Said Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content: “The culmination of the BBC’s ambitious four years of programming to mark the World War One centenary is being honored on BBC One with the world premiere of a very special film from the highly acclaimed Peter Jackson that will bring unheard voices from a hundred years ago to life for a whole new generation to experience”. Tied in with the conflict’s centenary, the aim is to premiere the film at the BFI London Film Festival this autumn, accompanied by screenings in cinemas around the country. It’s sped up, it’s fast, like Charlie Chaplin, grainy, jumpy, scratchy, and it immediately blocks you from actually connecting with the events on screen. This footage looks like it was shot in the last week or two, with high-definition cameras. Trafalgar Releasing will distribute the film theatrically in the United Kingdom, whilst it will be aired on BBC One along with a companion “making-of” documentary. Every school in the United Kingdom will also receive a copy.
“We have made a movie which shows the experience of what it was like to fight in this war, not strategy [or] battles”.
They include a mass participation artwork on 10 June marking the act that gave the first British women the right to vote; Rachel Whiteread casting the inside of a Nissen hut and placing it in a Yorkshire forest where a prisoner of war camp was located; and Danny Boyle creating a “mass participation project across the UK” on 11 November, Armistice Day, with more details announced closer to the time. Created by the arts group Artichoke, it will involve women and girls in processions on the streets of Belfast, Cardiff, London and Edinburgh wearing the suffragette colours of green, white and violet.
The role of pigeons as message-carriers in the conflict will be celebrated in a work where a “large flock of pigeons, each carrying a tiny LED light” is “conducted” at dusk “in a spectacle of flight”.
He added: “It’s not the usual film you would expect of the First World War”.
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