Amber's documentaries and dramas chart a unique engagement with communities in the north east of England. The archive also holds a rich collection of associated work.read more...
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Category: Other Filmmakers.
This is the partner film to Amber's From Marks & Spencer to Marx and Engels, made by the East German film production company DEFA. Amber documented the East German fishing/shipbuilding city of Rostock. Winfried & Barbara Junge documented the post-industrial situation in Newcastle and North Tyneside.
NE Films in conjunction with Amber Films 1986
A beautiful portrait of the ‘select’ but out of season Victorian seaside resort of Saltburn-by-the-Sea on the Cleveland coast. A pet shop with its canary and its hamster, fishermen collecting lugworms on the beach and casting lines from the pier, the Saltburn Cliff Railway, the picture postcards and the wintry weather are all lovingly captured as residents, workers and the unemployed talk about the history of the town and about their lives. The film culminates in the demolition of the town’s Halfpenny Bridge.
Amber, along with other groups in the Workshop Movement, was involved in the production of the Miners' Tapes - a series of 10 minute trigger tapes putting the Miners' case in the 1984 strike. Amber's News from Durham (1983, AV/NFD) was a model. These, from Chapter, are Tapes 5 & 6.
Front Room Productions and Belfast Film Workshop 1983
A BBC film crew making a documentary in the Divis Flats, Belfast, gets footage of the aftermath of a British Army plastic bullet shooting in which a girl is killed. The drama explores the relationship between the filmmakers and the girl's family and the media betrayal through which the footage is cut from the final film.
NE Films 1983
The film shows rehearsals and preparations leading up to the English debut of the Hungarian pianist, Mihaly Duffek, playing Mozart's piano concerto in C minor (K.491) at the Helmsley Festival at Duncombe Park, North Yorkshire in the summer of 1982. It is an experiment in extended documentary without commentary or dialogue.
Stewart Selkirk Production 1981
A bluebird flies over a gravedigger as he works in a cemetery. In the town it lands on a windowsill from which it observes an unequal boxing match between a Charles Atlas figure and a seven stone weakling. The bird arrives at a television shop just in time to catch the news announcement of a nuclear attack, which then takes place, reducing everything to cinders, bluebird included.
John Cohen 1981
A rare filmed performance of two members of the original Carter family, whose recordings helped found the country music industry. Here Sara and Maybelle demonstrate their famous guitar picking and harmony singing on "Sweet Fern" and "Solid Gone." Filmmaker John Cohen was a member of the folk group The New Lost City Ramblers. He brought the film to Amber when his exhibition about Peru was being shown at Side Gallery.
John Cohen 1979
A depiction of the way of life of the Q'eros Indians of Peru, who have lived in the Andes for more than 3,000 years. Their economy is nearly self-sufficient and their location, at 14,000 feet, is well adapted for their alpacas (raised for wool) their llamas (beasts of burden). The Q'eros employ the same agricultural methods, play the same panpipes and flutes, and weave cloth using the same patterns as those described by Spanish chroniclers in the 16th century. The film presents Q'eros music in its shepherd and religious functions and weaving as an integral part of family life. Amber acquired the print when Side Gallery showed John Cohen's associated photographic exhibition. He visited the gallery at the time and showed the film. The print is very faded.
Anthony Harrild 1979
Experimental film about three young women who bear a strange resemblance to the Bronte sisters.
Fantasy Films 1978
Cutting copy assembly of The Moonlight Comb, for which Rumsey took five colleagues, costumes and props, to the rugged landscape of Wester Ross in Scotland. Living in an isolated cottage they attempt to film an Ernest Bramah story set in a mythical, medieval China. In this amusing and idiosyncratic film we watch as the film-maker strives to get his cast to perform. Dogged by every conceivable calamity, the production collapses after four weeks but not all is lost - just as in the Bramah story, what appears to be misfortune, ends up a blessing - and the project is saved by the humour of the cast. Picture only.