Off the Rails…
Lately I’ve been feeling the need to pack up and travel across the country by train. Perhaps I’m feeling nostalgic, remembering the trip I took with my father when I was nine years old riding the rails through the rocky mountains. Memories I will never forget: the majestic mountainscapes, the rhythm of the wheels on the steel tracks, and the folding of darkness as the train soared through cavernous tunnels cutting off my vision. In Canada, traveling long distance by train is expensive so I often purchase a plane ticket for the convenience of speed. I will soon embrace the rails again, but for now I can only simply enjoy these films as I ponder a voyage in the near future.
Rush Hour (1970)
Rush Hour is included in the BFI’s British Transport Films DVD
Directed by Geoffrey Jones, a celebrated British filmmaker, whose work I admire for his inventive and radical use of editing and sound design.
The Railrodder (1965)
A Buster Keaton classic by the National Film Board of Canada. Directed by Gerald Potterton.
Other films to watch:
Roman Kroitor’s fantastic documentary Paul Tomkowicz: Street Railway Switchman (1953). Available on the NFB website in high quality.
Sergei Loznitsa’s The Train Stop is a haunting dreamworld of sleeping passengers in a remote train station in Russia. Here is an interview with Sergei for the New York Film Festival (2010) about his new film My Joy, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010. *Although there is a link attached to the title of this film, I highly recommend that you see it projected in 35mm.