O Dreamland (Lindsay Anderson, 1953)


UK, 12 min


O Dreamland manifests Anderson’s distaste for the noisy vulgarity of Margate’s Dreamland Fun Fair. A careful montage of images and natural sound recalls the seediness of the attractions as articulated by the mocking mechanical laughter of the dummy sailor. Inescapably, the merciless candid camera reflects the middle-class condescension to the working class, picturing them alternately as being exploited, or being complicit in their exploitation. —— bfi


i loved this. leering reminders of the overwhelming coney island project i had to work on last year. (view full post for more delicious caps and a swell little essay from screenonline.)



screenonline :: imdb :: the free cinema movement

(those in the uk can watch it free on fourdocs)













“Everything is ugly… It is almost too much. The nightmare is redeemed by the point of view, which, for all the unsparing candid camerawork and the harsh, inelegant photography, is emphatically humane. Pity, sadness, even poetry is infused into this drearily tawdry, aimlessly hungry world.” — Gavin Lambert, article on Free Cinema


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5 Responses to “O Dreamland (Lindsay Anderson, 1953)”

  1. Momma Don’t Allow (Reisz/Richardson, 1956) « CINEMATRICES Says:

    [...] working class and the emerging youth culture) in much more depth and with far more affection than o dreamland or nice [...]

  2. Nice Time (Goretta/Tanner, 1957) « CINEMATRICES Says:

    [...] and quick cutting recalled Vigo’s A Propos de Nice (1930) as well as Lindsay Anderson’s O Dreamland [...]

  3. Some Wacky Films | danashortfilm Says:

    [...] http://cinematrices.wordpress.com/2009/03/24/o-dreamland-lindsay-anderson-1953/ [...]

  4. O Dreamland (1953) « Notes on Short Film Says:

    [...] This short film is an example of the post-war cinema verite movement. A type of documentary filmmaking, cinema verite attempted to capture the truth of everyday life. It freed the content in films; there were no actors, no drama, and no studio to shoot in. These filmmakers hoped to make a point about human existence by selectively showing it happening. This film is set in the Dreamland Amusement Park in Margate, New Jersey, and the director is out to prove what a twisted and deprave place it is. The noises of the carnival coupled with the images of leering clown faces and unhappy, pleasure-seeking people intentionally makes the audience uncomfortable. A short summary on the film points out the comment the director makes by highlighting the “Torture Through the Ages” exhibit. We as a people are obviously sick if we’ll go to the carnival to see how we’ve tortured others throughout history. You can find more reviews and plenty of unsettling images from the film here. [...]

  5. An Amusement Park In The 50′s from Jeremy Jacobs Host Presenter Says:

    [...] Lindsey Anderson’s superb short about Dreamland, Margate in 1953. H/T Deborah Jane Orr [...]

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