Festival in London (film #20 on National Archives). [Category: Industrial]

This 1951 film documents the Festival of Britain, the same world’s fair whose architecture was covered in Brief City. But unlike that other film, there are no dark post-war undertones here, only light and glorious color, dramatic orchestral music, and bombastic narration about the contributions of the British people to science and the arts. This makes it much more typical of the world’s fair genre, though no less enjoyable to watch. The film is well made and beautifully preserved, with lots of striking images from all over the fair. In fact, after awhile, the narration ceases in order to allow us to simply enjoy the visuals. I love a film like this, because it gives me a chance to experience what these old world’s fairs were like. This goes down as one of the better films in this genre, as well as standing in stark and fascinating contrast to Brief City.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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