John Krish is one of British cinema's best-kept secrets: a master of post-war documentary filmmaking who repeatedly turned his works for sponsors as diverse at the Central Office of Information (COI) and the NSPCC into not just effective non-fiction films, but truly stirring cinema to rank alongside the world's greatest directors.
A Day in the Life collects together four of his most cherished films:
The Elephant Will Never Forget (1953), a farewell to London's trams
Our School (1962), charting the beliefs of educators, and the aspirations of the decade's young school-leavers
They Took Us to the Sea (1961), a poignant record of a seaside outing for disadvantaged children
I Think They Call Him John (1964), a deeply moving account of an elderly widower.
In each of these films – richly textured with the details of everyday post-war life – Krish combines a deep belief in humanity with a compulsive desire to push the documentary form forward.
This essential and critically acclaimed collection is supplemented by an interview with Krish, as well as Krish's rarely seen films I Want to Go to School (1959) and Mr Marsh Comes to School (1961).
I Want to Go to School (1959, 30 minutes): a charming portrait of a typical day at a primary school
Mr Marsh Comes to School (1961, 28 minutes); a distinctly unorthodox film for teenagers, featuring a supernaturally talented Youth Employment Officer
Interview with John Krish (2010, 19 minutes, DVD only): On-stage interview at BFI Southbank
Illustrated booklet with notes and essays by Kevin Brownlow, John Krish, BFI curator Patrick Russell and others.