- This film was commissioned for the Olympics, and to be honest I’m surprised that they were okay with this as a finished project. It’s not exactly a flattering or pretty picture of the city given its huge focus on civil unrest and immigration in London over the last hundred years, which is in and of itself totally fine, just not what I figured you’d commission someone to do ahead of the Olympics. It’s funny how every time the Olympics comes to town, issues related to poverty and civic unsightliness get swept under the rug and yet poverty is a strong undercurrent in the movie. It’s an odd juxtaposition, but Temple said everyone who has seen the film in London has enjoyed it, so maybe Londoners have a less rosy picture of themselves than we generally get to see in the media.
- It was neat to see some of the really ancient archival footage, as well as some colour imagery from World War II. I’d seen those WWII colour photos that popped up last year, but I didn’t know there was video as well.
- The soundtrack, unsurprisingly, was top notch and filled with all the great London bands you’d want to hear. Some tool during the Q&A asked why they hadn’t included The Beatles in the sound track and I wanted to die.
- This is probably somewhat nitpicky, but if you’re going to make a film about the last 100-ish years in London’s history and you’re going to tell it in chronological order, maybe you should actually tell it in chronological order? While they movie doesn’t really focus too much on huge, huge historic moments, there are enough mentions that it makes it awkward when you see footage from the 1950s and suddenly it’s pre-WWII again. I’m not necessarily against jumping around timelines when presenting history — there were some moments where old-timey footage was paired with more modern music, etc. — I just want those to be conscious choices that get made.
- Also: if there were 6000 hours of footage to sift through in order to make this movie, why on earth are we subjected to the same clip more than once?
- This movie just didn’t really work for me. I think the unrest/immigration angle is an interesting one and might have enjoyed a movie that spent more time examining those issues, despite the prominence they’re already given here. It just felt at times like the issues were disregarded as unimportant in the end; there’s a moment where one (white) guy basically says that all new ethnic groups experience racial hatred when they first arrive in London but eventually everyone gets over it and accepts them, as if this somehow justifies the initial response. Experiencing racism shouldn’t be a right of passage for anyone trying to make it in the city. This was counteracted by another guy who seemed pretty excited to live in a diverse neighbourhood, but it felt a bit too little, too late.
- Something clearly annoyed me about this movie and I can’t put my finger on it.
- Every time someone in a Q&A tells a director that their film was brilliant, I assume it’s the first film they’ve ever seen.
Categories: 2.5 Stars