The Lost World of MITCHELL & KENYON DVD
Presented by Dan Cruickshank
Social History. Years: 1900-1913. Black & White and Colour.
Running time: approximately 3 hours of content.
A MUST FOR FANS OF THE FOOTAGE DETECTIVES!
From 1900 to 1913, filmmakers Sagar Mitchell and James Kenyon, commissioned by touring showmen, roamed the North of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, filming the everyday lives of people at work and play. For around 70 years, 800 rolls of their early nitrate film sat in sealed barrels in the basement of a shop in Blackburn. Miraculously discovered by a local businessman and painstakingly restored by the BFI, this is the most exciting film discovery of recent times. Presented by Dan Cruickshank, the DVD includes interviews with descendants of some of those featured in the footage, who are seeing their ancestors on film for the first time. This lost world is the history of us all.
Episode One – Life and Times
The films are discovered by Peter Worden and restored by the BFI’s National Archive. The story begins with bustling town streets filled with since lost
architecture, trams and busy crowds.
Episode Two – Sport and Pleasure
Following changes to working hours won by organised labour, the British worker enjoys leisure time, with crowds at football matches at Preston North End, Liverpool and Manchester United. People flock to holidays in Blackpool.
Episode Three – Saints and Sinners
We see the first ever crime film, the success of Mitchell and Kenyon in the USA and the end of their partnership.
The Mitchell & Kenyon film company pioneered early commercial motion pictures before the cinema age. Based in Blackburn, Lancashire, England, at the start of the 20th century, they were originally known for early fictional films and Boer War dramatisations. Their work provides a unique view of Edwardian Britain, a world about to change forever. They became travelling film makers, showing films shot during the day on the same evening in fairground tents or local meeting halls with slogans like “see yourselves as others see you”. These are films of ordinary people, whose lives had never before been recorded. By the mid-1900s the novelty faded and the company focused on fictional output, the last surviving film dating from 1913.