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Cinema Saltdean Powell and Pressburger screenings with jazz band, shorts, and expert speakers

Cinema Saltdean is celebrating the work of Powell and Pressburger with the season ‘Dual Delights, organised by the BFI & Fabrica, Brighton with a screening of ‘One of Our Aircraft is Missing’ (1942) on Tuesday, 24th October. Prior to the film there will be some 1940’s jazz from the Saltdean Jazz Band.

On November Tuesday 28th November there is a special screening of 'Ravilious – Drawn to War’ a documentary film about the Sussex artist with a pre-show talk by an expert from the Towner Galley, Eastbourne, where you can see a permanent exhibition of Eric Ravilious work.

Part 1 of Dual Delights is the film screening of ‘One of Our Aircraft is Missing’ (1942), Tuesday, 24th October @ 7:00 pm, a world war two adventure full of suspense as a British aircrew navigate a tortuous route out of German occupied Holland.

War films have always held a fascination with audiences and are often requested by Cinema Saltdean audiences. From those made as propaganda, during the war, to the most recent over-long epic ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’, a remake itself that failed to do as well in the Oscars as the original.

Rewind the tape to 1942 and the classic directors and producers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Their pioneering approach to storytelling made them an instant hit with film fans and studios. There is no showy overblown style here; stories are told in a straightforward way, no obscure narrative, split time sequences, jump cuts or effects trickery. There skill was to present a story in a new light, with a different slant from that of other filmmakers. ‘One of our Aircraft is Missing’ was made in 1942, it was made quickly and cheaply (£700,00) and is a case in point: few films deal with aircraft downed in Nazi occupied Holland.; one being ‘The Forgotten Battle’ 2021 (Netflix).

The inhabitants of their little rural community have little defence for the oppressive Nazi presence. Dutch anger and resentment of occupation spills over fuelling suspicion that our British airmen are not all that they seem.

The aircrew are taken in by Jo de Vries, played by Googie Withers; in her first acting roles. She plays a Dutch resistance leader who helps British airmen. Her character has a blend of charm and determination that initially baffles our boys. The modernity of Wither’s role, played in a very matter of fact way. Such a strong female role may have proved hard for lesser directors to support.

Some interesting trivia from the BFI website: ‘For the flying scenes, art director David Rawnsley covered the entire studio floor with a model of Stuttgart in miniature; cameraman Freddie Ford completed the aerial camera shots by lying flat on his stomach for ten hours a day high in the roof of the studio. The painstaking work paid off: the viewer feels the terrifying danger the airman confront as they fly over enemy lines under fire from anti-aircraft guns’.

Part 2 of Dual Delights is on November Tuesday 28th November for a special screening of a Ravilious – Drawn to War’ with a pre-show talk from a Ravilious expert from the Towner Galley, Eastbourne.

Tickets on the door (cash only) or online at:


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