John Grierson

  • John Grierson – Drifters (1929)

    1921-1930DocumentaryJohn GriersonUnited Kingdom


    The story of the North Sea herring fisheries, filmed at Lerwick, in the Shetlands, Lowestoft and Yarmouth and in the North Sea.

    — Henry K Miller, From Battleship Potemkin to Drifters, BFI booklet wrote:

    The London Film Society’s screening of Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin (1925) and John Grierson’s Drifters (1929) on Sunday 10 November 1929, at the Tivoli cinema in the Strand, is the most celebrated double-bill in British film history. Potemkin, making its British debut more than three years after it shook the film world, had a formidable reputation to live up to. Drifters, on the other hand, was the first film of a director whose only prior filmmaking experience was the preparation of the American release print of Potemkin.Read More »

  • John Grierson & Edgar Anstey – Granton Trawler (1934)

    Documentary1931-1940Edgar AnsteyJohn GriersonShort FilmUnited Kingdom
    Granton Trawler (1934)
    Granton Trawler (1934)

    Granton Trawler follows the small fishing vessel, Isabella Greig, as it carries out its dragnet fishing along the Viking Bank off the Norwegian coast of the North Sea. Grierson used the film to teach budding directors how to analyze movement photographically and how to make use of sound for contrapuntal editing. The soundtrack is made up of crude rhythmic noises that represent the thumping of the ships engine and atmospheric sounds congenial to being present on board. There is no commentary. The sounds were all post-recorded, simulated in the studio. (One of the fisherman’s voices is Grierson’s). Although not credited, Alberto Cavalcanti is known to have created the soundtrack as one of his first creative duties after arriving at the Unit.Read More »

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