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Humphrey Jennings$
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Keith Beattie

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719078552

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719078552.001.0001

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Work and leisure: Spare Time

Work and leisure: Spare Time

(p.31) 2 Work and leisure: Spare Time
Humphrey Jennings

Keith Beattie

Manchester University Press

Spare Time was Humphrey Jennings' first, and the last major, film of the General Post Office (GPO) Film Unit before it became the Crown Film Unit late in 1940. This chapter discusses different elements of one of the best films the GPO ever made, Spare Time. The general purpose of the film was to show that workers of all grades have a secondary life, over and above their working life, in which colliers may become musicians, musicians may become engineers, and engineers may become dog-fanciers. The film is in three sections; each one is devoted to an industrial city or region and associated leisure activities. The three industries are steel (Sheffield), cotton (Bolton and Manchester) and coal (Pontypridd). The combined effect of the three sections is a reflection on aspects of English character and culture through a focus on region and leisure, with the latter contrasted to scenes and spaces related to work.

Keywords:   Spare Time, workers, secondary life, leisure activity, grade

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