‘Under the Cranes’ – a new Hackney film April 30th @the Rio

new film based on a play by Hackney poet Michael Rosen will be shown as part of the East End Film Festival, at the Rio Cinema on April 30th at 1.30 pm


The film is based on poet Michael Rosen’s play for voices Hackney Streets and is the culmination of two years work shooting in Hackney, sifting through local film archive and filming some beautiful paintings by Leon Kossoff, Jock McFadyen and James MacKinnon.

“A marvellous evocation of Hackney – the place, the peoples and their dreams too. It reveals the ruin, disconnection and the frailty of life without giving an inch to literary misanthropy or the voyeuristic perspectives in which East London is exploited for tales of misery, depravity and social failure. It manages to be elegaic without being merely doleful. The combination of voice and image is very nicely handled, and the archive footage is wonderful. I was glad the film didn’t resort to more polemical assaults on the Olympics, legitimate as those may be. I think the film gains a lot by not being too firmly located in that argument, not least the possible realization that we all live ‘under the cranes’ these days. A lot of the stories and locations were familiar – is that Town Guide Cabinet really in the Hackney Museum now? – but I never knew about the plastic!”

Patrick Wright (A Journey Through Ruins, On Living in an Old Country)‘Under the Cranes’ is a wonderfully life-affirming film-poem of place, full of lost time and effacements, reefs of street markets and shop fronts, painted in stock-brick yellows, steel shutter greys and silvery monochromes; and full of people, always people, the voices who have passed this way and called this home. As a collage of the city at its most quick, it has the ache and tug of what has been and gone; as a moving study of resourcefulness, resistance and resilience, it collapses time and returns each story to its street.
Paul Farley, Professor of Poetry, Lancaster


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