Tuesday, 13 May 2014

London (1994)

"London is a city under siege from a sub-urban government which uses homelessness, pollution, crime and the most expensive and run down public transport system of any metropolitan city in Europe as weapons against Londoners lingering desire for the freedoms of city life"

Patrick Keiller's moving (in both senses of the word) montages of London serve as both a poetic and acerbic snapshot of late 20th century inner city living and of cultural and political poor health. I haven't really got that much to say about this first 'Robinson' film of a trilogy, because I feel the film and the images within (some of which I'm sharing here) speaks for itself, and because it just deserves to be seen (it's available via BFI DVD and on YouTube in full)

The unseen Robinson, a minor academic and homosexual adrift in Vauxhall, is longing for the romantic past and lost in the urban inane  of Tory tyranny and the constant threat of IRA bombs as he attempts to meet full on 'the problem of London'.

He is revealed as a character through the words of the equally unseen narrator, his 'Man Friday' voiced by Paul Schofield. 

The script is laced with a distemper detachment which suggest an outlook on modern life worthy of Ballard or Amis.


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