Established in 1946, the COI was a successor to the wartime Ministry of Information and was responsible for producing thousands of films that celebrated Britain, its people and their achievements. The COI film collection is preserved by the BFI National Archive in collaboration with COI and The National Archives (TNA). Following the release of The COI Collection Volume 1: Police and Thieves on DVD in February, the BFI have announced a second collection under the banne rof Design for Today.
Disc one in this two-disc set focuses on architecture, household design and industrial design. Highlights include: Designing Women (1948) in which Joyce Grenfell takes us through the dos and don'ts of home furnishing; Brief City (1952), which shows modernist architecture and design on show at the Festival of Britain; Design for Today (1965), Hugh Hudson's day-in-the-life of British design, and Peter Greenaway's Insight: Terence Conran (1981), showing Conran at the height of his success.
Two films feature specially-commissioned scores by electronic pop band Saint Etienne. They give Designed in Britain (1959) and Design for Today a contemporary music make- over. Both films, with original scores, are included.
Disc two looks at fashion, from mini-skirts to Savile Row tailoring. Among the films are Insight: Zandra Rhodes (1981), in which Peter Greenaway and Michael Nyman team up in an early collaboration, and The Pacemakers: Biba (1970), a look at the work of Barbara Hulanicki. Also included are two fun and exuberant short pieces about 60s and 70s style – Miniskirts Make Money (1968) and The Country Look (1971).
The accompanying 25-page illustrated booklet provides comprehensive notes and essays, including Hugh Hudson's recollections of making Design for Today.
- Designing Women (1948) 23 mins
- Designed in Britain (1959) 15 mins
- Designed in Britain (1959) (Saint Etienne version)
- Brief City (1952) 19 mins
- Design for Today (1965) 15 mins
- Design for Today (1965) (Saint Etienne version)
- This Week in Britain 615: The National Theatre 5 mins
- The Pacemakers: Basil Spence (1973) 14 mins
- Insight: Terence Conran (1981) 14 mins
- Sixty Years of Fashion (1960) 18 mins
- Miniskirts Make Money (1968) 3 mins
- The Pacemakers: Biba (1970) 14 mins
- The Country Look (1971) 3 mins
- This Week in Britain: Men's Fashions (1973) 5 mins
- 24 Hours: Men's Fashions (Spanish version) (1973) 5 mins
- This Week in Britain: The Mary Quant Show (1974) 5 mins
- This Week in Britain: Savile Row (1976) 5 mins
- Insight: Zandra Rhodes (1981) 14 mins
- A Woman's Place: The ImageMakers (1985) 30 mins
The COI Collection – Volume 2: Design for Today will be released on UK DVD by the BFI on 22nd March 2010 at the RRP of £19.99.