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From the Bush to the Bungalow (1920)


This industrial documentary presents the timber production process in the 1920s and briefly describes the living conditions of its workers.

Curator’s notes

This industrial documentary, produced at a time when the timber industry was considered romantic, presents the steps of the timber-getting process in a way that portrays the industry in a positive light.

From the beginning of the film, we are shown two lumberjacks hacking and chopping at the base of a tall tree. The film is silent and we are naturally drawn to the image. Right away we get a sense of the power of nature and man’s ability to conquer it.

Being silent, the film relies on intertitles to inform and describe what we are seeing.

Originally shot on nitrate, this film was lavender tinted. Lavender was used usually to give a sense of romance, mystery or loneliness. It was also used as a processing technique to cut down on contrast with duplicate negatives before fine-grain positives were popular.