The Birds and the Bees

April 13, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Posted in Learning Stuff | Leave a comment
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This year the British Silent Film Festival is taking films about science, nature and exploration as its focus. Particular highlights for those interested in a Famous Five style education and nature-loving lifestyle include ‘Birdman, Beeman, Hunter, Spy‘, an illustrated look at some of the pioneers of wildlife cinematography – J C Bee-Mason, Oliver Pike, Joe Corbett and Colonel F M Bailey; Coast, a journey around the British coastline using early archive film; and the spirit of adventure and vintage outdoorwear seen in Climb Any Mountain, a programme of early climbing films. Scarves and bobble hats all round!

All of these films would have been in circulation around the time Enid Blyton was writing for Teachers’ World, and while her own method was perhaps more ‘get out and look around’, how could she not have been enchanted by films like Nature’s Hidden Beauties – Pond Life (1908), The Life of the Honey Bee (1911), and the slightly disturbing The Cuckoo’s Secret (1922), which would appear to support her assertion in Round the Year with Enid Blyton: Springtime: ‘He is a strange bird, with strange habits, a bird “gone wrong” […] some time, far away in the past, there was a time when he could choose between goodness and badness, and alas! he chose the wrong path’.

The British Silent Film Festival runs from Thursday 15th through to Sunday 18th April at Leicester’s Phoenix Square Cinema.


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