The night before Perambulator (and after Italy)

I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks due to a week spent in Italy, out of the range of internet. I also found myself linguistically intimidated by the landscape such was it’s beauty – not just in the standardised bucolic sense but in the passifying effect on the soul. The same thing happened when I rounded off a 7 month stint in the flat industrial plain of Emilia Romangna with two weeks in Tuscany. Over the preceding months I’d spewed out splenetic prose nightly – to the extent that I had the first draft of a book (that I plan to publish shortly on Lulu). Once in Tuscany the words dried up – it was all swooning olive groves and rhapsodic lunches.

I’ve also been pre-occupied with tomorrow night’s screening of the Nick Papadimitriou film at the Whitechapel Gallery in the East End Film Festival. There will also be an ‘Edgelands’ panel afterwards with Will Self, Iain Sinclair, Andrea Philips and me. What amazing company to find oneself in on a stage in the newly reburbed Gallery.
Aldgate East is one of the parts of London pregnant with memory for me. The distinctive smell of the tube platform hurtles me back to 89-92, City Poly, in various states of inebriation. I never once ventured inside the Whitechapel in those years. And now The London Perambulator makes its world premiere there.

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Nick doc at the East End Film Festival


The documentary about Nick Papadimitriou that I have blogged about here many a time, the London Perambulator is now finished and will be screening as part of the East End Film Festival at the Whitechapel Gallery Wed 29th April at 7pm. After the screening there will be a panel discussion with the greats of psychgeography and to appease Nick we’ll also say ‘Deep Topography” (in the doc you can see Iain Sinclair enthusiastically signing up to Deep Topography and renouncing psychogeography) – Will Self, Iain Sinclair, Andrea Philips and myself – although I’ll probably end up just listening to those three.

As well as footage from walks I’ve done with Nick over the past year it features fantastic interviews with Russell Brand, Will Self and Iain Sinclair.
Book your tickets here
I’ve just found out that the film has also been nominated for the International Film Guide Inspiration award for Best Documentary Feature

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Walk to the West End – redux

Sat in The Heathcote last night reading David Boote’s excellent series of leaflets on the Leyton Loop made me think about the walk that I did through Leyton to the West End via Kings Cross in June 2007. I posted a blog about it at the time.
Enthused, I came home from the pub, dug out the miniDV tape and quickly edited together this vid. It’s always difficult to capture the experience of walking in any form – literature seems to have managed it best. Here I tried to film as instinctively as possible as if scribbling in a notebook.
The Heathcote btw was shut tonight due to a gas leak – was it something I did? Not quite sure what I’ll do if it stays shut for a while. Maybe get round to writing up some notes I’ve got on walking that I’d like to share.

John Smith – Hotel Diaries

Legendary Leytonstone film-maker, John Smith, is screening a selection of his sequence of Hotel Diary videos at Tate Britain today – followed by a Q&A.
This also gives me an excuse to plug the essay I wrote about John Smith and Ian Bourn’s films for UEL’s ‘Rising East’ journal of East London studies.
I’m hoping to organise a retrospective of John Smith’s Leytonstone films for the Leytonstone Film Club at some point next year

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