Tag Archives: london

Creating Hackney as Home

17 Mar
The Creating Hackney as Home audience (Photo: Ella Harris).

The Creating Hackney as Home audience (Photo: Ella Harris).

London is a city of constant change. At the moment, you would be hard pushed to find a run-down or poor area that isn’t going through a process of rapid gentrification and development, and Dalston in Hackney is no exception.  There are constant debates in the media and online about this process, but how young people feel about these changes are often overlooked. The Creating Hackney as Home, a youth-led visual research project into home and belonging at the Open University, aimed to rectify that. 5 young people from Dalston were given training in research methods and film making, and each produced a short film about Dalston as their home as part of the project.

These films were shown at the Creating Hackney as Home event on the 5th of March at the Russet in Hackney, alongside Legacy in the Dust, a documentary by local film maker Winstan Whitter about the Four Aces, a club in Dalston that survived for half a century before being knocked down as part of Hackney’s transformation for the Olympics. Two of the Creating Hackney as Home film makers and Winstan Whitter were there to discuss their films with a large and varied audience, including representatives from Hackney council.

Two of the Creating Hackney as Home film makers with Luke Dickens, one of the organisers of the project (Photo: Ella Harris).

Two of the Creating Hackney as Home film makers with Luke Dickens, one of the organisers of the project (Photo: Ella Harris).

The Creating Hackney as Home films were fantastic. Each one took a different approach to thinking about Dalston as the place where they grew up, ranging from fashion to basketball. The films, and the discussion afterwards, were eloquent, intelligent and thought-provoking. One of the main points to come out of the discussion is that young people have plenty of opinions and things to say, they just need the opportunity to have their voice heard and the films proved it.

Legacy in the Dust is also a wonderful film. Winstan Whitter has made a nostalgic tribute to a club that he has known since childhood. The Four Aces Club was such a big part of the London music scene that its story is also the story of black music in Britain. It complemented the Creating Hackney as Home films well, speaking to the themes of belonging, home, and transformation.

Winstan Whitter answers questions about his documentary 'Legacy in the Dust' (Photo: Ella Harris).

Winstan Whitter answers questions about his documentary ‘Legacy in the Dust’ (Photo: Ella Harris).

It’s not often that Passengerfilms takes a trip out of central London, but the Creating Hackney as Home event was well worth it. It was an evening that proved the importance of self-reflection for communities that are changing rapidly, and demonstrated the dynamism and creativity of London’s young people, a resource that we would be foolish to waste.

Tuesday 14th June THE LONDON PERAMBULATOR and Psychogeography

23 May

Our next night back at the Roxy Bar & Screen will be an event on psychogeography, with a feature screening of John Rogers’ The London Perambulator (the film has a blog here which includes trailers and TV features), followed by a Q&A with John Rogers and with Nick Papadimitriou. They will be talking about the making of the film and its sources, as well as about their Resonance FM radio show, Ventures and Adventures in Topography (see blog), which combines perambulations in London with a look at old texts, guidebooks and maps.

Nick will also read a section from his forthcoming book, Scarp, about the North Middlesex/ South Hertfordshire escarpment, to musical accompaniment. We will also have a few words from Gale, Serena and Clare from the urban exploration project WALKWALKWALK , about their archaeological methodologies in routing and rerouting North East London, and from Roland Francois-Lack at UCL, who writes a daily blog about the connection between maps and film, THE CINETOURIST.

7.30pm, Tuesday June 14th, Roxy Bar & Screen, London Bridge.

Calendar of screenings

4 Mar

Finally, our plans for the next seven months are here. Some of this is still to be confirmed, so please subscribe to the blog for a reminder and further details about each event as it comes up!

  • March – MOBILE CINEMA and Launch Party

7.30pm, Monday 14th March, Roxy Bar and Screen (London Bridge)

Feature screening of Kings of the Road (1976), Wim Wender’s film about a travelling cinema projectionist on the borders of East and West Germany.

The film will be presented by Ollie and Emma from the Vintage Mobile Cinema, Philip from the Magnificent Cycle-Powered Cinema, Joe from the solar-powered OneWay Theatre, and representatives from Screen Machine and Bicycology, who will all be around to talk about whether mobile cinemas are particularly appropriate for taking you outside your normal space, or for making film relevant to particular hard-to-reach audiences.

