Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Lindsay Anderson's 'O Dreamland' screening in London

There will be a screening of Lindsay Anderson's O Dreamland next Thursday in London as part of a night of poetry, performance and film screenings under the banner of 'Plectrum Live Edition'.   The event 'Plectrum Live Edition: Postcards from the Promenade' is organised by 'Plectrum - the cultural pick' - an arts magazine published on-line and bi-monthly in print.  I heard of this event via The Horse Hospital - this is an arts venue in London. In their own words "The Horse Hospital is a three tiered progressive arts venue in London providing an encompassing umbrella for the related media of film fashion, music and art." Oh, so many things to explore when I move to London!  Although unfortunately I'll miss this event as I'm travelling back up from London on the 23rd after a few days flat hunting and starting a film course at Lux - Opening up the Archive - a Guided tour of Artists Moving Image.

Here is some more information about the event which the screening of O Dreamland is a part of:

"Returning from a seaside summer holiday, the first Plectrum Live Edition of the autumn mixes postcards from the promenade and the view into the fairground fortune teller’s crystal ball, with fresh perspectives on the sights and sounds of London, to present an evening of author readings, film screening, live music, poetry, and more with Travis Elborough, Lindsay Anderson’s O Dreamland, Karen McLeod, The Vatican Cellars, and Benedict Newbery, hosted by Guy Sangster Adams."

Thursday 23 September at The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD.  Doors at 7.30 performances begin 8pm.    Tickets £6 on the door.

Set in a funfair in Margate called 'Dreamland' Lindsay Anderson's 1953 film O Dreamland wasn't actually screened until the first Free Cinema programme at the National Film Theatre in 1956.  A short film of 12 minutes which tours round the funfair showing the 'attractions' which in this film appear very bleak, and at times, sinister.  The effect of the film is described brilliantly by Gavin Lambert in an article he wrote on Free Cinema:

 "Everything is ugly... It is almost too much. The nightmare is redeemed by the point of view, which, for all the unsparing candid camerawork and the harsh, inelegant photography, is emphatically humane. Pity, sadness, even poetry is infused into this drearily tawdry, aimlessly hungry world."

Lindsay Anderson on location for O Dreamland,
© Lindsay Anderson Collection, University of Stirling Archives

N.B. The funfair at Margate is still there today although it closed in 2005.

N.B. If you are in a Library, College or University which has an account with BFI Screenonline then you can watch O Dreamland  for free online at

Saturday, 11 September 2010

A Lucky Find

I'm just back from a week's holiday in Crete where we had a lovely time enjoying the beautiful scenery and lovely hot weather, eating tasty local food (including lots of fresh fish), and basically relaxing after the recent hectic time of the end of my post at Stirling University and celebrating my husband's new job and our imminent move to London - yay!

So on our return from Crete we're spending a few days in London exploring some of the areas we're thinking we might move to.    Yesterday we were in Stoke Newington first which we both really liked but which is maybe not going to be feasible re commuting.  Anyway we had fun exploring and of course doing a wee bit of shopping.  On our wander we came across a lovely shop on Church Street which drew me in with the lovely array of vintage tea pots I could see through the window.  They also had a great selection of prints, including reproductions of Cuban film posters.  I wasn't planning to buy anything but when I came across this poster for Lindsay Anderson's O Lucky Man! (1973) I just had to buy it!  The artist is Antonio Fernandez Reboiro and the poster is from 1977.  I didn't want to take the poster out it's plastic until I get home so apologies for the poor quality of the image but the quality of the art work shines through I think. 

I don't know much about Cuban movie posters but found a few interesting blogs that will start me off on a bit more reading when I get back to Glasgow - for now we're off to Borough Market for some tasty food!

Here are the blogs I came across:

Tales of a Cinesthete

Cuban Posters