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Dig for Victory: War Films by Len Lye

When:

Wed 21 Apr 2021, 6:00pm–7:30pm

Where: Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, 42 Queen St, New Plymouth, Taranaki

Restrictions: All Ages

Listed by: kellylk67

Join film archivist and historian Sarah Davy from Pou Takatū at Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision as she introduces a special programme of ‘war-time’ films by Len Lye.

Made during World War II, these rarely screened films demonstrate the depth of Lye’s filmmaking talents, taking us beyond his experimental work and into the realm of documentary and propaganda. Sarah Davy is a trustee of the Len Lye Foundation and a leading scholar of Lye’s practice as a filmmaker.

This programme opens with Lye’s Musical Poster #1 (the last abstract colour film he made in Britain) and follows with a body of filmmaking showcasing Lye’s versatility as a filmmaker as he adapts his talents to meet the realities of filmmaking during a wartime economy. Taking on commissions from the British Government through the Realist Film Unit, Lye’s short films now educated the British public about food shortages (Planned Crops, 1942) and the women working in British munition factories (Work Party, 1942). Longer films such as Cameramen at War (1942) confirmed Lye’s talents as a documentary filmmaker, while Kill or Be Killed (1943) offered a rare insight into Lye as a director of drama as he explores a tense standoff between a British and German soldier. Largely overlooked by Len Lye fans, these works offer a more complete picture of Lye’s career and talents.

The following films will be screened:

Planned Crops (1942)
Newspaper Train (1942)
Cameramen at War (1943)
Work Party (1942)
Kill or Be Killed (1942)
All courtesy of the Imperial War Museum, London.

Musical Poster #1 (1940)
Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation from material preserved and made available by Nga Taonga: Sound and Vision.

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