Historical value of film at its best

The fascination with trains on screen is as old as cinema from the Lumiere brothers to our very own Geoffrey Jones and his work for British Transport Films in the 60s and 70s. This time, however, we are more focused on the experience of travelling than the locomotive itself…

Robert Davies spent 86 days of shooting and who knows how many days in the edit suite to create the spectacular over 2 hours long Of Time and the Railway. He talks about the process and the meaning of the film as he looks through the window onto the very same landscape that is the protagonist of the film.

Of Time and the Railway takes the viewer on a train journey from Birmingham to Aberystwyth. However, it is not the usual journey that we could experience as passengers. Not only because it is shot from the front, from the driver’s point of view – ‘a view that most of us can never have’ as Davies points out – but because during this ‘single’ journey seasons change. Magical and utterly cinematic, using the advantages of the art of film to its fullest, this moving image work will be projected onto a space wider than 7 meters at the premiere in Aberystwyth Arts Centre tomorrow, on 24th of March.

Davies sees the film most of all as ‘a snapshot of now‘, taken over the period of a year and half. In addition to offering a transient audiovisual experience, the camera has documented buildings, cars and of course the landcsape giving the piece considerable historical value. The artist concludes, that Of Time and the Railway is about the passage of time – and the journey reflects his own life experience with geographical relevance. How? Find out in the video by Culture Colony below.

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Text by Kati Jägel

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