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31 Jul 2012
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£12.99
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9781844575008
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DescriptionContentsAuthors Cover Designer

Went the Day Well? is one of the most unusual pictures Ealing Studios produced,
a distinctly unsentimental war film made in the darkest days of World War II,
and nothing like the loveable comedies that later became the Ealing trademark.
Its clear-eyed view of the potential for violence lurking just below the surface
in a quiet English village possibly owes something to the Graham Greene story
on which it is based, though, as Penelope Houston shows, there remains a
mystery about the extent to which Greene was actually involved in the scripting.
Or perhaps the direction by the Brazilian born Cavalcanti, a maverick within the
Ealing coterie, is the chief reason why Went the Day Well? avoids the cosy feel of
later, more familiar, Ealing films.
In his foreword to this special edition, published to celebrate the 20th
anniversary of the BFI Film Classics series, Geoff Brown pays homage to
Penelope Houston's astute study, and places the book in the context of Went the
Day Well?
's changing critical reception. Brown discusses the non-English
qualities of the film's narrative, and the extent to which Cavalcanti brought a
foreign sensibility to its very English setting.


Description

Went the Day Well? is one of the most unusual pictures Ealing Studios produced,
a distinctly unsentimental war film made in the darkest days of World War II,
and nothing like the loveable comedies that later became the Ealing trademark.
Its clear-eyed view of the potential for violence lurking just below the surface
in a quiet English village possibly owes something to the Graham Greene story
on which it is based, though, as Penelope Houston shows, there remains a
mystery about the extent to which Greene was actually involved in the scripting.
Or perhaps the direction by the Brazilian born Cavalcanti, a maverick within the
Ealing coterie, is the chief reason why Went the Day Well? avoids the cosy feel of
later, more familiar, Ealing films.
In his foreword to this special edition, published to celebrate the 20th
anniversary of the BFI Film Classics series, Geoff Brown pays homage to
Penelope Houston's astute study, and places the book in the context of Went the
Day Well?
's changing critical reception. Brown discusses the non-English
qualities of the film's narrative, and the extent to which Cavalcanti brought a
foreign sensibility to its very English setting.


Contents

Foreword Geoff Brown
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Storylines
2 Germans in the Back Garden
3 Actuality and Technique
4 They Came in Khaki
5 A Little Talent and Taste?
Credits
Bibliography


Authors

PENELOPE HOUSTON is a British film critic and journal editor. She was one
of the founders of the film journal Sequence, edited Sight & Sound, the journal
of the BFI, and was a regular contributor to the Monthly Film Bulletin. She has
also been a film critic for The Spectator, deputised as critic for The Times, has
written for numerous newspapers and magazines, and is also the author of
The Contemporary Cinema (1963) and Keepers of the Frame: Film Archives (1994).
 
GEOFF BROWN, long associated as a critic with The Times, curated BFI
Southbank's Cavalcanti retrospective in 2010, edited the book collection Alistair
Cooke at the Movies
(2009), and has published widely on British cinema. He is an
Associate Research Fellow at the Cinema and Television Research Centre,
De Montfort University, Leicester.


Cover Designer

Mark Swan
www.kid-ethic.com

Your background

I studied illustration at the University of Central England in Birmingham. After finishing my MA I got my first ever commission from the BFI (many thanks Tom) doing the book cover for Hitchcock: Suspense, Humour and Tone. http://filmstore.bfi.org.uk/acatalog/info_481.html. At this time I also worked as an illustrator for several magazines, including a weekly column in the Financial Times magazine. I moved more into book cover design producing work for many different publishers. Film has always been a passion of mine so I decided to move into designing film posters and then a few years back set up Kid-Ethic, designing mainly for the publishing and film markets.

Could you explain the concept of your cover design? How does your artwork convey the themes/motifs of Went the day well??

The film deals with disguise and deceit. The English soldiers sent to help a village are really Germans sent to take the village by force (Sorry if that’s a spoiler). I wanted to have one element of the design revealing a darker, secret side. The classic-looking British font has the shadow of a more Germanic-styled font. The solider at the bottom has the shadow of the question mark from the films title and mirrors the plot. The film is quite dark and brutal for an Ealing production so I wanted the cover to look quite sinister.

 What techniques and materials did you use to create your artwork?

The cover was created digitally as I wanted it to look very graphic and this also gave me greater control over the shadows and how the typography worked. Other textures, such as spray paint and old paper were added to give it a more organic look reminiscent of the period in which the film was made and set.

What is your earliest film memory?

Queuing up outside the cinema in Shrewsbury to watch Superman 2. I think it was the first film I saw at the cinema and the anticipation of what I was about to see and the world that lay indoors was very exciting.

What inspires you?

Pretty much everything.

What are you working on now?

Working on a few film posters for some great films. Lots of book covers on the go and trying to find some time to do some personal work.