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Old 07-18-2018, 12:20 PM
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Jim Owen Jim Owen is offline
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Default For train folk, poetry folk, or history folk?

By sheer accident, I found this 1936 short film “The Night Mail.” It features music by Benjamin Britten and ends with W.H. Auden’s poem “The Night Mail.”

Auden’s poem popped up in last week’s “Endeavor,” so I was googling for a full-text version, only to discover it was written for a documentary.

It’s about 30 minutes. No actors—just the men at work.

Edit—I posted a better link in a follow up. thanks, Frank, for seeing that mine was a damaged version!
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Last edited by Jim Owen; 07-18-2018 at 09:43 PM. Reason: Link Broken
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Old 07-18-2018, 02:43 PM
marty bradbury marty bradbury is offline
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Very cool! Thanks for posting.
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:35 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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I watched this and loved it, even though the version linked is damaged and shows and reshows scenes out of order etc. Obviously the whole thing would interest train buffs or lovers of expressionistic documentary film.

If it's the poetry/music part, this YouTube version excerpts just the Auden poem part. It's only a couple of minutes long and is well worth it for those interested in just that element.



Many comments on this excerpt want to note that despite the small orchestral group providing Britten's music for the film soundtrack, that the rapid flow of part of the Auden poem sounds like 1936 rap.

Much thanks for drawing my attention to this! For some reason despite liking Britten and Auden, and even though I've been engaged in a project for the past two years combining music and words (mostly other people's words, mostly poetry) in various ways, I had never heard of this.

I just got done reading the Wikipedia entry about the film. Lots of detail in the Wiki article about the DIY "get in the van" initiative that it took to make it. Warmed my indie heart to read that.

Wikipedia entry on the film

Oh, I wish I could use some Auden words in my project, but getting rights to post 1923 stuff is difficult!
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:34 PM
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Default Revised Link



This oughta work better.
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:05 AM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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The poetry at the end might just be the first recorded rap.


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