A somewhere project by Nina Pope & Karen Guthrie

Overlord - Overload?

Thursday, November 3, 2005 – 5:11 PM
by Nina


We intro an evening of films from EAFA
We intro an evening of films from EAFA
Photo: Tim Olden

We've been back a couple of days from WW II and I'm yet to get on top of posting about the event (or the huge pile of muddy washing and film/drawing kit etc.) but before I forget just wanted to mention an amazing film I saw last night as part of the London Film Festival 'treasures from the archive'.

'Overlord' (apparently the code-name for the Allied invasion of Europe in 1944) was made in 1975 by Stuart Cooper and didn't enjoy a huge amount of success at the time. Recently the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado picked it up and it seems to now be enjoying something of a second coming. Many of the cast and the producer were in the audience last night but what I found really sad was that the editor had died last year ... because this was what was amazing about the project. Somehow the editor and director have achieved an amazing synthesis between original archive footage (of the most diverse range and quality) and the fictional narrative of the film - the new (70s) footage is shot in a sympathetic way to the archive material (which they apparently spent 3 years researching) and at times there's long non-linear sequences of originally silent footage over music which are just great.

Coupled with my new found obsession with Humphrey Jennings and the purchase of 'Films and the Second World War' from Oxfam I could become an unlikely war-time footage bore.

To my huge surprise I actually recognised one of the archive shots in 'Overlord' from some of the amateur footage that EAFA screened on our behalf at Kentwell this weekend. It's a distinctive shot where the camera moves through a broken London shop window during a huge fire. Very odd to see such a rare piece of footage twice in one week!

sometime later