"The Rhythm of Film" contains some of the most stunning films I have ever seen. Geoffrey Jones, who sadly died just days before the DVD's release, called himself a director-editor and it is the arrangement and juxtaposition of scenes and the brilliant use of the accompanying upbeat, rhythmic music that makes these films so exhilarating; sound and vision has never been so exciting. The collection includes three BTF shorts, `Snow'(1963), `Rail' (1966) and `Locomotion' (1975) a number of films made for Shell and BP and some independently made films. For many, including myself, it will be the BTF films that are the stars. `Snow' was quickly shot over a few weeks in February 1963 when the UK was in the grip of a severe winter. The resulting shots were then brilliantly edited into a snapshot of the railway and the wintry landscape. Perhaps my favourite segment is a joyous clip of a pony galloping alongside in a line-side field . The accompanying music, based on Sandy Nelson's jazzy `Teen Beat' builds up in pace like a accelerating steam locomotive. `Rail' opens with gentle views of London termini and then ups the pace as we join footplate crews (including a wonderfully atmospheric clip racing along on a bucking, roaring Bullied Merchant Navy pacific with the driver staring intently at the road ahead), passengers playing cards, a signalman throwing levers and waiters with almost ballet-like grace making their ways through a Pullman train, all perfectly set to some wonderful music, including some of the laziest, sexiest horn playing. Following a gentle farewell to the steam railway the film's last third moves up a gear and looks at the modern (in 1966) railway with Euston line electrics rushing to and fro. `Locomotion' follows the development of railways from the Stockton & Darlington to modern day, simultaneously showing the development of images from engravings to photos to film, all again accompanied by music accelerating from the slow plodding of Locomotion to the High Speed Train.
The other films too are brilliant examples of Jones' editing skills and are highly recommended viewing. The disc includes an insightful and informative interview with Jones.