For some time now, I’ve been wandering around Notting Hill attempting to get under its skin. For many years, even before I moved to London, there was something that struck me about both the level of contrasts in the area and how such contrasts were reflected in film history and locations. Even recently, I have been engaged on a film project set around both Ladbroke … Continue reading Wanders: Two Notting Hills
“Witness, for instance, the establishment of settled ‘alternative’ or ‘independent’ cultural zones, which endlessly repeat older gestures of rebellion and contestation as if for the first time.” – Mark Fisher The Longplayer walk ghosts a route to be taken on the 21st of June for a day long walked festival of arts in celebration of Jem Finer’s work. Information on the Longplayer event, featuring an … Continue reading Wanders: Longplayer (New Cross to Trinity Buoy Wharf)
Having walked down the Lea Valley late last year with Gary Budden, we endeavoured to continue on from our point of departure in Planet Stratford and to follow the river right the way down to Leamouth where it finally pours into the Thames. Though on paper the walk was effectively a south-following meander, mapped largely (or at least so we thought) by potentially walking along … Continue reading Wanders: Leamouth Labyrinth
When recently interviewing the writer and filmmaker, John Rogers, the setting of our meeting place in Stratford played heavily upon my mind. Such was the contrast between so many of the buildings and spaces within the area that many ideas came about just from a quick meander around its many new developments. Because of this we agreed to reconvene at the place a few weeks … Continue reading Wanders: Planet Stratford with John Rogers (London).
Norman Cohen’s filmic version of Geoffrey Fletcher’s 1967 book, The London Nobody Knows, could hardly be called an adaptation. With the book being a mixture of personal documentary and the historical exploring of London streets, its narrative is one purely of journeys if anything else. Cohen was already used to this blurring of fiction and fact having unaccredited work on Arnold L. Miller’s cult documentary, … Continue reading The London Nobody Knows (1969) – Psychogeographic Fluctuation.
I’ve always had a slight relationship with Victoria and Pimlico in London. As central London areas go, it has always represented two things to me: the awful feeling of leaving the city and the sense of dread at having to wander around somewhere largely built of private buildings, houses and hotels (not the ideal place to burn an hour in wait for a coach or … Continue reading Wanders: Ian Nairn’s Pimlico (London).
My walk around Harold Pinter’s old haunts in the east end of London has produced a number of written accounts now that, with the film that sparked of the whole venture being finally public, I’m not quite sure what else to say about it. The idea for the walk came about when I saw the, since frustratingly taken down, Harold Pinter Arena documentary which spent a … Continue reading Short Film – A Walk By Waiting (Harold Pinter, Iain Sinclair).
In the 1980’s introduction to the repeated BBC Ian Nairn series, Nairn Across Britain (1972), Jonathan Meades suggests that the series still managed to capture Nairn’s sense of poetics and character in spite of “the filming techniques seeming a bit dated, as nothing dates quite like the recent past”. Though Meades is right in his effusing about Nairn’s character – an endlessly watchable, impassioned, melancholic … Continue reading Poetics of Visual Space in Ian Nairn’s “Nairn Across Britain” (1972).
London, with its eternal agitations, the ceaseless ebb and flow of its “mighty heart” – De Quincey (1823). After one of the most hectic days of the year so far, I had some hours to kill in London before meeting a friend for an exhibition at the Royal Academy. The day had been frantic, with large amounts of strangely powerful coffees being downed around New … Continue reading Wanders: Thomas De Quincey’s Soho.
Above is the trailer for a very short fragment of film made in collaboration with the writer, Iain Sinclair. Though I had been thinking about doing something with the poems of Harold Pinter for the some time, I had left it to stew away rather than properly organise it as with other, simpler films. With initially failing to get in touch with Iain, I had … Continue reading Trailer – A Walk By Waiting (Pinter/Sinclair).