This is part of the Urban Wandering season at the Barbican. Here is the Barbican's introduction: A unique film equal parts fiction and documentary, London captures the capital in a portrait of sly wit and surreal insight, at a moment of disenchantment before Cool Britannia and Tate Modern.
The film’s two wandering flâneurs see Rimbaud in Canary Wharf, and egalitarianism in the Routemaster bus, as they meander, on foot and in the imagination, through tableaux of a decaying city that never had the revolution it deserved. In this vital piece of cinema from ex-architect Keiller, 18th century romanticism collides with contemporary urban alienation, in an experimental travelogue narrated by Paul Scofield.
UK 1994 Dir. Patrick Keiller 85 min.
+ Q&A with director Patrick Keiller
The capital and capitalism collide in celebrated artists Relph and Payne’s first film – an acerbic musing on “a city so assured of its brilliance that it constantly forgets to do anything noteworthy,” at the fin-de-siècle. Described by critic Jerry Saltz as “a love song to their native London… sung in the key of spleen,” this short film offers a generational response to Keiller’s London, in its charting of the city’s continuation of disorderly ‘pack-donkey’ urban chaos.
UK1999 Dirs. Oliver Payne and Nick Relph 23 min.
Here (and above) you can dip into this unique film.