This film is part of Free

I Am a Mayor

Life and local government in Maidenhead, Berks.

Documentary 1961 13 mins


The Mayor of Maidenhead on life and local government in the well-to-do Berkshire town. This film was part of a small series of 'I Am...' films produced for government by Basic Films (alongside I Am a Reporter and I Am a Mobile Librarian). Primarily aimed at overseas (especially Commonwealth) audiences, and secondly at UK classrooms, the picture they paint is of an untroubled postwar society comfortable with its history but just as much ease facing present and future.

Leon Clore, producer of the I Am... series, and John Fletcher, director of I Am a Mayor, were both associated with the Free Cinema movement of the late 50s. But Free Cinema these films certainly weren't. Instead, their style serves their informative purpose (in this case explaining how town councils work) but also embodies the underlying theme of tradition and modernity comfortably infused. The look and sound are unobtrusive reboots of 1940s documentary: fluid mobile camerawork is mixed in with more traditional static shots, and the first-person voiceovers replace and humanise the classic 'Voice of God' narration.