Snow (1963) — A stunning mix of spectacle, social commentary, and snowbound trains.
February 4, 2011 4:23 AM   Subscribe

Snow is a short film directed by Geoffrey Jones (1931-2005) and shot by Wolfgang Suschitzky [imdb], simultaneously spectacle and social-commentary it can be viewed online (YouTube). Snow was made under the aegis of British Transport Films (wiki) and nominated for an Oscar in 1965; unable to afford to licence his choice of soundtrack—“Teen Beat” by Sandy Nelson—Jones enlisted Johnny Hawksworth to rerecord “Teen Beat” with an altered tempo and effects by Daphne Oram [wiki, BBC]. The result is a masterpiece of sound and image.
posted by nfg (11 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I hope others get as much enjoyment out of this little film as I did, I was introduced to it recently when it was shown as an opener for Benning's RR and it absolutely blew my mind.
posted by nfg at 4:30 AM on February 4, 2011

"...there isn't a train I wouldn't take,
no matter where it's going." -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

"Snow" does trains (and snow) as well as anything I've ever seen. What it does to Sandy Nelson's neat little "Teen Beat" is appalling, but works in the context of the film. Just a wonderful post.
posted by Faze at 4:40 AM on February 4, 2011

So much enjoyment...thanks for this!
posted by squasha at 5:40 AM on February 4, 2011

What it does to Sandy Nelson's neat little "Teen Beat" is appalling brilliant but AND works in the context of the film!

Just a wonderful post.

Seconded with amendment and discussion.
posted by humannaire at 5:42 AM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Cool as hell. Loved the train smashing through the snow drift two minutes in.
posted by afx237vi at 5:46 AM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Snow? Silly, soft stuff, nothing to it.

Any post that makes simultaneously think of Thomas, XTC's Big Express, Martin Newell and the time I've spent walking in the English countryside is a win in my book. Thanks for sharing!

(Now, if I could just find a nice pint of properly conditioned bitter)
posted by mollweide at 7:07 AM on February 4, 2011

Excellent. The credit music was great too, like a candy dessert after a good meal.
posted by chambers at 7:09 AM on February 4, 2011

It reminded me a bit of Night Mail by WH Auden, too.
posted by afx237vi at 7:13 AM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Terrific short! As a compliment to this, check out D.A. Pennebaker's amazing DAYBREAK EXPRESS.
posted by chicofly at 7:48 AM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, wow. This immediately reminded me of the iconic opening to Get Carter. It was hardly surprising when I realized that the DP on both was Wolfgang Suschitzky. There's even a similar use of altered tempo in the music -- Mike Hodges must have been shown the earlier work.
posted by dhartung at 10:06 AM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Chicofly... thanks for the Pennebaker posting: it's wonderful, too.
posted by Cannibal Galaxy at 1:22 AM on February 10, 2011

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