Tales in and out of school

Old Road Sign, TurvilleWe’ve recently added to stock two very different DVD compilations looking at young people and schooling in Britain. Featuring films from the 1950s and early 1960s by John Krish, ‘A day in the life’ takes a classic documentary view, while ‘Tales out of school’ includes four dramas written by David Leland originally broadcast on ITV in 1983.

The BFI compilation of work by John Krish, one of the major figures of post-war British documentary, features two films sponsored by the National Union of Teachers, ‘I want to go to school’ (1959) about a day in a typical primary school, and ‘Our school’ (1962) about a secondary modern school. Francis Combe school in Watford, which featured in the BBC’s recent Reel history of Britain series, was the setting for ‘Our school’ and the DVD includes a talk by Krish about how he set about filming in the school and the occasional clash with the headmaster over which children should appear in the film. Krish it seems, like most film makers, favoured rebels rather than what he calls in the interview “puddings”.

‘Birth of a nation’, ‘Flying into the wind’, ‘RHINO’, and ‘Made in Britain’ form the Tales out of school DVD, and the compilation also has new material about the making of the films. David Leland’s screenplays form a damning picture of society and education in the early 1980s, and provide early starring roles for Jim Broadbent and Tim Roth.

Biographical information about John Krish and David Leland is available on the BFI’s Screenonline website. The Screenonline website is available to all, with the moving image content available to Institute staff and students on-campus or via the portal.

Image: Old Road Sign, Turville
  © Copyright David Hillas and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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