In Collaboration
Anderson and Others

Directors: James Broughton, Lorenza Mazzetti

‘The Pleasure Garden’: contemporary reviews
This light extravaganza by the Californian poet James Broughton, whose 16mm films (Mothers’ Day, Loony Tom, etc.) have been seen over here, was financed by private subscription and shot entirely on location in the Crystal Palace Gardens, a perfect setting. It is a highly personal mixture of lyricism, mime, whimsy and caprice; some may find it too tenuous, but those who like it will like it very much indeed. It has a freedom all too rare in the cinema, and it is all freshly, unassumingly imagined: a real, a genuine lark. Professional and non-professional actors blend homogeneously under the director’s eccentric guidance, Stanley Bate’s music is full of entirely appropriate gaiety and invention, and Walter Lassally’s photography is resourceful and attractively framed. The Pleasure Garden won the Prix de Fantaisie Poetique at Cannes, 1954.
Monthly Film Bulletin, November 1954

He comes to London. He shows his films. He offers to make a film here, engages support, opens a subscription list, makes his film, and here it is.

The name of this prodigy is James Broughton. He’s that rare bird, a poet-cineaste. Rare? We all, in our better moments, and in recoil from what the screen manufactures, envisage some such film as The Pleasure Garden. This is the small, valuable, personal thing; that, the shoddy goods. We should, given the money and opportunity, do what Broughton has done. But we don’t. We lack the talent and the persuasion-and don’t let’s underestimate the latter without which The Pleasure Garden would be out of the question.

My delight that this piece should have arrived, and will in time take its place in repertoire, hasn’t, I hope, distracted me from the film itself. This is fresh as a daisy. As I’ve said, Broughton is a poet, a larky poet whose verses trip with an Elizabethan feeling and a modern vernacular. As the Elizabethan poet tended to compose his own music and to stage masques, so Broughton makes films. His larkiness finds there an added advantage: what the camera sees is so very literal to a poetic eye. In Chaplin, in René Clair, Buster Keaton, Jacques Tati we enjoy on a big scale the fruits of the poetic turned comic. Broughton is of their kind – his Pleasure Garden has much in common with Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday – except that he holds more strongly to feeling, makes short cuts they daren’t, sees and sings out of himself, and never dilutes a joke or a movement. The Pleasure Garden thus combines, so far as we are concerned, the pleasures of Keystone with the love lyric. He takes a public garden (the Crystal Palace gardens, fallen into beautiful disrepair), and leads there the love-hungry young; they measure themselves against the statues, crash on bicycles into bushes, thaw in top-hats to an unusual music. The bandstand stages a chaste ballet, to the accompaniment of an intense female doublebass player, who at the end clasps her instrument and wanders off through the shrubbery. Of course there are funereal officials to put an end to all larks, and a Good (and fat) Fairy who, brushing away, crumbs as she comes out of a fish-and-chip shop, will wave her wand to some effect over those within and without the bounds of temptation.

Does this all sound self-conscious fun? It is not. It springs like the lark, and mingles oddity, grace, satire, and laughter without a dead moment. If the fault of Broughton’s earlier pieces was that they were private, here he triumphs by being personal in a way we can all understand and enjoy. Cinemas would be gayer if he could be banged into as many programmes, before as many audiences, as possible.
William Whitebait, Sight and Sound, January/March 1954

Lorenza Mazzetti on ‘Together’
Of the four original signatories to the Free Cinema manifesto, Lorenza Mazzetti has all but slipped from the pages of film history. Mazzetti was brought up by her aunt and uncle in Florence after her parents died when she was very young. Following a traumatic war – the SS killed her aunt and cousins; her uncle later committed suicide – she moved to London in the early 50s where she studied at the Slade School of Art. There she directed her first film – a short 16mm version of Kafka’s Metamorphosis – and soon afterwards was given money by the BFI Experimental Film Fund (which backed many of the Free Cinema shorts) to make Together. Returning to Italy in 1959, she settled in Rome and directed a few television programmes for RAI. In 1961 she published a novel, The Sky Falls, based on her childhood (the memoir became a popular film in Italy last year). She lived in Rome [until her death in 2020], where she owned a puppet theatre.

What was your first experience as a filmmaker?

