Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Old Life


If you enjoy documentary films, then a click over the Side TV website may be worth your while. It certainly has plenty on offer to watch.

Several documentary films, made during the turbulent years of change in the North East of England, are available to watch there. Especially recommended are the films 'Launch' about the launch of an oil tanker called 'World Unicorn' in 1973 and  'Ship Tyne Main' which focuses in on a pub on Tyneside in 1967.

Launch captures the activity around a shipyard in Wallsend and features a marvelous scene with the oil tanker sliding out of view in a scene framed around a terraced street. People lived and worked under the shadow of these giant ships, so the launch was an important day for the community. Looking at the footage you realize that we have very few events these days, if any, that take place on a similar impressive scale.

Ship Tyne Main focusses in on The Ship Hotel pub on Tyneside on a somewhat dark and wet Sunday. The film beautifully captures the various characters who drink in the pub and the industrialized surroundings of the busy river Tyne. We see into a world that was starting to disappear as the industrial and economic decline started to take hold in the 1970's. Gritty it may be, but this is how many people lived at that time.

Both films give a brilliant insight into the communities and lives of people living in North East of England - a way of life that has long since vanished. As social documentary film making goes... you can't get much better. The films on offer change each month so make sure you catch both of these documentary gems before they vanish.

Side TV can be found at http://www.sidetv.net/

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