Birmingham on film

This is something I’ve had in my bookmarks for a while waiting for a purpose:

I know this may well have slipped many people by (it almost slipped me by when it was first published) but the BBC ran a feature about a film made to promote Birmingham in the 1970s. Called “Telly Savalas looks at Birmingham”, it was narrated by… Yeah, you’ve guessed it: Telly Savalas (yes, Kojak)… Ironically however, during his narration he refers to several things he’d seen and done in the film – in the first person – when he’d never actually visited Birmingham at all.

It’s a real piece of history now, showing Birmingham as it was – back when the concrete had just set and everything was shiny and new. Of course, it looks a lot different now. The ‘Brummies on film’ article on the BBC Birmingham website has a full rundown of the film, some backstory and (of course) an excerpt from the film itself can be found on the BiNS site – it’s a real eye-opener.

More recently, a new short film was made to celebrate Birmingham and promote its better features for the wider world – sharing some of its locations with the 70s short film. However, it’s much more upbeat, and was shown to property developers in Cannes (apparently) to, I guess, promote spending in the area. As promotional short films go, it’s not bad at all, and the soundtrack (by a local band) is pretty good at that. You can watch the entire thing via the above Brummies on film link.

(Or, alternatively, if you’re after something a little more modern (and a little more humorous), go take a look at this little masterpiece: Birmingham: City Of The Future.)

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