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Together (1956)


Main image of Together (1956)
16mm, black and white, 52 mins
DirectorsLorenza Mazzetti
 Denis Horne
Production CompanyHarlequin Productions
 BFI Experimental Film Fund
Original storyDenis Horne
PhotographyHamid Harari

Cast: Michael Andrews; Eduardo Paolozzi; Valy; Denis Richardson; Cecilia May

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Experimental, semi-documentary film, showing London's East End through the lives of two deaf-mutes.

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Italian-born Lorenza Mazzetti's Together (1956) was the longest film in the first Free Cinema programme, and the only fiction. Like Momma Don't Allow (d. Karel Reisz/Tony Richardson, 1956), it was entirely produced with a grant from the newly formed BFI Experimental Film Fund and cost less than £2000, despite being shot on 35mm film.

Together is set in London's East End, with its bombsites, narrow streets, riversides, warehouses, markets and pubs. It follows two deaf-mute dockers who are completely cut-off from the outside world and are constantly pursued by groups of jeering children. Its modern depiction of everyday working-class life and its new approach to realism were inspired by Italian neo-realism and by the techniques used by Mazzetti's Free Cinema friends.

Mazzetti, then a student at the Slade School of Art, was persuaded to apply for a grant by bfi Director Denis Forman after he saw her first short K (aka Metamorphosis, 1954), produced by the Slade. She submitted a 6-page synopsis co-written with Denis Horne. Mazzetti and Horne were lovers at the time, but when the relationship ended, so did their professional partnership. Although he was credited as co-director, the script was the limit of Horne's involvement.

The Experimental Film Committee authorised a mute version of the film - then called The Glass Marble - with the rest of the money to come if it was good enough. Mazetti began shooting in Summer 1954 with the help of a few friends - including sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi and painter Michael Andrews, who played the two deaf-mutes. At the end of the year Mazzetti returned to Italy, but the Committee urged her to come back to complete the film after Basil Wright, then a member of the Committee, made a very positive report on the rough-cut of the film.

Back in London she met Lindsay Anderson, who agreed to help edit the film and add the soundtrack. He asked John Fletcher and Walter Lassally to shoot a few additional scenes. Together was completed in January 1956, just in time to be part of the Free Cinema programme. It was such a sensation that Mazzetti appeared on BBC's Panorama twice in a fortnight. In April, Together was selected as one of two British short film entries for the Cannes Film Festival, where it won acclaim. It was later given a remarkable - for a documentary - five-week run at the Academy cinema in London.

Christophe Dupin

*This film is included in the BFI DVD compilation 'Free Cinema'.

Click titles to see or read more

Video Clips
1. Dinner (3:26)
2. A day's work (2:32)
3. The funfair (3:55)
4. The drowning (4:04)
Complete film (47:53)
Production stills
Monthly Film Bulletin review
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