I knew Slade’s film society had a small 16mm camera, some film and lights, so I decided to make a filmed version of Kafka’s Metamorphosis. As the college was full of very interesting characters, I asked one of my student friends to play Gregorio Samsa and two others to play his mother and sister. But I had no one to play Samsa’s boss until I met a fur dealer in the street. It was lucky he accepted the part because we had no money and he had to feed us more than once during the shoot. Then I edited the film in my bedroom, asked my friend Danièle Paris, an avant-garde composer, to contribute the music and had the film printed in a lab in Grosvenor Street, instructing them to charge the school. When William Coldstream received the bill, he told me, ‘My dear Lorenza, either you pay the bill or you go to jail. But since I don’t really want you to go to jail, I’ll let you organise a screening in the school and charge the students. If the screening’s successful enough to pay off your debts, then the film will be officially produced by the Slade. If it’s not, then the police will be waiting for you at the end.’ Eventually the film was so well received Coldstream introduced me to Denis Forman, the director of the BFI, who said he could help me make another film. The day after, we had tea together and I showed him a four-page synopsis of a film then titled The Glass Marbles.

How did the project become Together ?

I had serious psychological problems because of my past, but as no one knew about it, the only way to express my anxiety was to translate it unconsciously into a film script. My film was about two deaf-mutes who lived in the East End and were completely excluded from the world around them. I’d projected my own feelings of being different on to these characters, who were constantly followed by a group of children who shouted things they couldn’t hear. As time went by the children became more and more daring until one of the deaf-mutes suddenly rebelled.

Forman liked the idea a lot and told me to find my actors and start filming. I chose Michael Andrews – then a fine art student – to be one of the main characters and then I called sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi, whom I’d met earlier at an art gallery, to ask him to take the other leading role. The cinematographer was a young Egyptian, Hamid Hadari, who’d shot the Kafka film, with some additional photography by Walter Lassally.

At the same time I met Denis Horne, who’d been at Oxford where he’d known Lindsay Anderson and Tony Richardson, and I immediately fell in love with him. I asked him to co-direct the film but the script he wrote had lots of dialogue and what I really wanted was silence. We argued a lot and he wanted to direct the film on his own, but Paolozzi said, ‘Either Lorenza directs it or I’m off.’ So I finished the film alone. Denis couldn’t accept that I was becoming more famous than him. It traumatised me so much that a few years later, when Anderson, Reisz and Richardson offered to produce another project of mine, I asked if Denis could come along. But they said they wanted me alone and I lost my last chance to make a film in Britain.

How did you finish the film on your own?

After Denis left I started to cut the film in a cutting room owned by the BFI in the middle of the countryside. As I was experiencing many difficulties, Forman asked Lindsay Anderson to give me a hand. Lindsay saw the film, liked it and decided to help me to edit it and work on the soundtrack with John Fletcher. Danièle Paris came all the way from Rome to compose some of the music and we added a few traditional English songs. By then Lindsay had become a good friend.

Had you seen his Thursday’s Children before he helped you to finish Together ?

No I hadn’t. I didn’t even know who he was. He showed me a few issues of his film magazine Sequence and then screened O Dreamland. He was a fascinating, tenderly rude and grumpy man. His enthusiasm made me fall in love with everything.

Why did you choose London’s East End as a location for your film?

When I arrived in the East End I was shocked by the landscape, the atmosphere, and I thought I should film the people who lived in this world. It was like a ready-made film set. The people’s difficulty in expressing themselves, in communicating, overwhelmed me. But I found their reserve and genuine kindness extremely moving.

How was your relationship with your actors?

We were very close. Andrews was extremely shy but he always understood immediately what I expected of him. It was never necessary to tell either him or Paolozzi what to do.

What happened between finishing your film and the first Free Cinema screening?

One day – it must have been in January 1956 – Lindsay came to see me in the Kitchen Soup café on Charing Cross Road where I was working as a waitress. We sat at a table and he said, ‘I talked about your film to my friends Karel Reisz and Tony Richardson. It turns out that your film has the same qualities, the same objectives and the same political agenda as ours. We’d like to show our three films together and write a manifesto.’ So we started writing the manifesto on that table in the Kitchen Soup.

Some time later I was introduced to Reisz and Richardson. Then, on 5 February 1956, Lindsay told me, ‘Come on, you’ve got to come with us to the NFT.’ The four of us were very nervous about the whole thing and it got even worse when we saw the long queue of film enthusiasts waiting outside. Eventually all went well and the reviews in the papers the next day were very flattering. Film critic Dilys Powell spoke of ‘White Hopes’ in the Sunday Times.

