The Open Road
Dir. Claude Friese-Greene
UK 1926 | Colour | 65 mins @ 24 fps | Cert U
In 1924 Claude Friese-Greene (cinematographer and son of moving image pioneer William) embarked on an intrepid road trip from Land’s End to John O’Groats. He recorded his journey on film, using an experimental colour process. Entitled The Open Road, this remarkable travelogue was conceived as a series of shorts, in all 26 episodes, to be shown weekly at the cinema. Unfortunately, Claude’s two-colour tinted system failed to reach a large audience owing to heavy flicker and colour fringeing. Following on from the BBC’s three-part documentary The Lost World of Friese-Greene, the BFI National Archive has restored a special compilation of highlights from the journey, using digital intermediate technology to remove the technical defects of the original. The result is a fascinating portrait of inter-war Britain, in which town and country, people and landscapes are captured as never before, in a truly unique and rich colour palette.
Available on: DVD, 35mm
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