(2004, 5’46”, 16mm)
A film-poem about London in the last hours of the 20th century.
It was shot between midday and midnight on 31st December 1999 and includes the exact moment of the beginning of the year 2000.
I shot it in black and white at 16 fps and telecine-ed it at 25 fps in order to give it the jerky look of an old Edwardian film. This creates a deliberate tension between the antique look of the film and the recognisably modern setting.
The film starts with Trafalgar Square and The Mall – views which have scarcely changed in decades – before moving on to the ultra-modern Docklands redevelopment around Canary Wharf, which resembles the set from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. From there we move to the South Bank with its Sixties and Seventies ‘Brutalist’ architecture to find it swamped by people, whose sheer numbers suggest the anticipated visitation of a prophet. We see the London Eye, the quintessential icon of the New Millennium in London, bathed in lasers and almost eclipsing Big Ben, an icon of old London. The film ends on the moment of the beginning of the new century and the image is blotted out by fireworks.
Promoted by: The British Council, Film and Literature Department, 10 Spring Gardens, London SW1A 2BN Tel. +44 20 7930 8466
Directed and edited by Martin Pickles
Onedotzero Articulated London event at the Oxo Tower, London, 1st-10th December 2006