Peter Collinson, Manfred Mann and Mike Hugg: Up The Junction

All about music and mood of a film not yet seen: Up The Junction. 1968 film about class differences in Britain. Rich girl from Chelsea goes “slumming” in Battersea, to see how the other half (or the other 80%, at that time?) lives. Only knew about the film due to the Manfred Mann soundtrack, primarily composed by band leader Manfred Mann and drummer and keyboard player Mike Hugg. Picked it up, remaindered, in 1970 or so, having no idea what I was buying. In terms of the movie credits on the album, I only recognized Suzy Kendall, whom I had been impressed with in her earlier film, To Sir, with Love. Put on the album and, from the first moments of the title track, found something with a particular jazz melancholy, and a lot to reflect on:

The film appears to have missed a video release, but is now available on DVD, so I hope to make time to see it. The Manfred Mann soundtrack has now been released on CD, where it is noted that the film’s late director, Peter Collinson, who died of cancer at the age of 44, regarded the music as absolutely integral to the film: “They had captured the heart of the picture. Their music belonged to the picture, it was not superimposed.”

I had no idea who Peter Collinson was, and now find that he was a director whose promising early career was largely not continued. He is primarily known as the director of the original Italian Job movie (1969), starring Michael Caine, later remade in 2003, starring Mark Walhberg.

Here is how the title track introduces the film:

Here is an element of the mood created by the film:

And the pub scene for which the film seems to be particularly known, involving the high class and the low class on amateur night:

I suspect that it is easy for many people, including me, to get lost in English pubs, and not come out. Not being in England, I can’t get out of the soundtrack.
Postscript, November 26, 2011: More on the mood:

I’m looking forward to seeing the complete film, very soon.


About brucelarochelle
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