interview continues as a panned shot, from top to bottom, of Jones' conoe and paddle. Jones continues discussing Ethiopia and its people over footage which shows an Ethiopian man in a conoe as he paddles towards the camera and stops by riverbank. He is in a modern plastic canoe with 'Egypt Air' written on it's front. In the foreground there are 2/3 traditional reed/cane conoes. Return to long then close-up shots in the studio as the interview continues. There is a head and shoulders shot of the interviewer as he laughs and has smile on his face. Cut to a long shot, then close-up, on Jones as he picks up and holds a portable radio/telephone communication set which is in a small canvas shoulder bag. The interview continues over two pieces of footage from the Blue Nile. The first shows the canoeists and some locals standing by the edge of the river, the second shows a canoeist traveling down the Nile, there are rough conditions with frothy water, jagged rocks can be seen sticking out of the water. Return to a shot of the interviewer in the studio. Cut to a close-up shot of Jones again on the Blue Nile, but in calmer water. Return to Jones in the studio as he discusses their trouble with 20 foot crocodiles and a shortage of food. Two shots follow of members of the expedition shown with Ethiopian people. The first shows a conoeist in full clothing as he puts on his safety helmet, a group of 10/11 Ethiopian children stand behind him watching. The second shows a member of the expedition wearing only black swimming trunks standing next to three older Ethiopian men each wearing light coloured draped clothing. Return to studio and close-up shots of both Jones and the interviewer as the interview draws to a close, it ends with a long shot of both men.
-The film now cuts to a close-up shot, which pans out, of a black woman who is sitting in a chair, drinking a cup of coffee.

The interviewer from the previous feature, now named as Paul, enters the frame and sits in the next chair. Both chairs and the wall behind are decorated with 1960's patterns. The woman attempts to pour a cup of coffee for Paul from a long silver coffee pot, but finds it empty. They then begin discussing real and instant coffee over a close-up shot of her hand as she holds the part of the real coffee machine which holds the waste. Cut to a close-up, head and shoulders shot of Paul as he continues discussing coffee waste. Cut to film showing shots of mountains of waste by product from instant coffee being shovelled by large diggers. Cut to a shot of this waste now being used as part of cattle feed, several shots of large industrial machines preparing the feed follow. Footage continues with several close-up shots, first showing cattle eating the finished product, then a cow being milked and finally the large round glass tanks being filled with milk. Throughout these images the female presenter explains the process and its aims. Cut to a shot in the studio of the presenter as she pours milk into a cup of coffee. She lifts the cup up and we see a head and shoulders shot as she introduces the next subject.
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The film cuts to shots inside a ceramic/potters studio. It begins with close-up shots of a potter at a potter's wheel, he is Muhammed Abdala (?) a 'Sudanese master potter'. The series of shots of Abdala at the wheel begin with a blob of clay spinning on the wheel and ends with a finished pot. There is a close-up shot of his face; he is about 50-55 years old, has receeding hair, a whispy moustache and a small beard. Other shots include a view of his foot as he operates the pedal. Several close-up shots of his hand and the wheel as he works with the clay; adding water and shaping the pot. There are also shots of Abdala as he uses a wooden clay working instrument to mould the bottom of the pot and when finished putting it next to other instruments on a clay splattered table. As he finishes he cuts the pot in half with a cheese wire cutter and squashes the pot back into a blob of clay. The film now cuts to several shots of Abdala's pottery classes at the Camden Arts Centre. All the students pictured are at potters wheels, some of the students wear white overalls. Film cuts to three other female students handling/moulding clay on stone slabs. He walks over to one woman and demonstrates how it's done properly. Close-up shots follow on both his and her faces. Cut to close-up shots of his hand as he continues to kneed the clay. Throughout these images a second younger female presenter explains/discusses Abdala's work/teaching. Cut to a long shot of the ceramic studio, while the presenter and Abdala walk through. At the table in the foreground two women are making pots by using the coiling technique. Three close-up and one long shot follow as the women make the coiled pots. Cut to a close-up, then long shot of Abdala as he loads pots into the kiln, the presenter looks on. The kiln door is now seen to close, a round door lock is tightened untill stiff. Cut to several shots of the presenter and the art school's secretary; Miss Tessa Littun(?), as the presenter conducts an interview. The secretary is about 50 years old with dark hair and a dark jacket/blazer which has a large oval broach on the lapel. The interview is held in an empty studio space with partitions and paintings on the white walls which are visable in the background. Cut to a shot of the same presenter, now participating in a college life-drawing class. She is holding a drawing board which rests on her lap. She is measuring proportion by using her pencil in an outstretched hand, she squints as she does this. Cut to a close-up of a pencil drawing done in the life class, a seated figure seen from behind. The shot pans out to show the female model also seen from behind. Other members of the class can be seen seated around the edge of the room, drawing. There is a cluttered shelving unit and two small cupboards along the back wall of the studio. The life-drawing teacher, a thin man, with shoulder length dark hair, who also wears glasses, walks into the frame infront of and looking at the model. He is wearing dark trousers and a waist-coat, a shirt underneath has both sleeves rolled up high. Cut to a close-up shot of the teacher, with the model slightly infront of him, as he discusses and points out white strings, running from floor to ceiling, which the students can use for reference points. The shot pans out revealing the models back in the foreground and three students in the background. A close-up shot of a students work follows as she draws in pencil, then on her concentrated face, she has long, dark curly hair. Cut to a still shot, close-up, on the models face, she is wearing round, metal rimmed glasses and has her hair tied back. Two close-up shots follow of the model's feet which show white chalk marks on the floor, used to possition her feet. Several close-up shots follow which show the students faces and their drawings, and also a long shot with the model in the foreground and the teacher in the background. The film cuts to a shot of a female student, reference drawings behind her, as she uses a hammer and chisel on an almost complete small sculpture of the model. Cut to a shot of the presenter, hammer and chisel in hand, with an untouched block of stone infront, as she turns to the side. She attempts some chiseling but very quickly gives up. Film then cuts to her looking at the fired, glazed pottery which is out of the kiln and now placed on a table. The shot pans from left to right as she looks at the line of pottery.
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The film now returns to a television studio and to Susan Shifton(?), a white woman, as she sings and dances to Simon and Garfunkel's song; Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard. She is in her early twenties and has long, wavey, dark hair which is parted in the middle with a layered fringe. She is wearing a tight, long-sleeved top and jeans with a belt. The jeans are folded/rolled up to just below the knee and she is barefoot. The song is performed in a bare studio, which is empty except for the set. This consists of several groups of fairly uneven black poles which are joined along the bottom by a horizontal pole, and are placed around the studio. During the song there are both close-up shots on her face as she sings and long shots as she sings and dances around the floor and in and out of the groups of poles. The film finishes by returning to the original female presenter as she ends the programme and reads out their address.


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