This autumn the Barbican hosts Urban Wandering – Film and the London Landscape, a season of films dedicated to our fair city.
The programme features a broad range of films, including classic movies, new documentaries and archive shorts; additionally there are a number of talks with key filmmakers and London experts such as Iain Sinclair and Will Self. It’s as if the programme were designed with Londonist readers in mind – here are just a few highlights:
A “whistle-stop tour through five decades of social housing” in London, including interviews with Erno Goldfinger from his Balfron Tower penthouse and Alison and Peter Smithson on their soon-to-be-demolished Robin Hood Gardens. The accompanying talk will see Will Self, Lynsey Hanley (author of Estates: An Intimate History) and Andrea Luka Zimmerman discuss social housing’s history and future.
Stanley Kubrick famously chose the just-completed Thamesmead estate to set his film of Anthony Burgess’ dystopian novel. Some argue Thamesmead never recovered from the association. The film retains its power to shock, made more potent by the director’s decision to remove it from the public domain shortly after its release; it wasn’t re-released until Kubrick’s death in 1999.
Re-released last year, Underground (1928) is a silent-era romp through London in the Twenties, taking in the pubs, workplaces, offices and, obviously, the Tube. This screening is introduced by Neil Brand, who composed the score for the new version.
The Barbican Estate is that rare thing, a bold architectural experiment that actually worked. But how was it conceived and constructed? This series of short films, introduced by David Heathcoate (author of Barbican: Penthouse Over the City) and architectural critic Elain Harwood, recount the ambitious utopian vision that led to the Barbican’s creation.
The Pedway was a 1960s plan to build a series of elevated walkways around the City of London and, eventually, much of Zone 1. Though a few bits got built (the Barbican Highwalk and assorted crossings on London Wall and Bishopsgate) much of the project stalled and it was abandoned in the 1980s.
Urban Wandering – Film and the London Landscape takes place at the Barbican Cinemas from 18 September to 2 October 2013.
Londonist is proud to be Media Partner to the Barbican’s Urban Wandering film season.