Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Patrick Wright reviews Under the Cranes

"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)