“London” Thrills Me

The new edition of The Forgotten is online over at The Daily Notebook.

For once, the movies under discussion are available to buy ~

UK: London / Robinson In Space [1994] [DVD]

US: London Robinson in Space London/Robinson in Space

Also: a gentle reminder that The Late Show: The Late Films Blogathon commences on the 12th of this very month. Of course, I haven’t watched any of the films I’m planning to write about yet. But I’m confident that this will happen.

10 Responses to ““London” Thrills Me”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by dcairns, Borderlines FilmFest. Borderlines FilmFest said: Forgotten on Patrick Keiller RT @dcairns: This week's Forgotten, and a Blogathon reminder: http://bit.ly/eqf0Ow […]

  2. of London, I’m an uncultured American who didn’t get most of its references, though I loved some of the post-apocalyptic city scenery.

    of Late Films, I’m at the three-and-a-half mark, but struggling to find anything interesting to say about them. Pressure! Trying not to take on movies that anybody else has actually seen, in order that saying anything at all might qualify as being interesting.

  3. Don’t sweat it! Some movies just don’t inspire me to write, even when I like them. Although a piece that’s just capsule reviews of three and a half movies would be fine.

  4. I don’t know of these films or Keller, but am really interested, having spent some time in London; although reading about them made me think of Incepetion, a mediocre film, which I think has already disappeared from everyone’s memory. Like Inception was more of a symptom of something these Keller films have as there actual subject; the radical transformation of Western cities, and the Western memory. I guess this what Godard is doing.

  5. Certainly doesn’t feel like Inception and London have anything in common in their affect, but there’s a thematic link of sorts. Inception features architects who design dreams, and Keiller’s movie deals with architecture but feels far more like a dream than the Nolan film.

    Keiller’s a little Godardian, but nobody but Godard is very Godardian.

  6. Yes, I think it was a hermetic link I was tying to get at.

  7. Can’t wait to see Robinson In Ruins – I loved London and was slightly less enamoured of Robinson In Space (mainly because it geographically jumped completely over my neck of the woods! But then that is not really an unusual situation)

    These films are wonderful socio-political documents, images of an era post-‘the end of history’, drifting through political ‘upheavals’ (which don’t come to pass, or don’t mean anything when they do) and trading on long lost notions of heritage and industry to avoid confronting the unpalatable, international, corporatised realities.

    Along with Patrick Keiller, whose films are incredibly beautiful and evocative and can be enjoyed purely on an aesthetic level, especially with the wry Scofield narrations (which I hope Redgrave can follow), I would also recommend Christopher Petit and Iain Sinclair’s amazing geographical essay films.

    Radio On is perhaps the most accessible of these, staying quite close to the Wim Wender’s style ‘road trip’ structure, but then the films get more and more esoteric, culminating in the astonishing and almost impenetrable spy thriller/sci-fi/documentary films The Falconer and Asylum.

    Since then I particularly liked London Orbital, which details a trip around the titular ring road, recapturing a ‘negative space’ (they also made the documentary on Manny Farber for the BBC) that has been monotonised and emptied of meaning and reinvigorating it – reclaiming the miles of tarmac as a place for human dramas and stories, from personal recollections to Cockney gangsters meeting bloody ends on isolated roads to J.G. Ballard’s thoughts on shopping malls. It is a truly beautiful piece of work, almost a mantra in the way it incorporates the hypnotic images of driving the road with the voiceovers.

    And then Content, which I think might be their masterwork, exploring further the subjects of memory and identity on a journey through their own psyche (this film would probably better fit the idea of Inception, though it is far better and more moving)

  8. Westway Interchange in Radio On, the setting for Ballard’s Concrete Island:

    I think you could also trace a through line influence from Radio On to Morven Callar

  9. Sorry for the broken YouTube links, the last section should read:

    Westway Interchange in Radio On, the setting for Ballard’s Concrete Island:

    I think you could also trace a through line influence from Radio On to Morven Callar

  10. I should see Asylum and Content. And Radio On! My favourite so far has been the Farber doc.

    I was slightly frustrated by Robinson in Space ending before they got to Scotland, and I agree it’s a slightly more diffuse film, and maybe it repeats too many of the references, but I still like it. Great use of the AMOLAD music.

    Psyched to see the new one. The Redgrave VO could be dreary (I recall with a shudder her lifeless droning at awards ceremonies) but I bet it won’t.

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