A film in two parts. In the first part, the narrator describes the events that led to his impulsive decision to rob his former employer. The camera meanwhile walks about above the nearby road junction, surveying the distracted environment. In the second part, he recounts the anatomy of his panic following the crime, while the walking camera reconstructs his escape route. A final caption reports what happened after that.
‘Seeking flowers of evil, not on the rain-spattered pavements of Montparnasse, but somewhere along the Harrow Road.’ – Sheila Johnston, Time Out
‘…a riveting combination of formal-concrete cinema and glassy-eyed schizo-lyricism: cold, hard-edge, noir.’ – Raymond Durgnat
One of the most distinctive voices to emerge in British cinema since Peter Greenaway, Patrick Keiller was born in Blackpool in 1950. He studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, and initially practiced as an architect. Chris Marker’s film La Jetée (France, 1962) left a deep impression, but he only made practical steps towards cinema in 1979, when he joined the Royal College of Art’s Department of Environmental Media as a postgraduate student.
Slide-tape presentations blending architectural photography with fictional narratives pointed the way towards his first acknowledged film, Stonebridge Park (1981), visually inspired by a railway bridge in an outer London suburb. Images from a hand-held camera are accompanied by a voice-over commentary presenting the thoughts of a petty criminal panicked by the consequences of robbing his former employer. Norwood (1983) continued the ‘story’, and the technique, in another London… read more