Karolina Kendall-Bush will also present a short ten minute travelogue from the archive, London Medley, and talk about cinema’s early promise to ‘always take you somewhere’.

  • 7pm 17th April – HOMELESSNESS

7pm, Sunday 17th April, Roxy Bar & Screen (London Bridge)

Feature screening of Dark Days (2000), Marc Singer’s incredible documentary about the homeless living in abandoned tunnels under New York, with a soundtrack by D. J. Shadow.

The film will be presented by Open Cinema, a network of film clubs and film-making projects for socially excluded people, who will show some of their shorts beforehand. Neil Mitchell, author of World Film Locations: London (2011), will also talk about his research into ‘Dark Days’.

We will also show the short film Urban Exploration by Bradley L. Garrett, about the urban explorers who are currently discovering and recording unofficial, derelict and underground urban spaces.

Any profits will go to Open Cinema’s continuing projects with the homeless.

  • 7pm 21st April (Radio appearance)

On Thursday the 21st April, PASSENGERFILMS will be talking about zombie landscapes on AtomicBark!’s Zombie Zero Apocalypse radio show, from 7-8pm on Resonance 104.4FM (www.resonancefm.com).

  • 7.30pm 17th May – GETTING LOST

7.30pm, Tuesday 17th May, Roxy Bar & Screen (London Bridge)

Feature screening of Gerry (2002), Gus Van Sant’s film about a hiking misadventure which leaves Matt Damon and Casey Affleck dehydrated and wandering in the American desert. Minimalist soundtrack by Arvo Pärt, and plenty of long shots of grand but bleak landscapes.

Each person to turn up will get their very own Field Guide on Getting Lost and tips on how to do this in today’s Google-mapped world! And the winner of the soundtrack award will go home with, you guessed it, a compass…

  • 20th-22nd May (UK Green Film Festival)

From Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd May, PASSENGERFILMS will be helping to co-host the first UK Green Film Festival at its London base, Shortwave Cinema on Bermondsey Square. There will be a number of screenings and green events over the weekend: more details to follow here. PASSENGERFILMS is particularly excited about running the eco-horror night, with The Day of the Triffids (1962) on Friday night at 10.30pm complete with costumes, drinks, and a Triffid cake to be provided by Cakes & Crunk.

  • 3rd June (Stoke Newington Literary Festival)

This year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival (3rd-5th June) is on the theme of Edgar Allan Poe. On the night of Friday the 3rd, PASSENGERFILMS will be screening some Poe & Defoe themed films at Ryan’s Bar, including Robinson Crusoe on Mars (Haskin, 1964), above. This will be taking place just across the street from where Poe went to school, on Stoke Newington Church Street, and just metres from the Defoe wall plaque!

  • 7.30pm 14th June – PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY

7.30pm, Tuesday 14th June, Roxy Bar & Screen (London Bridge)

Feature screening of The London Perambulator (2009), John Rogers’ film about a man dedicated to the study of his region of Middlesex in all its liminal glory. Includes extended interviews with Will Self, Iain Sinclair and Russell Brand. See the film’s blog here.

John Rogers will be present, along with Nick Papadimitriou, with whom he runs the radio show Ventures and Adventures in Topography. Nick will be reading (with musical accompaniment) from his forthcoming book, Scarp, an investigation of the North Middlesex / South Hertfordshire Escarpment, which he says has been overlooked in landscape literature.

  • July – BACKWOODS

Our July screening is on the theme of ‘Backwoods’ and the accompanying fear of the British rural. The feature screening will either be Eden Lake (2008) or The Last Great Wilderness (2002).

The film will be presented by Stella Hockenhul, author of Sublime Landscapes in Contemporary British Horror (2010).

  • August – ZOMBIE GEOGRAPHY

PASSENGERFILMS tries not to be biased, but it’s no secret that our favourite topic is zombie geography. In August we will present the feature screening 28 Days Later (2002) alongside talks about zombie transport, the kinetic dead, and the use of the industrial networks – as well as the legacies of plague narratives and the similarity to plague landscapes. Come dressed as a zombie or a geographer, or don’t come at all!

  • September – THE BORDER

Feature screening of Tony Richardson’s The Border (1982), soundtracked by Ry Cooder and starring Jack Nicholson as a corrupt border agent. This will be accompanied by talks on the cinematic presentation of borders, and particularly border control.