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Free Cinema 3

The second programme of British films in the Free Cinema series

Main image of Free Cinema 3

After Free Cinema 2, which showcased foreign work, the third Free Cinema programme marked a 'return to Britain' by the collective now calling themselves the Committee for Free Cinema. Lindsay Anderson now came to the fore, with two of his films appearing in the programme.

Wakefield Express (1952), a study of a provincial newspaper, had been made some years earlier. It was the second of Anderson's films, however, which was the centrepiece of the programme. A day in the life of Covent Garden market, Every Day Except Christmas (1957) later won the Documentary prize at the Venice Film Festival. The film was financed by the Ford Motor Company, following Karel Reisz's appointment as 'commercials officer'. The company would also sponsor Reisz's We Are the Lambeth Boys (1959) two years later. Free Cinema 3's sub-title, 'Look at Britain', was also the title for the series of documentaries Reisz intended to produce for Ford.

Two young Swiss, Claude Goretta and Alain Tanner, had met the group through the British Film Institute where they both worked. Their Nice Time (1957) portrayed nightlife around London's Piccadilly Circus, while The Singing Street, produced by the Norton Park Film Unit, depicted children's playground games and songs in an Edinburgh school. Only an extract was shown as a complement to the programme.

The programme, shown 25-29 May 1957, was again a popular and critical success, with all performances sold out days in advance.

Christophe Dupin

Related Films and TV programmes

Thumbnail image of Every Day Except Christmas (1957)Every Day Except Christmas (1957)

Classic Free Cinema doc about Covent Garden market

Thumbnail image of Nice Time (1957)Nice Time (1957)

Lively film charting a Saturday night in London's Piccadilly Circus

Thumbnail image of Wakefield Express (1952)Wakefield Express (1952)

Early Lindsay Anderson documentary about a local newspaper

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Thumbnail image of Free CinemaFree Cinema

Groundbreaking documentary movement of the late 1950s

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