Santa’s Lap: London DVDs

A still from London: The Modern Babylon

Every day until Christmas we will be pointing you in the direction of a London-inspired Christmas present that (with a bit of luck) you won’t already have on your list. Climb up onto our collective lap and we’ll see what we can move from our sack to your stockings…

This year, the British Film Institute have released three smashing London documentary DVDs which will definitely appeal to you London enthusiasts.

London on the Move brings together archive British Transport Films about London transport. You may recognise several from London Transport Museum’s wonderful archive, such as All That Mighty Heart from 1963, Automatic Fare Collection and You from 1969 and the eponymous London on the Move from 1970. But what about Power Signal Lineman from 1953 or Omnibus 150 from 1979? No idea. This is transport nerd heaven in a two DVD set.

Wonderful London takes you through the capital in the 1920s showing familiar landmarks, long gone buildings, street markets, back gardens and lots of Londoners. This is an hour’s worth of silent, black and white, mini travelogues, newly restored and soundtracked by the BFI National Archive. The DVD also comes with a booklet containing newly commissioned essays by silent movie curator Bryony Dixon, Londony Londoner Iain Sinclair, Smoke’s Jude Rogers and Night Haunts author Sukhdev Sandhu.

London the Modern Babylon: is a two hour documentary by Julian Temple. Screened on the BBC in the run up to the Olympics, it presents 110 years of London history through archive footage, well-chosen talking heads, a fantastic soundtrack and light touch commentary. Check out our complimentary review.

All three titles are priced at £19.99 from the BFI Filmstore.

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Article by Lindsey Clarke | 3,260 Articles | View Profile