Fires Were Started, Humphrey Jennings’ only feature film, is a docudrama centered around a real group of heroic firefighters as they extinguish the destructive blazes of war; Derek Jarman’s Jubilee follows a group of nihilistic punks who love nothing more than to set anything ablaze. In both films the spirit and mettle of the directors’ respective Britains are on display, and Jennings’ heart-heavy optimism is starkly opposed by Jarman’s bitterness. A mythic inferno opposes the British spirit, but may also be the only way to access it as it slips away, and both Fires Were Started and Jubilee explore this in contrasting but similar ensemble narratives.
Directed by Derek Jarman. With Jenny Runacre, Neil Campbell, Toyah Willcox
UK 1978, DCP, color, 106 min
Fires Were Started
Directed by Humphrey Jennings. With Philip Dickson, George Gravett, Fred Griffiths
UK 1943, 35mm, b/w, 63 min
$9 - Regular Admission
$7 - Non-Harvard Students, Harvard Faculty and Staff, and Senior Citizens
Regular HFA screenings are free for all Harvard students with a valid photo ID. Discounts apply for Harvard Film Archive Members
Tickets are available 45 minutes before show time at the cinematheque on the lower level of the Carpenter Center. Cash or check only. No late seating.