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"The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film" is not a film as such, but it is a short series of clips with a comical slapstick theme. This 'film' got Richard Lester recognised and paved the way for him to direct the first Beatles film: 'A Hard Day's Night".
Richard Lester directed and wrote the music for his first film in 1959. This film was entitled The Running, Jumping, & Standing Still Film. It was intended to be viewed only by those who had aided in its production. Since the film was intended to be viewed by Lester and his partners alone, a small amount of money and time was invested. The sole purpose of this film is entertainment, but the main reason for its existence is the fact that it served as an experiment to work the camera. The film cost 70£ to make, and it was filmed in sepia-toned film stock in a field on a couple of Sundays. All of the shots that were filmed were included in the finished production; the finished production is eleven minutes in length.
The Running, Jumping, & Standing Still Film is a comedy about English Sundays and the small hobbies that people do to pass the time. All of the events in this film take place in a field. A few of these comical events include a woman scrubbing a lawn, a man running around a tree stump with a needle to play a record, a photographer developing film in a pond, an artist aided in painting by the numbers on a model's face, a man building a tent, an athlete running over the tent, and a duel between a man with a knife and a man with a gun. Not only does the film poke fun at the hobbies that people do to pass the time away, but it also pokes fun at English culture when compared to American culture. Another one of several events in this film includes a group of men and a kite, which has been constructed out of the flag of the United Kingdom. One of the men jumps inside the kite while the other men attempt to fly it, and the kite breaks. According to Neil Sinyard, author of The Films of Richard Lester, this event symbolizes the United Kingdom as lesser in power and technology when compared to the United States during the space age. According to this scene, the British fly primitive kites while the Americans, the world-power after World War II, fly highly-advanced rockets and space shuttles.
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