Thursday 14 April 2011

Under the Cranes

Don't miss this new film shot in Hackney and directed by Emma-Louise Williams. ‘Under the Cranes’ is showing at the Rio on Saturday 30 April at 1.30pm.

The film is a meditation on place as central to our experience of history. Using the script of poet Michael Rosen’s documentary play, the film is intercut with rarely seen archive footage, much of which shows the locality’s commitment to social housing. As we hear from the famous – Shakespeare in Shoreditch, Anna Sewell, Anna Barbauld – alongside a Jamaican builder, a Bangladeshi restaurant owner or the Jewish 43 Group taking on Oswald Mosley in Dalston, we see past and present streets, parks, cemeteries and markets.

If you let it, a street will grow,’ says a voice as the film shows ‘layers of lives’, offering a lyrical, painterly defence of the everyday even as it raises questions about the process of ‘regeneration’

While David Cameron claims that ‘multiculturalism has failed’, this film celebrates how ‘the world comes to Hackney’.

In terms of both the visual and the aural, the film heightens the real: the soundscape mixes documentary with poetry, music, song and location recordings, while the picture juxtaposes slow, still shots with paintings by East London artists, Leon Kossoff, Jock McFadyen and James MacKinnon. Breaking with the linear narrative convention, the audience is invited to apprehend the city as fragmentary and multi-layered. – “past in the present; present in the past.

The films Director, Dalston resident Emma-Louise Williams, had produced and directed numerous radio and television programmes. One theme running throughout her work is how we experience the metropolis. Emma has sought to counter the prevailing attitude to the inner city as a site of failure, ugliness and misdeed, through what she terms a‘socio-poetic of everyday life’.

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