On February 11th we had the unique experience of watching some five hours of motoring films, first at the V.S.C.C. Film Show at Hammersmith Town Hall, then, after a quick flit through traffic-free London thoroughfares in a Fiat 500, to the B.A.R.C. Midnight Matinée at the Curzon Cinema. It is a significant measure of the continuing enthusiasm for motor-racing that on the same evening two large audiences should be drawn to such films—and the Midnight Matinée is given three times over, of course. Leaving after the Shell-Mex & B.P. film “Looking Ahead” had started at the V.S.C.C. Show, we were able to see it all through at The Curzon, within less than an hour of our enforced interruption. Incidentally, we were also able to appreciate, seeing this and the Shell Film Unit’s “Le Mans 1952” twice over, how much improvement there is in the modern projecting apparatus at The Curzon over the vintage appliances used at Hammersmith!
Everyone is agreed, surely, that Shell’s Le Mans film, directed by Bill Mason, is quite the best motor racing documentary yet, but their film of last year’s Farnborough Air Show reached an exceedingly high standard and then there was Habershon’s friendly Castrol film. Rootes’ Technicolor of the Humber Snipe’s five countries in four days run was interesting, particularly from the viewpoint of noticing how spotlessly clean car and even number plates kept on this mid-winter dice! The sound-track gave Leslie Johnson away when he nearly referred to the car as a Sunbeam-Talbot, but then all modern cars are so very much alike, aren’t they ?
Curiously, no historic films were included, even at the V.S.C.C. Show (unless at the very end, as we sped Curzonwards) but the B.A.R.C. again trumped up its bathing beauties—we must tap John Morgan for a fixture list of these contests sometime. Altogether, two excellent shows, well worth seeing in spite of the arrival home at 3.30 a.m. — W.B.