UPDATE 10/18/17: The winner of the drawing (conducted by me literally writing names on paper strips and putting them in my ’20s-style cloche hat) is MovieMovieBlogBlog! Congratulations–we will be in touch. 🙂
The latest Halloween-flavored post is on the way, folks–here’s a clue:
Hmm, not quite, but you’re close! In the meantime, here’s the latest giveaway I’m hosting, which involves a particularly inspired project.
A few years ago an independent filmmaker named Alex Barrett contacted me about a silent film he was making. He described it as a modern-day “city symphony,” the genre of documentary from the 1920s that created artistic portraits of cities such as Berlin. This time, however, the subject would be the great city of London, which had never been given a “city symphony” of its own (and which happens one of my very favorite places to visit, as countless others would agree!). I thought it sounded like an excellent project, and I agreed to help spread the news about its crowdfunding campaign.
Well, several years and 300 London filming locations later, and with the support of such notables as Kevin Brownlow, BFI and the Toronto Silent Film Festival, Barrett’s project is complete! His film’s been screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2017 (and was nominated for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Film!), is currently being shown in select cinemas around the world, and just yesterday was released as a region-free MOD by the venerable Flicker Alley (a distributor I probably couldn’t live without–where else am I going to get beautiful copies of True Heart Susie and Tol’able David?)
From the press release:
London Symphony is a contemporary take on the ‘city symphony’, a genre of creative non-fiction that flourished in the 1920s and consisted of works that attempted to build poetic portraits of city life. As well as serving as a form of virtual tourism, city symphonies serve as important documents of the eras in which they are made, and raise universal questions about the nature of community life – questions that have become vital within the current political climate. London Symphony‘s release coincides with the 90th anniversary of Walter Ruttmann’s Berlin, Symphony of a Great City, one of the most important examples of the original city symphonies. Ruttmann was one of the great pioneers of experimental film, and Barrett and McWilliam have worked hard to bring a similar sense of poetic playfulness to London Symphony, while also updating the form for the 21st Century.
Divided into four parts (like a musical symphony!), London Symphony examines both the old and the new of this handsome, historic city. From parks to fairs, religion to commerce, this artistic piece aims to capture the flavor of London’s vibrant culture. The Blu-ray not only includes the film but the following bonus materials:
- London Medley (1933) – A 10-minute city symphony newly scanned in HD, it presents “intimate glimpses of life in the Old World’s greatest metropolis.”
- Hungerford: Symphony of a London Bridge (2009) – “A direct precursor to London Symphony, this 3-minute film presents an abstract journey over Hungerford Bridge, London, and the footbridges alongside it.”
- Exclusive interview with filmmaker Alex Barrett (director and editor of London Symphony)
Take a look at the trailer below:
To enter the drawing, simply leave a comment below! I will conduct the drawing one week from today (on Wednesday, October 18) and announce the winner here on Silent-ology. That winner will receive a copy of London Symphony on region-free Blu-ray from Flicker Alley (which is in partnership with Disobedient Films). And as far as the comments go, maybe you can share which shot from the trailer caught your eye the most?
To ensure a copy for yourself or a friend, you can order the Blu-ray here.
Film stills are copyright © London Symphony Film Company Ltd 2017. To see more, visit londonsymphfilm.com.