What was your relationship with the so-called Angry Young Men group?

I met John Osborne at Tony Richardson’s place. He was a charming man. After the success of the first Free Cinema screening it became evident that London was ready for something completely new.
Interview with Lorenza Mazzetti by Christophe Dupin, Sight and Sound, March 2001

Directed by: James Broughton
a Farallone Films production
Presented by: Flights of Fancy
Production Manager: Lindsay Anderson
Unit Assistants: Denis Lowson, Daphne Hunter, Sheila Bone
Assistant Director: Kermit Sheets
Written by: James Broughton
Camera: Walter Lassally
Assistant Editor: Kermit Sheets *
Music: Stanley Bate
Sound Editor: Peter Price
Production Facilities: Basic Films, Colonial Film Unit, British Film Institute
Acknowledgments: World Wide Pictures

Thomas Goff (Harpsichord player)
Hattie Jacques (Dr Mary Albion)
Diana Maddox (Bess)
Kermit Sheets (Sam)
Jean Anderson (Aunt Minerva)
John Le Mesurier (Colonel Pall K. Gargoyle)
Maxine Audley (Lady Ennui)
Derek Hart (Lord Ennui)
Jill Bennett (Miss Kellerman)
Lindsay Anderson (Michael-Angelico)
John Heawood (Mr Nurmi)
Hilary Mackendrick (Miss Wheeling)
Gladys Spencer (Mrs Jennybelle)
Gontran Goulden (Doctor Hemingway)
Victoria Grayson (Miss Greaves)
Mary Lee Settle (Mme Paganini)
Daphne Hunter (girl in grass)
Margaret Tate
Derek Rosen

UK 1953
38 mins

Directed by: Lorenza Mazzetti
In collaboration with: Denis Horne
Production Company: Harlequin Productions
Made with the support of: British Film Institute Experimental Film Fund
Executive Producer: Denis Horne *
Story and Scenario by: Denis Horne
Photography: Hamid Hadari
Additional Photography: Geoffrey Simpson, Walter Lassally, John Fletcher
Supervising Editor: Lindsay Anderson
Editor: John Fletcher
Music by: Danièle Paris
Played by: Sinfonia of London
Recordist: John Fletcher

Michael Andrews
Eduardo Paolozzi
Denis Richardson
Cecilia May

UK 1956
48 mins
Digital 4K

A BFI National Archive restoration

* Uncredited

This Sporting Life
Wed 1 May 20:20; Wed 15 May 17:50; Thu 23 May 12:00
Lindsay Anderson: Meet the Pioneer
Thu 2 May 18:10
No Film Can Be Too Personal
Thu 2 May 20:20
Sun 5 May 15:20
The White Bus
Sun 5 May 17:30
Mon 6 May 17:50; Thu 16 May 20:30; Tue 21 May 18:10; Fri 24 May 12:10; Tue 28 May 20:45
BFI Library Event: Outing Anderson
Wed 8 May 20:00 BFI Reuben Library
In Celebration
Thu 9 May 20:25; Wed 22 May 18:00
O Lucky Man!
Sun 12 May 14:10; Sat 18 May 14:20; Mon 27 May 19:20
Britannia Hospital
Tue 14 May 20:35; Sat 25 May 18:00
The Whales of August
Thu 16 May 12:20; Sat 25 May 16:00; Fri 31 May 20:30
The Old Crowd
Thu 16 May 18:30
Lindsay Anderson vs the Short Films Industry + intro by Patrick Russell, Senior Curator of Non-fiction, BFI National Archive
Thu 23 May 18:20
Stand Up! Stand Up!
Thu 23 May 20:30
Never Apologize
Fri 24 May 17:50
In Collaboration: Anderson and Others
Sun 26 May 18:10
Lindsay Anderson Experimenta Mixtape, curated by Stephen Sutcliffe
Thu 30 May 18:10

With thanks to
The Lindsay Anderson Archive at the University of Stirling

O Lucky Lindsay Anderson!
4-week course from 7 May – 28 May, 2-4pm at City Lit, Keeley St. exploring the work and influence of visionary director, Lindsay Anderson, with course tutor John Wischmeyer. To book online www.citylit.ac.uk/courses/o-lucky-lindsay-anderson or call 020 3871 3111 and quote course code HF364
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Programme notes and credits compiled by Sight and Sound and the BFI Documentation Unit
Notes may be edited or abridged
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