Here’s some great amateur footage from the Metropolitan Screen Archives of early work on the M11 Link Road at South Woodford.
Although this was shot in 1972 the road didn’t open till 1999 – after a protracted, colourful and determined protest fought in Leytonstone. I’ve been writing about this recently so won’t blow all my good work just yet.
I walked past Charlie Brown’s Roundabout a couple of years ago on my way out to the old Claybury Mental Hospital. It was a mash-up of fly-overs and warehouse retail units – handy for a cheap cup of tea and a pasty but hell on the lungs.
Left me wondering – what did Charlie Brown do to deserve such a thing?
At the end of a project comes the sorting through some hard-drives – clearing the decks. The mind starts to think about the next film, without any pressure at this stage.
I found some fragments on a sequence in the London Perambulator folder – bits of archive footage from the Prelinger Archives, some ephemeral shoots of pre-Xmas crowds in central London and a tracking shot through Leytonstone station with my son holding the camera on his lap in a pram and was passed through (you can hear him campaign when go we back for another pass).
I’m wondering whether there is a germ of an idea in here that could be expanded into my next film – I’ve made two portraits of people, maybe the next one could be of a place. I’m shooting footage on walks I’m doing for a book (published in September 2013) – could that merge with some of the footage above. Who knows – it’s all up for grabs at the moment – this is the fun part.
The man who created this ingenious nonsense
Also made one of the great London films – The Sandwich Man.
The brilliant half-Peruvian former Goon Michael Bentine.
There is a clear link between eccentricity and wandering around London.
Filmed in sunny Leytonstone – London’s lost cultural quarter.
There’s more info about the film here
It’s taken 23 years but I’ve fallen in love with the DLR. I’ve used it twice in recent months and it has beguiled me with its charms. It makes me feel like like the early train passengers riding an iron horse.
|Entrance to Greenwich Foot Tunnel|
Yesterday my two urges of getting to water and riding the DLR coincided. The family were inert at home so I headed to Island Gardens. I was tempted straight away to head down into the Greenwich Foot Tunnel but had no interest in what was at the other end. I wanted to skirt the eastern periphery of the Isle of Dogs.
The memorial at Dudgeon’s Wharf is a reminder of life in Docklands before the biggest threat to the area was trouble in the money markets or a rise in the price of Bolly. In July 1965 six people, including five firefighters, were killed in an explosion at a chemical storage facility here.
I struggle to find much to say about Docklands, it already feels overly mediated. It is also puzzlingly paradoxical. There are fragments and echoes of its past like sections of wharfs and jetties, decommissioned cranes. But on the other hand it is utterly removed from the rest of the city – a private estate, a samizdat Singapore.
I always feel like an intruder in Docklands, unwelcome and illicit. I’m long-haired, bearded, wearing shorts and sandals topped off with a baseball cap – that probably breaks at least two recently imposed local by-laws.
|Lady Daphne and the Greenwich Uplands|
It’s the Thames Festival this weekend – maybe that’s where the urge to head for the water originated. I caught a glimpse of the Lady Daphne chugging her way eastwards after a day of ferrying passengers as part of the festivities.
|signwriting worthy of Bob and Roberta Smith|
The opposite shore in Greenwich still seems to be clinging onto some vestige of its industrial functions. But the glass and steel towers are on their way to keep the Millennium Dome company.
I wound up at East India Dock, unable to finish my walk with the statutory pint. So it was back on the DLR and into the Leyton Technical pop-up pub in old Leyton Town Hall for a fantastic pint of Windsor and Eton Ale – this could well be the best thing to come out of the Olympics.
Here’s the other video I made for Nick Papadimitriou’s visionary book Scarp.
I wonder how Nick is coping with Deep Topography taking on a semi-official status.