The Barbican’s Urban Wandering season launches on 18 September, with a packed programme that explores London on film. A key strand running through the season examines the architecture and built environment of the city. We’d particularly recommend the following events:
Friday 20 September: Estate
A series of film shorts looking at the last 50 years of social housing in London. The programme includes Kensal House (1937), First Citizens of New Estate (1951), High Living (1968), Where You Live (1968), The Smithsons on Housing (1970) and Estate Pilot (2013). Afterwards, Will Self, Lynsey Hanley and Andrea Luka Zimmerman discuss the various fates of the developments highlighted in the films.
Saturday 21 September: Finisterre
The trilogy of London films by St Etienne and Paul Kelly was recently released by the BFI, and is a must-have for anyone who has an emotional attachment to London. Here’s a chance to see the first film, Finisterre (2003), which flits poetically around the post-Millennium but pre-Olympic London. The film is followed by a screening of the 1989 film Twilight City, which interprets the changing face of Docklands at the time.
Monday 23 September: Barbitopia
Four documentaries and archive footage chart the history and development of the Barbican itself — a chance to reflect on the very complex of buildings that you’re sitting in.
Tuesday 24 September: John Smith’s London
Artist and film-maker John Smith brings together several of his short films inspired by the capital: The Girl Chewing Gum (1976), Hackney Marshes – November 4th 1977 (1977), The Black Tower (1985–7), Blight (1994–6) and Lost Sound (1998–2001). Afterwards, Ian Christie talks to the man behind the films.
Friday 27 September: The Pedway
Ever noticed the series of bridges that criss-cross the streets of the Square Mile? They are the remains of a grand scheme to separate pedestrians and road users, initiated during the rebuilding of the City after WWII. A documentary and series of short films about the pedway are followed by discussion with director Chris Bevan Lee, contributor to the film Prof Michael Hebbert (Professor of Town Planning, UCL), former editor of architecture and design at The Guardian Jonathan Glancey, and chaired by Gareth Evans.
Wednesday 2 October: Kiss the Sky – Explore Everything: Talk with Bradley L Garrett and Will Self
No film tonight, but instead a fascinating discussion about urban exploration. Bradley L Garrett is the guy who recently hit the headlines after scaling the Shard. He’ll be talking to Will Self about his adventures, and new book Explore Everything.
Times and ticket prices vary.
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.