London is at the heart of two new British films
As memories of the 2012 Olympic summer fade, two films provide a lasting and original reflection on London as a multi-dimensional city. Director Julien Temple explores how immigrants, artists, radicals and ordinary people have changed the capital over time, using archive film to bring the past vividly to life. ‘London – The Modern Babylon’ features scenes from ‘War Time 1939-1940’, a film from the Gowlland Collection at Screen Archive South East.
Screened on BBC2 and premiered as part of the Cultural Olympiad, Temple’s film won critical acclaim for its exceptional use of archive film to portray everyday Londoners from the 19th century to the present. More information is available here.
Meanwhile artist/filmmaker Andrew Kötting and writer Iain Sinclair travelled 160 miles from Hastings to Hackney in a plastic swan pedalo boat, meeting the locals and exploring the South East’s waterways. Kötting’s Swandown is a highly personal odyssey, incorporating scenes from several SASE films to create an eccentric and engaging travelogue.